Cherry Popped: Phuket

1:52 am

I think one of the things that shaped how I experienced Phuket was that I had no expectations. It was planned entirely by one of my traveling companions and I'd been too busy before the trip to do any research of my own.

First of all, I didn't realize how big Phuket actually is. It's huge! It took an hour from the airport to get to my first destination:

Pa Tong and Bangla Road

Fresh from an evening flight, I headed straight to Bangla Road after checking in at the hotel. I was surprised/shocked at the scale of this party street. You would think it was New Years Eve; it was high spirited, drunken chaos.

Absolutely crazy. 

We spent the next day window shopping and swimming at Pa Tong Beach. It was packed - not my ideal beach experience, but great for "sight seeing" aka eye candy.

Bang Tao

Bang Tao beach was perfect for me. Lots of space to move around, not too many people, and a wonderful chill vibe - excellent beach bumming conditions.

Phi Phi Islands

Pronounced "pee pee" l o l

Maya Beach

Famously known as the film location of the movie "The Beach" (2000) starring Leonardo Dicaprio. In the movie, it's shown as the idyllic beach paradise. Fifteen years later and it is CRAZY PACKED; this made it difficult to tune out the crowds and really focus on the beauty of the island and its surroundings.


If you want the whole island to yourself here are a few tips/options:

a) I noticed a small camping site when I was walking around. Check out if you can spend a night there.

b) Leave at the crack of dawn. To get from the main island to Maya Beach takes about an hour, and tour groups usually leave the main island at around 8 am.

Monkey Island

Honestly, I didn't even bother going down the boat. I don't want to feed monkey junk food. They shouldn't eat junk food. We shouldn't even be eating junk food.

Photo by Luxury Vacation Phuket

Bamboo Island

Lovely island, but crowded as well. It was like tour companies follow the exact same schedule. I didn't walk around but instead took refuge from the xxx degree weather under the shade of the bamboo and went for a swim.

Be warned: it's easy to stub your toe on lots of rocks while you're swimming.

Photo by Thailand Divers

Mosquito Island

Really tiny island! You can literally walk around the whole island in under 10 minutes. There were several outdoor restaurants, and as a result was, yet again, crowded.

I honestly had a lot of fun during this trip and enjoyed seeing new landscapes, but my Boracay thoughts were at the back of my mind.

I feel that I've seen Phuket's main tourist attractions; when I return to visit, I'd like to see the less popular spaces and places. 

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