The moment the plane touched down at the airport in Phuket I knew I was in a place I would never forget. Thailand felt like paradise where white sand beaches stretch for miles, colorful and unique water taxis are just waiting to be photographed, food you can’t get enough of, shopping, and friendly people who smile and welcome you everywhere you go. If you are in South East Asia, you must add Thailand to your list of places to go.
White Sand Beach in Phi Phi
After arriving in Phuket, my friend and I took a taxi bus to Patong area to the Lub d Hostel (which I highly recommend, but more on that later). The taxi bus was easy to find, as they are located outside as soon as you make your way out of the airport. We were asked about our destination, and based on that were given a number of the taxi bus to take. Not only was this convenient because all the work was done for us, but it was also easy on the wallet because we were splitting the cost of the ride with all the other people in our taxi bus. Bonus,we got to meet people on the way to our destination. The other great thing about this system was that the taxi bus stopped at the information center where we were able to book at taxi for the next day to take us to the ferry, and bought ferry tickets to Phi Phi island, which was our next destination. Again, all the hassle of researching and figuring out the details was done for us, how awesome is that?!
Choosing a place to stay in Patong can get overwhelming because there are so many options. My friend and I stayed at the Lub d Hostel, where we had a beautiful newly-renovated private room, but we still got to enjoy the awesome amenities with other travelers. The hostel had plenty to do if you were in the mood to relax and stay in or if you were visiting during the rainy season and needed to wait for the rain to stop. The hostel had a nice bar with great selection of alcoholic and coffee beverages. They also had snacks and some meal selections. They had a beautiful pool and multiple lounging areas with bean bags and regular table and chair sitting as well. The hostel also had a boxing rink, pool table, and a ping pong table. The employees were friendly, cheerful and spoke English well, so communication issues were less likely. They were happy to assist with any requests, as well as answer any questions we had. The hostel’s location was another plus. It was a five minute walk to Patong Beach as well as the street with endless shopping, bars, restaurants, and never-ending night life. Overall, it was a great experience, and I highly recommend it to a solo traveler or not.
Things to Do in Patong
The possibilities of things to do and see are endless in Patong, but I have narrowed down a few you can’t miss! Shopping is definitely a must. The streets are full of natives selling clothes, art, and unique trinkets. This is the perfect opportunity for you to practice your bargaining skills. It’s super common and totally worth it, in my opinion! Things are inexpensive as it is, so if bargaining isn’t your thing, you can skip that and just enjoy shopping. You can find some beautiful hand-made arts and crafts, clothes, and other things you won’t find anywhere else. Patong is the place to get your shopping done!
You cannot leave without enjoying the delicious, fresh food made on the spot. Your choices are limitless. You can enjoy fresh seafood, pad thai, curry, fresh veggies and fruit, and many other dishes as well as deserts. I’d like to point out that Thailand was very vegan friendly. My friend had no problem eating anywhere in Thailand. The natives were very happy to make things special and accommodate requests. Don’t leave without trying Thai ice cream! Choosing your own ingredients and watching it being made in front of you was a unique and exciting experience.
Phi Phi Island
We took a ferry from Patong to Krabi, then a colorful water taxi from there to Phi Phi island, where we spent the next three days. Phi Phi was gorgeous. White sand beach and turquoise water for miles, surrounded by lush green jungle, it felt like a little piece of heaven on earth. The island isn’t large, but had plenty to do such as snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, scuba diving, as well as bonfires, fire shows and other events on the beach at night. The choices for food were plenty, as you could dine at any restaurant at your resort or any resorts in the area. The “town” as the hotel staff called it, was only a thirty minute walk through the jungle or you can take a 10 minute taxi boat ride instead. The town had many restaurants of all kinds, shopping, places to get scuba certified, as well as many outdoor massage places. The island took my breath away with its beauty, left my taste buds craving more of the delicious Thai food, energized me and filled my social media with colorful pictures for my friends and family to enjoy. I am sure Thailand can do the same and maybe even more for you.
Island hopping is a must. It’s easy to go from one island to next by water taxi and it’s inexpensive, just like everything in Thailand. Go to the Monkey Island to watch, swim, and play with some adorable monkeys. Go snorkeling in Maya Bay and visit the set of “The Beach” movie there as well. Visit James Bond island, where you can check out the island and it’s giant rocky pinnacle that was featured in the 1974 Bond movie, as well as do a canoe tour to explore the beauty of the the gorgeous natural environment.
Get pampered by getting a Thai massage in the jungle, or by the beach. Massage often includes a relaxing tea time afterwards. Your wallet won’t cringe at the idea because you can get a massage for 700 baht, which is about $20.00.
Try all the Thai food. Remember those dishes/curries you don’t dare to try at your usual Thai restaurant because you fear you might not like it as much as what you always get?! While in Thailand, try new Thai dishes you don’t normally get. I tried the green curry, and it’s now one of my new favorites!