Rounding out our wild trip in Thailand on our honeymoon, we spent the last week of the trip on the Peninsula of Phuket in southern Thailand. After spending a chaotic few days in Bangkok, followed by an unforgettable time on a liveaboard scuba diving boat, we wanted the last part of our trip to be relaxing at the pristine beaches of Phuket. We didn’t know much about Phuket prior to planning our trip there, other than the turquoise water surrounded by wild jungles and mountains. And this place far exceeded all our wildest dreams.
The Phuket peninsula is technically an island with dozens of beach towns scattered around its coast. The famous beaches on the western coast are Kata Beach, Kamala Beach, Patong, and Surin Beach. On the interior of Phuket are the massive Buddha statutes and the unique Old Town Phuket. Off the eastern coast, in the smaller gulf of the Andaman Sea, there are countless islands, most notably the Phi Phi Islands which are synonymous with the beauty of Thailand. And throughout the entire part of the country, the hilltops and valleys are covered in dense, green jungle. Everything you pictured about Southeast Asia can all be found here in Phuket.
Our trip to Phuket started out in Kamala Beach, with a stay at the Novotel Hotel right on the beach. We splurged on this oceanfront villa, as we had just spent the last three days in a room the size of a bed on our liveaboard scuba boat. The view of the rest of Kamala was worth the money, which still was only about $120 a night! And Kamala Beach was incredible alone. The massive beach wrapped from one end of town to the other. And between the two mountains that bound the beach, sat endless oceanfront restaurants, shops, and bars. The water here was incredible, especially when you can look out at it from every restaurant seat in town, especially at Cafe Del Mar! But what’s even better, is the ability to get a 1-Hour Thai Massage on the beach for a whopping $9. I’ll be honest, I could’ve done that every day for the rest of my life after a morning walk on the beach! Anything you could want on vacation, whether it is jetski rides, horse back tours, ATV, surfing, or just sunbathing, Kamala Beach really had it all!
One of the nights in Phuket, we met up with my wife’s friend from home, Erica. She’s lived in Thailand for a few years and showed us around the nightlife of Phuket. First stop was at Blanket and a Pillow, which was this off-grid, cliffside club that we would’ve never found if it wasn’t for Erica. A DJ played music all night to a set of tree houses and bamboo platforms! Afterwards, we headed to the infamous Patong Beach where all of the best, and worst, things you’ve ever heard about Thailand exist on one extravagant street. Tourist from all over the world flock to this street which is like Vegas, Martis Gras, and Amsterdam’s red-light district all in one small town. Yup, this is where you can find all those sex shows, lady boys, and anything you can dream of. It was an absolute spectacle. Fortunately we weren’t on the street for long, as we headed into Club Illuzion for the night, which was an unbelievable, multi-level night club. Much more of my speed. As for the nightlife in other parts of Phuket, I can’t really comment, but I can only imagine it’s pretty wild from what I saw!
Our last part of the trip took us to the eastern side of Phuket, to Coconut Island. This resort was incredible, but sadly it left a lot to be desired. As awesome as it was taking a boat every time we wanted to leave the island to get to the main land, the tides made navigating the historically shallow waters quite difficult, and we often had to go to different docks all the time and find our way to a taxi. That being said, the beautiful resort provided us access to three of the best parts of the trip. A trip into Old Town Phuket for a night market, a tour of a Pearl Farm, and of course the speedboat tour of the Phi Phi Islands. I’ve already written extensively about two of those trips and cannot recommend them enough. This was a great way to round out the trip, getting to experience the local food culture at the market, sampling tons and tons of food because the exchange rate makes everything like $1-3. The pearl farm was also an amazing, educational experience learning to appreciate how much effort goes into making those ornate jewelry pieces. My wife especially loved it. And of course the trip ended with a speedboat tour of the Phi Phi island which were out of this world! Check out the video below!
Phuket, Thailand is a destination out of this world! I cannot recommend a trip to Phuket enough. From Southeast Asia, you can fly directly to Phuket, otherwise, you’ll have to connect in Bangkok. Navigating around Phuket was equally as easy, being able to have a texted based Uber that we could message from our hotel or just flag down one of the many truck taxis. Or if you’re looking to go across water, there are always water taxi (longboats) in the marina or dock ready to take you anywhere. Or just staying in walking distance of your hotel will be treat you to tons of wild experiences in its own right. Phuket and its surrounding waters are what my wife and I dreamed about prior to getting to Thailand and it really exceeded all our wildest dreams. I still think about all the Pad Thai I ate everywhere we went!
Hi there, my name is Zachary Kenney and I’m an adventure filmmaker & photographer. My passion is to tell stories that will hopefully motivate you to go live a more adventurous life. Whether that is to experience the view from the summit of a mountain, or wandering through a new town on a road trip. Currently based out of Park City, UT.