Finally sea time again. While I really love the people over here in Udon Thani I do miss the sea a lot! So I was very happy to visit my former fellow student Susanne and some of her newly met mates during their vacation in Thailand down on Phuket.
The Travel to Phuket
My journey to Phuket was quite easy. I booked a direct flight wit AirAsia and after 2 hours Thailands number 1 low cost airline arrived on Phuket. With 45 minutes delay. But whatever….holidays! Then I went down to the airport bus that I luckily caught before it left (otherwise I would had to wait for about 1.5 hours – or pay a lot of money). One hour later I was in Phuket town and made me on my way to the phuket backpacker hostel. Together with my newly met fellow backpackers.
Expensive. Nice staff, Expensive, Small rooms, small beds, expensive. That’s Phuket Backpacker. While the staff was really helpful and friendly the hostel itself was the worst I’ve been so far. Not in terms of hygiene but in terms of cost/benefit. To expensive rooms (might be common for Phuket) and extra charge for bedclothes as well as no provided towels. So this is a total >not recommended< hostel.
One nice thing happened though: We met some cool guys/girls from the US and UK. Had quite fun with them and some good talks.
The city and the parts of the island we saw are not very beautiful. Except of some nice beaches (which are usually occupied by big resorts or hotels). The undisputed highlight of our stay on Phuket was a motorcycle tour we did. This was a lot of fun and we actually found a nice spot to watch the sunset.
The people weren’t that friendly (hard to believe in Thailand), the food was not that good (with one exception – best Gaw Pow Moo so far!) and everything was really expensive. But I have to admit that the old city of Phuket looks quite nice (2 or 3 streets) with it’s old buildings.
Nevertheless I would not recommend to stay in Phuket for a longer time. Stay as long as you need to, that’s enough.
Similan Islands – Koh Similand & Snorkeling
Since Phuket itself is not really that interesting we decided to take a tour on a speed boat to the famous Similan Islands. And this was – although it was very very touristic – a good choice. When not considering the russian tourists (that really fit into every single clich� you can imagine) it was very nice! Blasting through the wide ocean (finally seeing the ocean again. Yeah!) and then stopping for some great snorkeling was simply perfect! We had 2 snorkeling stops on the ocean and 2 chilling & snorkeling stops on two islands with Koh Similan as the highlight.
While snorkeling we saw a lot of amazing and colorful fish as well as a huuuuge turtle! Amazing! And besides that we also checked out some great beaches that made you almost feel like in white haven (insider ;-) ).
To sum up, my short holiday trip to Phuket was a complete success. Even though the return flight took 90 minutes longer than expected (had to change the aircraft in Phuket due to some trouble with the first one). Backpacker mates (you might find some of them on the backpacker in a few weeks), snorkeling and the motorcycle tour were just great. And knowing that Phuket is not worth a further visit is a valuable learning too.