By now you know we are not big on beaches or beach vacations. Laying on a beach for 4 days is not our travel style. We like active trips. That being said, when we did this trip back in summer of 2017, we had already planned to do a whirlwind trip to Europe - which meant we just needed a relaxing getaway.
.. and that's how Thailand happened.. it was just the perfect trip to escape the Dubai heat. As always, we skipped the capital city and went to straight to the islands.
Itinerary break down:
Day 1 - Bangkok to Phuket to Patong. Local sightseeing. Day 2 - James Bond Island
Day 3 - Ko Phi Phi Islands
Day 4 - Local view points
Best time to visit
We went in June - it was pretty rainy during that time but we got lucky with the weather. No matter when you travel, be sure to carry a poncho or an umbrella.
Flights and Visa
We flew direct with Thai Airways from Dubai. Be sure to pre-order your vegetarian meal - there won't be ANY default vegetarian option. Thailand has VISA ON ARRIVAL for Indians. Just pay cash at the visa counter when you arrive and clear immigration.
Thai. Being such a touristy country, most people speak good English.
Travel and Medical Insurance, Currency
Highly recommend having both travel and medical insurance when traveling to Asia.
Baht is the official currency. Be sure to carry local currency as cash. They also accept dollars at most places.
Where we stayed
We stayed at the Memory Patong hotel. It was pretty close to a big mall - super convenient for lunch or dinner. The breakfast was delicious with fresh fruits and juice.
Cost and getting around
Depending on where you are flying in from, Thailand can be cheap or expensive.
You can haggle for every single thing - including cabs, tours, street side shopping. Be sure you bargain for what you think is the best value..
Had no issues with safety.. but be mindful of your belongings at all times.
There wasn't a lot of street food that we could enjoy since most of the food had meat.. In the city, we just stuck to the big brands like Subway and Pizza Hut. Highly recommend trying the Thai Pineapple Fried Rice - served in a pineapple shell.
What to pack
Shorts. Light tees. Skirts. Wrap around dresses. Pack for light and breezy weather. Swim Suit.
We landed in Bangkok in the morning and boarded our flight to Phuket. From the Phuket City airport to Patong took us about an hour. Checked in at around 11 30 a.m. at the hotel.
After freshening up, we decided to head out to the Jungceylon Mall, which was just a 15 minute walk from the hotel. Post lunch, we ventured out to the streets behind the hotel (near the hard rock cafe in Patong) and this is where we decided to book our tours for the next two days.
You can opt for the BIG BOAT TOUR or the LONG TAIL BOAT TOUR. There is a difference in price but basically the same tour on two different kinds of boats. I would recommend the BIG BOAT TOUR.
Note: there will be plenty of agents around - they are all similar. We did a lot of walking around before finally going with one random tour operator (since we figured the rates are pretty much the same with all of them). Expect to spend upwards of 1500 Baht per day per person.
After booking tours, you should be back to the hotel by around 3 p.m. After taking a breather, we went down to the Patong beach to catch the stunning sunset views. Para gliding is an option but it is expensive here.
At 9 in the evening, we had a