|It was a Breezy Day|
|Top :Small Trinkets and Souvenirs shop / Bottom: Inside the Caves at James Bond Island|
|1 Darkness to the light 2. The Canoe ride was the only saving grace. 3.The James Bond rock 4. Entertainment zone on the boat|
|1. Ready to explore the dark bat caves 2.The sea ate the Limestone rocks 3. Two colors of the sea.|
4 In the middle of no where
|Top: Thai Deity on a Crocodile inside the Big Buddha temple|
Bottom:The golden Statutes of Different stages of Lord Buddha
|Top: Architectural Beauty of Wat Chalong temple|
Bottom : Sleeping Buddha
|Left: The White Marble statue of Big Buddha / Right: Pretty carvings inside the temples.|
We stayed at Banthai Resort, Patong Beach just as last year. It's huge and vast ,has three pools,all lagoon style, and a lot of in-house activities. I would recommend staying in their pool villas,which have the direct pool access .Ideally located,the beach is just right opposite, its a short walk to Patong main attractions, -bars, street shopping, food, just minutes away. The breakfast was pretty decent. Being a vegetarian my eyes only look out for fruits/egg stations, and I don't look around much to find something exotic that way. Waffles/smoothies and Egg was on a repeat for 5 days, and to be honest, I was quite bored. But then its like that for me most of times.
Places to Shop In Phuket: Patong beach is quite famous for its nightlife and Bangla Road. Their is lot of street shopping to do, and little shops lined up selling almost similar stuff(some cheap designer knock offs- PLS stay away) . But on a flip side, go indulge in some lovely souvenirs, and beachwear and some hard core budget shopping, though nothing extraordinary.
Sightseeing In Phuket : The patong beach is beautiful place to lounge around, but rammed with sellers trying to sell you taxis, or tuk-tuks, or even a massage. The para sailing guys running the operations are pretty rude, and unless you buy a jet-ski package from them , they might want to control where you want to sit on the beach, which was pretty irritating. Besides go witness some amazing sunsets and watch how the color of the sea changes at dusk and dawn.
Tiger Kingdom: Not a really great attraction, but you can give it a shot, if u want to cuddle a lil cub. About 10 mins away from patong, Tiger kingdom is the house to tigers of different sizes.
Sad part- They seemed sedated and drugged. One can go and hug them and sit on them if you find it thrilling, but it was not to me. I decided to give it a skip and let hubby do the honors.
Price:- 700Baht-1500 baht Per /person (depends on the size of tiger you want to hang around with)
Wat Chalong Temple - The temple is tranquil heaven with regal and Thai designs , depicting architectural allure. It has a fascinating history of different stages of life of Lord Buddha, in the form of beautiful paintings decoration, on the walls and ceilings. Besides these paintings there is a good presentation of Buddha statues in gold,in different sizes and forms. Climb up on the pagoda and you have a nice view of Phuket town from above. Well worth a One hour visit.
Tip: No bare shoulders and legs. In Thai words "Polite Dressing "- carry a Sarong and wear something which has sleeves.
Big Buddha: A few kms uphill from Wat Chalong temple,can be clubbed with the temple visit.Though the construction work is still going on, nevertheless , just to witness the remarkable statue of Buddha in Marble. The view from the top overlooks the south Phuket, and the best time to travel is before sunset. Soak up in the Buddhist chants or get lost in the spectacular view from top or just meditate. This place Just adds up to the mix of Phuket Cocktail.
Island Tours-Don'ts// Phi Phi , Phan Nga bay/Maya bay/ James Bond Islands - Anyone who gets on to Phuket, definitely venture into the sea, and takes an island tour. But to tell you the truth, its more of a task than fun. There are lot of tour operators lined up on the streets of Phuket, and you really have to bargain. All of them would mislead you, and promise you more services than what they actually give. The tours don't live up to the expectation, and the lunch stops are pretty disappointing and the services needs a lot of improvement. This year since we took the James Bond island tour, the lunch was prepared on the boat, and was pretty much inedible. It had cockroaches.. What more we were asked to tip the cook,which according to them made us some delicacies. Its a rip off. Besides you have to tip every stupid person on the boat , coz they lend you a hand in various hop ons and offs the boat.
Seriously if you can avoid any of this , pls do, or else take a private tour , and pack your own lunch with you.
The Andaman water is a beautiful emerald green, but it is spoiled and sullied by the invasive engine boats , spitting oil in the sea. Think of the innumerable tourists hovering these islands everyday. It was my third time to Phuket and second time with the tour companies, and believe me , I would recommend that you steer away from these tour companies and save your precious holiday from ruining.