Where: Patong Beach; Koh Phi Phi; Mai Khao Beach, Phuket, Thailand
When: Jan 2014
Who: Mr. & Mrs. Wanderlust
What: Check some of the best beaches of Phuket / Watch Muay Thai / Learn & Train Muay Thai / Explore Big Buddha & Tiger Kingdom / Party at Bangla Rd. / Get a tattoo from Thailand / Chill out at the best luxurious resort.
Intercity and public bus is one of the cheapest ways to take you to Phuket. Buses leave daily and directly to Phuket from Bangkok’s Southern Terminal Station. Both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses are provided, and of course the price is different. The overnight buses are the most popular choice since they are comfortable. The approximate duration is 12-14 hours. For more information, call 0-2435-1199, 0-2435-1200, 0-2434-7192, 0-2434-5557-8 or visit www.transport.co.th. There are also buses leaving from Khaosarn Road, operated by some travel operators, and of course the price will be different, probably higher. Suggest you to find out when you are hanging around there.
Going to Phuket by car is probably the most fun trip when this allows you to stop at several beautiful places all the way along the trip and catch nice photos. Just drive along Petchkasem Road (Highway No. 4), you will pass through Nakhon Pathom, Ratchburi, Prachuab Kiri Khan, Chumporn, Ranong, Phang-nga, and cross Sarasin Bridge and here there is.. downtown Phuket. The total distance is 862 kms, approximately 12 hours, but still several destinations to explore and enjoy. However, if you are afraid of losing the way, a map is also recommended.
Taking a train is also another cheapest way, but keep it in mind that there is in fact no direct train commuting down to Phuket. Take the train at main Hua Lamphong Train Station and get off at Surat Thani to take bus to Phuket. The overnight train is far more comfortable than overnight buses. But pre-booking is advised several days in advance. Check the train schedule with the State Railway of Thailand (Hua Lamphong Train Station)
The most expensive yet the easiest way. Just book a ticket, and there are also international flights going to and from Phuket.
Phuket is a go-to place for tourists from the west looking for a different vacation (Eastern / Oriental). It is because of its nature's beauty, cultural identity, the people and party scene that is why it is no wonder that the province is well developed and many investments on businesses and accommodations alike. That being said, there are many accommodations to choose from for different budgets.
From tourist's and backpacker's inn to luxurious high class hotel / resorts. Check out and do a little research and it will get you to see many nice resorts that the place has to offer.
Best Romantic Resort
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Hotel Review
Sala Phuket Resort & Spa
Excellent choice of hotel/resort to spend 5th wedding anniversary & her birthday. Not only because it was in Conde Naste's recommended hotels, but because it was really awesome, from bed, to room, to pool, bathroom, experience, service, food, details, you would feel like a royalty. Nothing much to say since the stay was really perfect, we both loved it. Our private villa has its own pool where you can literally go skinny dipping! And swam naked he did!
The five course dinner by the rooftop moonlight was also another perfect experience, we were served bread with different delicious dips for starters, Thai tapas for appetizers, then the killer main course of Duck leg braised for 9 hours pan seared to crisp, Charcoal grilled lamb chop with mint plum sauce, Sea prawns sauteed with garlic white wine on thai herb and his favorite, charcoal grilled Angus beef tenderloin. And for real, but each one of her bite of food, she just says it is so delicious.
The servings were so big that we just couldn't finish and just had to ask the waitress named "Cookgal" to take-away the food and quickly she did wrapping them individually and neatly. In which the good food lasted until midnight snack (and even few leftovers 'till airport). Too bad, due to our over stuffed stomach we forgot to tip Cookgal.
Mr & Mrs Wanderlust's Hotel Rating:
Hotel Price: $$$$$
Hotel Service: 5+++star
Hotel Facilities & Amenities: 5+++star
Restaurant (foods): 5+++star
> Good wine selection if you are a wine enthusiast, you'd love their award winning selection
> This is probably the most luxurious hotel room we have ever stayed in so the plan to please the wife was job well done!
Watch & Learn Muay Thai
We are happy that we are able to fit watching and also learning & training the authentic marshall art of Muay Thai in our schedule. Scared to party or drink too much at Bangla road the night before, we were able to get a service to TMT Gym where we always wanted to learn and train basic Muay Thai. Being late, we still managed to steal some pictures while training the hardest we have ever been pushed.
The class was full of people from all parts of the world, from Australia, NZ, USA, Canada, Russia, but we were proud to say that we are the only Filipinos that time. The class was headed by Ajarn Dang who has trained many Muay Thai champions. And to quote him: "Black, white, brown, yellow, whatever skin color we have on the outside, when we get cut, we have the same color.."
To Watch Muaythai fights:
Bangla Boxing Stadium has fights every Wed, Fri & Sun 9:00 pm to Midnight and prices are as follows:
VIP 2,500 Baht
Ringside 2,000 Baht
Stadium 1,700 Baht
(Others prefer up close but you don't want fighter's sweat and blood splatters on you or your clothes, so we avoid VIP)
To Train Muay Thai:
Tiger Muay Thai - from Patong beach area can catch a cab / service (not tuktuk as they are ripoff and will charge you a lot more and it is hot, no air-condition) Rates are around 1000 Baht (depending on your agreement) so we chose a service - a nice CRV with cool a/c to bring us back and forth from Tiger muay thai camp to Big Buddha (which is near/ along the way).
Big Buddha & Tiger Kingdom
Our local friend / guide was able to get us over to the higher part of Phuket were the Big Buddha shrine can be found. Some parts of it are still under construction and asking tourists for donations, in exchange for a few goods such as oils, incense, blessings, etc. We also were able to enjoy the nice view of the island on its view deck, where you can see Big Buddha like looking down, and seems he can see you, with that mysterious but enlightening smile.
We then headed to see some tigers, which the forests of Thailand are rich of. There are cute infant tigers, and scary big tigers who like to sleep all the time, but are scary because they can flip and just maul you to your death. Good thing most of the time they don't.
We saw a stand selling fruits, and I really gotta try Thailand's coconuts because I heard it was better than coconuts in the Philippines, had to try it only for 30baht, was handed a smaller coconut, but upon tasting, it was indeed sweeter than our coconut.
Before going off to Mai Khao beach, we have been contemplating if we should get a tattoo from Thailand. . .
Yes! Yes we did!
He got Kao Yord (เก้ายอด) - A sacred tattoo with magical powers which will protect and bring good luck to the bearer.
She got Hah Taew Yant (ห้าแถว) - Each of the five lines relates to a different blessing for success and good luck.
Party at Bangla Road
When in Phuket, you should not miss their crazy party scene, and to see the craziest, you have to go to the city's Red light district, but since it is adults only, you have to keep an open mind to enjoy.
Protip: Ignore the glamorously dressed 'Ladyboys' (unless you are into them) asking you to take a picture and pose with them, they will charge you 100Baht for it! They are also spiteful when ignored, but keep on walking away from them.
Checked out a few bars, and had to grab a beer because there are so many agogo / sexy pole dancers and its getting kinda hot, so we just had to chill and grab some more of their local cold Changi beer. ;)
Local Food - 30-50 baht / 100-200 baht
International Foods 100-200 baht / 300-500 baht
Accommodations - Budget Hotel / Inn - 1,000 - 3,000 baht
Accommodations - Luxury Hotel - 10,000 baht above
Transportation - 1,500 for taxi day tour
Transportation - Tuktuk - 500 - 1000 baht depending on where to go.
Transportation - Ferry - 1,000 - 2,000 baht (depends on what tour / island)
Local Beer - In hotels, restaurants - 100 - 300 baht
Activities - Watch Muay Thai - 1,000 - 2,500 baht
Activities - Tiger Kingdom - 1,000 - 3,000 baht
Try Mr. Bomb Bomb (No kidding, that is the driver's name)
His service car is a model Honda CRV.
+668 7562 8758 / +668 2802 6665 / firstname.lastname@example.org (quickest way probably is call)
He can bring you to different tourist attractions like Elephant Trekking, gokarts, shooting range, snake show, monkey show (and for the boys only) burlesque girl shows. Cheers & Happy Travel!
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