PHUKET 2023 | Revenge Travel Diaries

Yah girl's been too busy with other projects lately that I couldn't find time to prep the Thailand posts. Can't even start editing the freaking vlog *tears*. But that's alright! Regardless of my tardiness, here's the 1st of many Phuket blogposts: My revenge travel diaries.

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Why revenge travel you ask? For most of us here in Macau, we were hindered from traveling for the last 3 or so years due to the pandemic. Now that Macau gives little to no sh*t with covid, it's finally time to get back on a plane ride.

Before the pandemic happened, one of the places I wanted to visit was Phuket. I've been to Thailand several times, but never Phuket. However, there was no direct flight from our airport so Adrian & I decided to put a little bit more effort and fly from Hong Kong. To understand how tired we were, we left our place at 2:00am, arrived Hong Kong via bus at around 3:30am, checked-in our counter at 4:30am and waited for another 3hrs to board our 3hr flight. HK Express lives up to their name though: no fuss & on time. But yeah, by the time we arrived Phuket International Airport, we were drained.
Always research travel distance, commute rates, and alternatives when traveling. Places like the airport are notorious for over charging tourists so it's nice to have a bit of a negotiating hand. After buying our 8-day unlimited Wi-Fi, it was now time to head to our hotel. It was only 15-20mins away from the airport averaging at a price rate of ฿400, but airport services were charging us a minimum of ฿650, so I walked away to discuss with Adrian our "other alternatives" until..... what might be the highlight of our trip reached out to us.

Let's just put it this way, we saved up to MOP$2000 (about ฿8,600) by agreeing to join a 120mins program. All we had to do was attend and listen; by the end of the trip we got an island hopping trip around Phi Phi islands for free, a complimentary meal at one of the famous restaurants in Phuket Old Town, and 3-free commute rides that were almost 1 hour duration each.

Luckily I didn't pre-book everything so we really used up all the complimentary gifts we were granted for listening to a guy sales talk us for hours, thinking we were a rich young couple.
We checked-in at Andaman White Beach Resort, and it was an amazing place! Private beach access, 24-hour reception, complete facilities, and super delicious food. You'd think breakfast buffets at hotels are usually not that great, but not there. Every morning, we filled our tummies with really really good Thai food, enough to get us going for the rest of the day.

BUUUUUUT.... we did have to wait 2 hours to get checked-in since their check-in time was at 2pm still. And we waited an additional 20mins after that because our room still wasn't ready. Another problem we've encountered was the "cash" only transaction for the room deposit and no nearby currency exchange. The spa was also under renovation the time we visited so we didn't get to try that either. Other than those, it was really great staying in that hotel.
I'm separating my blogposts for the Elephant Sanctuary and our island hopping trip at Phi Phi Islands because honestly they deserve their own spotlights.

Aside from those, it was just a lot of travel times. I guess it's time to say that I didn't like Phuket as much as I thought I would. To get from one place to another, it was always an hour or more drive which really took up a lot from the trip. Additionally, we went at a bad time. Apparently May is their rainy season so we really experienced daily heavy rain. Lucky for us, we were either still back at the hotel or indoors, and more importantly, our plans were not cancelled due to the weather. 

Below are a few things that I just want to highlight about the trip:

1. Phuket Old Town
Is a great place to go IF you have time. I won't necessarily say that it's a "must visit" place but it is nice to pass by for a few hours. Lots of beautiful architecture, variety of cafes and restaurants, and a great area to shop for souvenirs.

2. Bolt at your own risk
If you do a quick search of how to commute around Phuket, you'd definitely come across an app called Bolt. It's cheaper than Grab and taxis, so we definitely booked car rides from Bolt more. Only catch is they're not entirely "legal". More on that in my next point below.

3. Bangla Road / Patong Beach
It might be your scene, but it definitely wasn't ours. Immediately as we entered we were greeted with a police check point and nearly had to go to the police station along with our Bolt driver. Fortunately she just dropped us off and charged us higher than intended. I'll just say it, Bangla Road is Phuket's red light district. Over crowded with bars, weed, and exotic dancers. We couldn't even find a decent seafood restaurant because it just all looked too wild for my taste. We did buy weed there though, if there was anything to do there, it's probably that.

4. Bangtao Beach
IS SUPPPPEEEERRR CONFUSING. Not the best way to end our trip. We got lost even after our driver drove us. And please check beforehand if you do plan to visit or stay at Bangtao Beach, most areas are private. We had to walk our way out in a super dark alley that felt very unsafe just to meet our driver.

5. Nai Thon Beach
Is serene and where our hotel resort was located. I made a good choice staying at this area to be honest. Only downside is its far location from everything else, and the lack of night life. Both of which weren't major problems since our hotel and Bolt accommodated for most.
And that's about it for now. Safe to say that I would choose Koh Samui over Phuket anytime. It was a great experience, but it just didn't make the cut for being one of my fave destinations. Anyway, stay tuned for my next post, until then....

Much love!

~Katee Of The Day

Photo Credits: Adrian C. (@dash_ad)