Phuket, Thailand 5 Day Travel Tips
There are two temperatures in Phuket, hot and hotter. We found ourselves doing most of our excursions in the morning or late in the evening leaving the afternoon for either siestas, massages or pretty much anything that had air conditioning. This was the first time I had ever rented a motor bike and it is the best way to explore Phuket. It gives you the freedom to get off the beaten path and see things you might not have seen if you were in a taxi and it's cheap to rent. One thing I have learned while traveling here is that Phuket is highly populated by Russians. Back in the day the Russian Mafia had taken over Phuket and at some point the Thais got fed up and fought to have their land back. The Russians still own a lot of businesses around the area and we found that most were not too friendly. Nonetheless we had fun and managed to meet new friends on this trip.
Transportation: Airport to hotel- I recommend taking a taxi or Grab (Uber). The first night we had stayed at a hotel near the airport since we just got done flying 18 hours and I figured we wouldn't want to drive 40 min to where we were going to be staying in Karon. We had our hotel arrange a taxi for the following day which was only 700 baht.
Rent a motor bike-Most hotels have rentals on site, which you can also negotiate the price. They shouldn't be more than 200-300 baht a day. Do be sure to wear your helmet. Especially around Patong. There is an abundance of police there and it's a high tourist traffic area. My hubs was not wearing his helmet, which we got stopped and fined. The ticket was 35 USD.
Accommodation: If arriving late at night and don't want to travel to your final destination I recommend staying at Himaphon Boutique Hotel. It's close to the airport and for 40-50 USD it's a really nice hotel. Our other hotel we had booked was located in Karon, which is the calmer area of Phuket. We stayed at Phuket Island View. I had booked this hotel due to it's close proximity to the beach and it was near several shops and restaurants.
Where to stay in Phuket:
Patong-If you're looking to party then this is the place for you. Patong is known for their nightlife.
Karon-Known for their beaches and is the quieter part of Phuket.
Kata-This area is similar to Karon.
Himaphon Boutique Hotel- http://www.himaphan-resort.com/
Phuket Island View- http://www.phuket-islandview.com/
View from our balcony
Things to do/see:
First and foremost please please please do NOT ride the elephants. There are better ways to get up close and personal with them. I have seen elephants chained to one location for hours on end until someone comes to ride them. What most people don't understand is the process it takes to break an elephant in order to be ridden and it is brutal. I have provided some alternative options below.
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary-I recommend the full day excursion. https://elephantjunglesanctuary.com/
Tour of Phi Phi Islands-Book your tour with Elizabeth Andaman Tours. Cost per person is 3,500 baht (113 USD) Pick up from your hotel is provided and it's an early wake up call but well worth it. 0400 to be precise but you'll be one of the first groups to arrive at Maya Bay. http://www.elizabethandamantour.com/
Big Buddha-The stair case was still under construction at the time we went and was able to purchase a marble tile with our names on it to be placed on the side of the stair case.
Bangla Road-Where the nightlife is.
Wat Chalong (temple)
Phuket Weekend Market-Off of Thalong Road
Kaset Market- Location in Phuket Town and you'll want to arrive early in the morning for this market. This is also close proximity to Monkey Hill.
Muay Thai (Thai boxing match)
Note to self, rice is not served with curry in Thailand. It's more of a soup over there. You'll have to ask for the rice on the side.
Banana Roti-I suggest to only have it topped with condensed milk
Pad Thai-Try this from The Pad Thai Shop
Curry-This should be paired with a milk tea. They're a little spicy.
Mango Sticky Rice
Pan Yaah-Need to try their crab