Phuket, Phuket, Phuket…what are going to do with you? You teased us with gorgeous sunset beaches, crystal blue waters and a slice of tropical paradise, but ultimately the brochure didn’t quite live up to what we actually experienced during our time in Phuket (specifically Patong Beach). Read on below to find out what we really thought of one of Thailand’s most popular beach side cities.
When we first arrived in Phuket it was a beautiful sunny afternoon and our spirits were high. We settled into our awesome little hotel room (which seemed to be located right in the thick of the action) and set our sights first and foremost on the beach! It didn’t take us long to understand the vibes the city was giving us and unfortunately it disagreed with us on two different levels.
Firstly, being my first time visiting Thailand, my expectations were for better or worse, shaped by pictures and stories I had heard of the country. You can read more about that issue here, but it simply was not the tropical paradise I had come to anticipate.
The beach was severely crowded, the water was a murky greenish blue and there were tourist traps set up on every street corner. We knew beforehand that it wouldn’t look quite the same as some of the islands dotting the southern part of the country, but I guess we weren’t quite ready for how bustling and rowdy the city really was.
Which brings us to point number two. If you can’t tell by now, Katherine and I don’t travel to hit up every bar we see and risk being hungover in bed all day in a brand new country we want to explore.
But unfortunately Phuket (specifically Patong Beach) desperately wanted us to party like it was 1999 well into the early morning hours. We realized that our hotel’s great location was also a burden in disguise. The drinks and music flowed well past 5AM most nights and the streets never seemed to sleep. Like ever. Every street had a bar or dance club ready to light up as soon as the sun went down.
If this is your scene, then by all means this would be a huge plus for you! Unfortunately, we were just looking to get something different out of our time in Thailand. More of a relaxed vibe you know?
However, our time in Phuket wasn’t all bad! We managed to find some great food and our hotel had an awesome rooftop pool that we more or less had to ourselves and offered a pretty sweet view of the surrounding area.
We were able to indulge in quite a few western luxuries that we haven’t had the chance to splurge on in Korea (we’ve been living in the Korean countryside for the past 8 months as English teachers) and we did manage to carve out a little piece of the beach to do some relaxing.
Overall, Phuket wasn’t quite our cup of tea for the reasons listed above, but it was a great launch pad from which to explore the rest of Thailand, quickly turning our trip into one of the most memorable experiences we’ve had 🙂
Have you ever been to Phuket?
What did you think?
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