I was really excited to see Phuket again – there were a few bits I felt were missed out last time due to vodka buckets at the hostel! I wanted to have a night out on Bangla Road and see the Big Buddha!
We had plenty of time in Phuket so knew we would be able to fit it all in, and I knew James would not turn down a night out… which proved to be somewhat of an issue by the end of our Thailand trip… but I will get to that.
Where to Stay – Sleep Box Hostel
We were picked up around 11am from our previous Hostel in Krabi Town – we were a bit annoyed with ourselves as when we booked the bus we had no idea we could get a ferry straight from Railay beach to Phuket – but Hey Ho, we got to see Krabi Town as well!
We arrived at Bangla Road, Patong at around 3.30pm. We knew our hostel was just off the main strip so walked down the street which was already busy with people, mopeds and staff trying to get you into their bars!
Sleep box was located in a small street just parallel to Bangla Road and really close to the beach – perfect location. We walked in and the décor looked clean and modern, however, the staff seemed fairly disinterested we had arrived.
We checked in and were shown the kitchen area, TV area and our room. We had a dorm of 4 – again nice and clean and modern, but TINY! It’s clear where the name ‘BOX’ comes from!
Luckily, apart from the first night, we had the dorm to ourselves (an absolute blessing considering the events of the final night… feel the suspense building?!)
The toilet was also very cramped, and there was only one toilet and one shower per floor. We thought this would be a problem, but the hostel was actually very quiet – not very social at all. It was a nice hostel, but it depends what you are looking for during your stay really. We settled in, and went in search of food.
Where to Eat – International Café and Guesthouse
We found this place for lunch/dinner following reviews on TripAdvisor. There looked to be a variety of food for fair prices. We got there and no one else was dining there – always a bit of a put off, but we tried it anyway.
After a few days of Thai food, I really fancied a pizza, and apparently, they were great here – and I would hope so, it was a good half of their menu!
When I ordered I was told pizza wasn’t available until 6.30pm! I ended up choosing a pasta – although the waiter kept telling me to have Thai food – that riled me – don’t tell me what to order!
Also, they wouldn’t let us have happy hour as we were 3 minutes too late (even though we were the only ones there). So not a great start. Yet, when my pasta came out it was a huge portion and I couldn’t finish it – James was more than happy to help me out!
James had a Thai dish but it wasn’t half the size of mine! ‘Bear’ the dog was also pretty cute. Overall, it was an OK place, but we didn’t go back.
Things we did in Phuket
We ended our first evening on the beach watching the sunset with a beer from 7-eleven. The beach was a lot busier than I remembered with a lot of tourists and people trying to sell water sports even though the sun was going down.
Although, James and I had a great time people watching, seeing all the paragliders and enjoying our beer on soft sand. We returned another day for a little sunbathe and dip in the warm clear sea.
James walked the long length of the beach. As Patong is fairly touristy you will be charged for sunbeds and experience locals constantly trying to sell you items, juices, clothing, sunglasses and massages – think of it as the Benidorm of Thailand! It is a beautiful beach though!
Bangla Road – Monsoon Bar
James and I strolled down Bangla road about 10pm looking for a bar that took our fancy – so many to choose from. You have to weave through the 100’s of Thai people shoving ping pong/sex show boards in your face –
James kept acting interested, and then we couldn’t get away. I think he was actually fairly temped until he looked up how much drink prices were in those places and how much money you are pressured to hand over. Regardless, its not my cup of tea!
We circled back to a live music bar I like the look of called Monsoon and were offered buy one get one free drinks. The band were fantastic – great singers, dancers and musicians and they sung 2 Bruno songs (they won me over with that especially).
I could have happily stayed there all night singing and boogying in my seat. The band changed over one by one – such a smooth transition, so you wouldn’t have noticed, and performed all different upbeat songs. The drinks weren’t super cheap (about 200 baht for a vodka), but we weren’t expecting that in Bangla Road!
We wandered down Bangla again and James (with a cheap 7-eleven beer to keep him going) was amazed by a Thai street magician dressed as a cowboy and magicking money from people! In fairness, I have no idea how he was doing it and it was an entertaining 20 minutes.
We actually ended up going back to Monsoon bar for one more drink as we liked the music so much, and got another BOGOF as they thought we were new customers!
Illuzion Night Club – Jason Derulo
Aparently, Illuzion is one of the top nightclubs in the world to visit – although that fact would still not usually convince me to go in. Jason Derulo on the other hand is an excellent reason!
We bought tickets to see Jason perform at the club from James’ birthday money (present from my Mum). We were told that he was unlikely to perform until around 1am so we were delaying entry knowing how busy it would be, and how expensive drinks would be.
We entered at 12.30am and it was a pretty big and impressive space. We didn’t bother with the bar and found a spot by the stage. As you can imagine, it got crowded very quickly but James and I tried to stand our ground and keep our personal space!
Jason came on around 1am and was so close I could almost touch him! Had a great sing and dance with James. However, a few fights nearly broke out due to people pushing and shoving (and being very under the influence of substances) and James kept having to mediate, which spoilt the enjoyment a little.
Derulo only stayed on for about 30 minutes too – which wasn’t enough, but I suppose all you can expect from a club performance. All in all, a fun Bangla road experience!
Phuket TrickEye Museum
We managed to catch the cheap local bus to take us to Phuket Town to see this museum. James had managed to get cheaper tickets online if you book a day in advance.
The tickets are usually 500 baht (£12) at the museum so quite pricy. I think we paid 300 baht (£7.50) each. This museum is filled with numerous different paintings designed onto walls and mirrors – each one has a photo next to it showing you the best way to pose to get the best out of the image, and the floor shows the photographer where to stand!
It was a fun light-hearted afternoon of posing in front of 3d art – we had a giggle and got some great pictures/memories from the trip. It was fairly quiet and we could have spent so much longer there, but we were in a hurry to catch the last local bus back to Patong!
I would definitely recommend for a fun, different activity, but try and find a discount!
The best way to see the sights of Phuket seemed to be booking a half day tour, as it would have been tricky or expensive to get to places our self.
Of course, bargain hunter James found a great deal at £8 each! We were picked up at 7am and taken first to Karon Viewpoint. Overlooking a few beaches on the coast of the island (including Karon Beach) it was fab for a few memorable snaps!
Another viewpoint that was a little higher up – you could see small islands in the sea surrounded with yachts and boats. There was even a glimpse of Kata Noi Beach that we had seen up close.
Very pretty, especially with blue skies – even a married couple were having a photoshoot there. There is a small food and drink vendor up there too. Mango smoothie for me!
Kata Noi Beach
Some of us were dropped here as others had booked elephant riding. This small beach was gorgeous. It was still early but it was quiet and seemed so private.
Only a handful of people there and only one hotel that seemed to overlook it. The sand was super-soft and the sea was perfectly clear. There were yachts anchored a little out to sea. It was a hidden gem! Maybe somewhere to revisit another time!
Neema the Baby Elephant
We returned to pick up the rest of the tour and met Neema the baby elephant! She was so cute at 2 and a half years old! We bought some bananas to feed her and she loved them – lots of photographic evidence.
I was in my element! However, the member of staff supervising said I can stand next to her for photos and he got her to put her trunk around my shoulders and cross her legs posing for the photo.
She also gave me a kiss on my neck with her trunk. This was all very sweet but after all the tourist traps we have already experienced on this trip, I couldn’t help but feel a little uncomfortable due to the unknown of how she is treated and trained to do such things.
Big Buddha, Phuket
This was the reason I was on this tour! Gosia and I were due to go last year and didn’t bother in the end! This location was also very high up so you get a pretty decent view of Phuket!
The Buddha lives up to the name – it was very big and grand! Although, it is not finished.
You are encouraged to buy tiles to contribute to the further construction of the area. There were the Buddhas of the week (although one was missing), other buddha statues and relics, numerous viewpoints and a beautiful area of trees with gold metal hearts hanging all around it filled with hopes, dreams, wishes and love of other people. It was an enjoyable area to spend a little time and a pretty impressive Buddha!
Down the bottom, there were monks chanting and donation pots all around – you buy tokens and place a token in each pot! There is also an opportunity to receive a blessing from a monk (donation expected).
Wat Chaithararam Temple
This was a complex of Thai temples that James was specifically looking forward to seeing, but we only had 20 minutes so had to rush! The smell of incense was all around the complex and lots of locals paying respects.
There was a 3-story temple filled with numerous buddha statues. You could climb to the top and see the view of the complex.
There was also a small fire pit where firecrackers were constantly let off – it made me jump out of my skin at first! I am still unsure of why this happens in a temple setting!
I was expecting to see ‘same old’ temples, but it was actually a lovely complex filled with different style temples. It was a shame we didn’t have longer here – James already held up the bus!
Cashew Nut Factory/Honey Factory/Gem Emporium
I’m not going to go on too much about these and it seemed very commission based, but they were part of our tour.
The cashew nut factory was an introduction of where cashew nuts come from and you get to see two workers de-shelling them. There are numerous tasters of different flavours which were very tasty but really expensive! You then hang around in the shop for longer than necessary – I wonder why?!
Similarly, in the bee/honey factory, you are immediately taken to the shop and products such as moisturiser are explained to you – you are then followed around the shop by the salesman who tries to point everything out to you and get you to try.
It gets irritating – especially as we know we aren’t going to buy anything (we don’t have the room)! We did get to meet some of the bees – James even held a panel of them!
Lastly, the gem sales floor. You firstly go through a little exhibit and see big shiny items of jewellery and sculptures made from gems, then there is a never-ending jewellery store that works like Ikea – only one way around and you have to see everything first to find the exit!
The sales woman did not leave our side and kept asking me to try things on. I think I stopped being polite in the end and ignored her. We were then rushed through as the tour we were on runs twice a day and needed to get us back to accommodation.
We got back by 1pm and ventured out for our last Thai massage of the trip together!
Eat in No. 6 Restaurant
Every time we walked past this place it was packed, and usually queueing. It didn’t look anything special – communal wooden benches outside a small looking shop front/restaurant but we wanted to try it for our last night.
We got there around 4.30pm and were seated straight away replacing 2 people that had just left (it was full)!
We ordered a bit of a feast: pad thai, beef and veg, rice, chicken satay and spring rolls. It all came out quickly and piping hot. The portions were big and the food was delicious! Best Pad Thai I had in Thailand! Definitely recommend for a really tasty Thai meal at a great price!
Slumber Party Hostel Pub Crawl – The Disaster!
Take a guess who decided to go on a bar crawl on our last night…! I am sure this is the section you have all been waiting for – the disaster story!
James wanted to experience Patong nightlife for himself (knowing I am a bit boring and sensible) and booked to go on a pub crawl with another hostel. I mentioned time and time again that we were getting collected at 10am in the morning and had 2 planes to Vietnam. He strongly stated it would be fine. It was not fine!
I sensibly stayed in and James left around 8pm. He is aware I worry about him when he goes out drinking especially in foreign places!
He arrived back at the hostel at 3.30am and knocks on our dorm door (luckily, we were the only 2 in our dorm as I mentioned before). When I opened the door, he was swaying at the end of the corridor (Oh dear!)
I asked why he didn’t use the key (I knew he had it as he would have used it for the main door) and he said he didn’t know where it was… whilst waving it about in his hand!
I left him to his own devices whilst trying to go back to sleep, knowing I will only dose until I know James is asleep. 30 minutes later, I hear a wretch and a whooshing sound – James vomiting ALL OVER THE HOSTEL BED!
I instantly get up and try and speak to him and he ignores me. I turn his light on and (I won’t be graphic) it was everywhere. All over the sheets, pillowcase and James himself. He refused to get up (trust me – I really tried to reason with him), just wanting to sleep – classy.
Another 30 mins pass and I hear him stir and say “FUCK”! Realisation has obviously hit… and I haven’t slept!
Anyway, the next two hours (4-6am) was stripping the bed, trying to clean as much as we could with wet wipes (James being more than useless in his drunken state) and get James in the shower with him asking “why? I’m just gonna get in the shower and be like hello I’m in the shower”. Yep, that’s the kind of drunk I was dealing with.
I got him to take the bed stuff downstairs but there were no staff about so knew we would have to deal with it first thing. He was sick again in a bin.
He slept on his plastic mattress for a few hours (so thankful it was covered) and it was very difficult getting him up for the bus in the morning, and he still had to pack up his things!
The hostel obviously charged for the damage (£25) which James even tried to argue and actually haggled a few quid off! I was so angry and embarrassed.
James spent the day feeling utterly awful and had further ‘incidents’ on the bus to the airport and at the airport! I on the other hand felt fine! The whole incident reminded me of the last night of our first holiday together!
The next morning, he was a little sheepish and still didn’t feel great! I’m still unsure if he thinks the night out was good enough to have been worth it!
Although, the picture found on his phone having a peck with another (gay) man was a hilarious surprise! At least we can say that the last night of Thailand was eventful and James can always be relied upon for the occasional ridiculous drunk story!
Next stop Hanoi, Vietnam! Let’s hope the hangover (or me) hasn’t killed James before we get there!