Phuket Getaway Finale

Phuket Getaway Finale

I’m riding along on a motor scooter in Phuket. Anais is at the very front of the bike, Brett is in control, and Lachlan is sandwiched between Brett and myself. Not something I thought we would be doing a week ago, but it has been really great fun, not to mention a very practical way of getting around the crowded steamy streets of Patong.

Scootering in Thailand

Scootering in Thailand

We have spent a week in Phuket and I have mixed feeling about the place. I spent the first day or so apologising to Brett for bringing him and the family here. Our resort was located away from the main squaller which is Patong Beach… this has been a mixed blessing. It’s been positive because the stench of raw sewerage and vomit is less, but we were initially isolated in this location with nothing to do.

Gourmet Getaways on a Scooter

Family of 4 scooting around Phuket 🙂

The logistics of transporting a family of five backwards and forward can be difficult and after a while, expensive.

Thai Tuk Tuk

Mr Bee and the Blue Tuk Tuk

Our enjoyment of the holiday improved once we sorted out the transportation. We settled on a mix of hiring a Tuk Tuk driver for the big sightseeing days and renting a scooter for the week. We used the scooter mostly for general use, going to and from the supermarket or beach, but we also managed some pretty fun family outings on it.

Thai Tuk Tuk Patong

Thai Tuk Tuk Patong

Another important factor in appreciating Phuket has been getting up into the mountains where it’s a little cleaner and far less manic. However things are much more primitive in this area’s also, so it was a day trip option only.

Feeding Baby Elephant

Feeding the baby elephant

We have also found the beaches further away from Patong to be more to our liking. But if you are looking for clean, deserted beaches I wish you luck as I don’t think they will be easy to find. Even on the island tours, tourist complain about the volume of people on the islands.

Karon Fishing Boats

Karon Fishing Boats

We didn’t take an island tour because we would like to sail to these islands by catamaran ourselves in a future getaway. Yes it is a dream… but the package deals didn’t excite me so I am prepared to wait for the dream.

Nakalay Beach Resort Double Room

Nakalay Beach Resort Double Room

The saving grace for this holiday has been our beautiful air conditioned accommodation. Yes there are rats and cockroaches in the street. You can’t drink the water, and the sewer runs freely past the shops, but when I go inside my accommodation I step right back into my comfort zone. I have the opportunity to recharge, and clean away the filth of the day.

When we are ready for more adventure, off we go again.

What will I miss when we leave?

Cooking Thai Kra Prao Gai

Cooking Thai Kra Prao Gai

Even though the overwhelming majority of aromas have been gut wrenchingly awful it is some of the smells of Thailand I will miss the most. I will miss the smell of the open fire, as street vendors BBQ corn and chicken innards over the flame. The smell of the early morning as we ride along in the relative cool.

Thai BBQ Corn

Thai BBQ Corn

On these rides I quite often catch the aroma of Jasmine rice cooking in the open, so sweet and fragrant. The clean white rice is so vastly different from the grime that surrounds everything else.

Thai Steamed Rice

Thai Steamed Rice

Walking through the streets sometimes we experience the unexpected pleasure of passing by a vendor with incense burning. For a moment the air there is sweet with the perfumed smoke. Incense also brings a feeling of tranquility for me. Thai streets are anything but serene or tranquil, but as I breathe deeply I feel relaxed.

Kamala Beach Phuket

Kamala Beach Phuket

The beautiful turquoise blue sea water you see in the Thailand holiday brochures is real. No photoshop or trickery is involved. The water is perfect, and the ocean temperature is so gorgeous I could float around all day given the chance.

Kamala Beach Thailand

Kamala Beach Thailand

What else will I miss? I will miss the spicy Thai food, because here the street vendors cook for the local palate, the flavour is true and the heat is so much more intense.

Street Vendor making sweet Roti Cania

Street Vendor making sweet Roti Cania

I will miss the warm balmy evenings sitting by the beach eating noodles from a street cart.

I will miss scootering around the roads, looking out at the world passing by. This has been a great way to see Phuket. I like riding along next to another family on a scooter, or a tuk tuk full of tourist, everyone just an arms length from my bike. It is kind of nice to be so close to everyone on the road, and the slower speed of the traffic is a positive too.

Singha Beer in Thailand

Singha Beer in Thailand

It will be hard to get used to the Aussie price of beer again, I like paying 29baht or $A1 for beer. I would love someone to bring me beer on the beach and adjust my beach umbrella periodically.

Kamala Beach Thailand

Kamala Beach Thailand

For all these reasons we will be back. There are things I will miss, and more I would like to experience.

My tip for Phuket, organise the best accommodation you can afford, everything else is cheap, don’t skimp on comfort.

So goodbye to Thailand for now. I will be returning in October to explore another area of this country. Next time we will be hiring two bikes between the four of us and going on a family adventure, I hope you will join me.

Night Patong Beach

Night Patong Beach

More stories from this trip:

Absolute Nakalay Beach Resort, Phuket

The Big Buddha of Phuket

Kamala Beach, Phuket

Thai Cooking Class

Gourmet Getaways

About Julie

Comments

  1. Cheap beer, spicy food and gorgeous temperatures – I could really do with a holiday of that sort right now!!

  2. looks like u and ur fam had a great trip

  3. Aww I love this recap. It made me feel like I was there. Love the smiles on all your faces 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness, Phuket Thailand has been one of my ‘must get to’ vacation spots and now after reading your review here in your post, it just sounds bad. I’ve spent months and several summers in Thailand and loved every bit of it, even the negative aspects. I can handle those, but I don’t know if my husband can. I’ll have to really do my research before going to Phuket now. Thanks for sharing.

  5. My BIL used to live in Bangkok and he called Patong the arse-end of Phuket and advised us to never go there. Now you have backed up his claims. I think maybe I’ll go to Phi Phi as I don’t think it’s as crowded. I didn’t know you could fit so many on a motor bike – no getting away with that here! xx

  6. Absolutely loving the dish!! must try!!

  7. I love your genuine and honest review. This is a place on my bucket list. Rats and roaches though, I never considered. I did know to opt for day trips. I’m glad you’ve found so much to love. I think I would very much still like to visit (so long as the hotel did not have the aforementioned critters 😉 ).

  8. Great recap!

  9. The dichotomy of life certainly seems to play itself out in Phuket. Glad you found the experience pleasant enough and want to return, Julie…Those waters certainly are postcard perfect =)

  10. And great review and I appreciate your pros and cons list!

  11. I think having a good hotel would make all the difference when visiting places that are otherwise quite dirty. I wish I was more flexible in that way, but I do struggle when the streets are dirty, the air is dirty, the water is dirty, and I am dirty! A shower and a brief time out gets me back into things again. It sounds like you struck a good balance between sight seeing and authentic sights, and just enough comfort to make it a holiday and not a chore!

  12. This is the most honest assessment of Phuket I’ve read yet. 🙂 I’m so glad you were able to figure out good transportation for yourselves. It would be so frustrating to feel stuck! AND I’m glad there were some scrumptious scents for you along with the blechy ones. 🙂

  13. It seems like the coast of Far North Queensland would give you beaches that are just as good (or better) that those in Thailand, but your food adventure there sounds like it was worth it!

  14. I’ve never been to Phuket as had heard it was a bit too touristy but these pictures and post make it look fabulous.

  15. I love the picture of your family in a scooter! That’s classic SE Asia scene and I love it! I’ve been to Phuket in September (I think) and it was raining… I wish I had a nice beach time! Thanks for sharing your holiday photos. I love looking at them. 🙂

  16. After reading everyones comments, I hope there isn’t anything negative to take away from the story. The sewage smells, the vermin, the undrinking water… They’re all aspects of third world countries, and it’s what you’ll find whether you go to Bali, Vietnam, India, or any other Countries on our list to visit for Gourmet Getaways.

    Unfortunately, I’ve heard negative comments about Bangkok, and whilst we didn’t get there on this occasion as we had the kids, it is a place I want to explore simply for the experience and for want of getting out of my comfort zone.

    We love Far North Qld and spent three months exploring every side track and inlet there was, but Phuket and Patong, they’re an experience to themselves and you would be doing yourself an injustice for not visiting these beautiful (in they’re unique way) places!!

    I am really looking to October and seeing what adventures the wife has planned for us next trip!!

  17. It looks like you guys had a nice trip to Phuket. You need to be careful when driving the motorcycles though. True, they are an easy way to get around, but I have known dozens of people, if not more, that got in a motorcycle accident within the first few days of visiting here. It is probably the most dangerous thing you can do.

    • I absolutely agree Lawrence, I should have noted that Thailand is not the place to learn to ride a motor bike! I am fortunate, I grow up riding a dirt bike though the bush, and my husband is also a keen weekend rider. So for us this was well with in our capabilities.

  18. Phuket can be a great place to visit, but it’s best to avoid places like Patong when travelling with family, its not the cleanest parts of the island. You can find some really nice clean beaches that are not full of tourists (often deserted) if you go far South to Panwa and Ao Yon, or you can go far North to Nai Yang.

    • Thanks for your comment. We are back to Thailand in September to see more. I always like to try and see everything in a country, touristy, cultural, spiritual… the well known places, and those that may be more “off the beaten track”. Our next trip will be to the areas you have suggested 🙂

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