We stayed in Phuket for two nights, and instead of staying in the more touristy Patong Beach area, we decided to stay in Old Phuket Town. It was a lot quieter and less crowded than Patong Beach, had the most beautiful Portuguese architecture throughout the city, and we just absolutely loved our stay there.
We booked two nights at this guest house called D’s Corner which we found listed in our Lonely Planet travel guide and it was a really great find. It was in a good location, quiet, clean and cheap! Sure the mattress was as hard as a rock, and when someone walked down the corridor you could hear their entire conversation, but for $9 each who could complain?
On day 14 we didn’t do a heck of a lot. The 3 hour ferry ride took a lot out of me and we ended up just staying in after dinner and watching a movie on my BF’s iPad. Day 15 we had a bit more energy and decided to make a visit to the big golden Buddha (aka Wat Khao Rang) that wasn’t too far from our hostel.
Ok, that part is true, the Buddha was really close to our place; however we ended up thinking we could walk there and of course got lost. Somehow we ended up in this secluded monk village at the top of a mountain. It was actually pretty cool to see, though I was paranoid of getting in trouble for accidentally looking a monk straight in the eyes which is a big no-no for a woman.
Feeling defeated, we decided to just head back home, but on our way down we bumped into some European tourists. Not sure if they spoke English or not, we took a chance and I asked them if they knew where the golden Buddha was. No joke, one of the tourists looked at us and said “You mean that Buddha?” and pointed right next to us. How the heck did we miss that on our walk up?
It’s frickin’ huge!
After that we took a 5 minute tuk tuk ride back to our hostel (ya, it was that close) and indulged in some milkshakes and green curry pizza at this great place called Cook’s.
At night be wanted to check out Patong Beach which is where most tourists stay in Phuket, and thought it would be fun to take the bus. Well, in obvious Thai fashion it was less a bus and more a truck with seats in the back.
But it did only cost us about $2 each and it was a memorable experience to say the least. When we arrived at Patong Beach, I thought we’d accidentally taken a detour to Las Vegas… except with more hookers, street bars, and Ping Pong shows (piece of advice, do not go see one of those shows).
We ended up having dinner there and a few drinks, then left a few hours after getting there. Listen, if all you want to do in Thailand is to get wasted, party, and never see the real Thailand, then Patong Beach is the place for you. That’s just not the type of traveling I like to do, so we got the heck out of there as soon as we could.
On day 16 we had an evening flight booked to Chiang Mai, so since we still had a full day to spare in Phuket, we decided to visit the famed Phuket Big Buddha that sits atop the Nakkerd Hills and is sized at 45 metres tall (that’s 147 feet).
Unfortunately due to the tuk tuk mafia, no one would give us a good enough deal to drive there and back. We read online that we shouldn’t pay more than 300-400 Baht to get there, but not one driver would go below 800 Baht.
Not being in the mood to be ripped off on our last day in Phuket, I said to hell with it and instead just chilled at a few cafes instead. At least I still got a good shot of it from the viewpoint restaurant we ate at when trying to find the other big Buddha. Not too shabby for a simple point and shot camera.
Next week I’ll be writing about our time in Chiang Mai, our last days in Bangkok, and the experience coming home after a month away.
Here’s what we spent on days 14, 15, and 16: