GoPro has been our true companion throughout our adventures in SE Asia. And hopefully it will also be that for many years to come :). I really like making photos but there’s just so much more liveliness in videos and they really take you back to those great moments. There will definitely be some more clips of Bali and Tokyo but I decided to combine all I’ve made so far into one post so you could easily reach them :). Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the places we’ve been! Enjoy :)!
We stayed at Phuket for 7 awesome weeks. As before I wrote down all our daily expenses to get a better overview ourselves and share it with you. Compared to Chiang Mai for example Phuket is definitely a bit more expensive but the difference isn’t big. It’s still a really affordable place to live. Once again these are our average costs per day for 2 people. Of course there were a lot of days where we didn’t have to pay for any entrance fees for example but to simplify things I averaged everything out. So here goes
- Groceries (this includes different food items, detergent, shampoo and all other similar things – 205 baht
- Transport (in case of Phuket it contains only scooter rental, gas and taxis to/from airport) – 200 baht. Our scooter rental for 5 weeks was 4500 baht
- Eating out (also includes breakfast) – 360 baht
- Entrance fees (our island hopping trip, massages, saunas and such) – 187 baht. By far the most expensive was our boat trip 1600 baht each. Without it you could save a lot but Phi Phi is still one of the must see places 🙂
- Shopping (clothes, new backpack, flip-flops and such) – 105 baht
- Other (mobile internet, cash withdrawal fees, washing clothes, scooter driving fine 🙂 ) – 76 baht
Our accommodation cost in Phuket was 17800 baht. So in total we spent around 57000 baht (about 1485€). In conclusion our monthly cost was slightly under 1200€! And for that kind of money you get a very decent living, scooter for the whole time and everything else you could wish for. Well, of course we got some great prices through our friend (he is more than welcome to help so let me know if you plan to travel there and are in need of a scooter for example). I believe that actually for about a 1000€/month you could do pretty well in Phuket.
Sending sunshine :)!
As I’m writing this post we’re already at Langkawi, Malaysia. But only after quite a journey once again since our flight to Langkawi was postponed (although it happened already quite while back and we were aware of it) and basically we had to spend a night in Kuala Lumpur airport. Wasn’t too bad but wouldn’t want to do it again.
First impressions of Langkawi are that it’s really rather quiet here. It’s basically the same size as Phuket but a a lot less people live here plus we are not staying in the main tourist area. The nature is beautiful and a lot of discovering awaits us. It seems that there’s some kind of construction boom going on in here and there are a lot of huge half-finished buildings everywhere. The only thing is that a lot of these places look like they have been half-finished already for 10 years. Seems strange but probably there’s a good reason behind it. But you will hear about Langkawi in the future posts, here are some final thoughts about Phuket.
First I’d like recommend our by far favorite eating place in Phuket where at least in our opinion best food in Thailand is served. It really actually doesn’t have a name but here are some photos to help locate it when you happen to be in that area. Besides the tasty food prices are also reasonable and service is spot-on! (although they don’t speak very much english there). Basically we went to eat there every day 🙂
Secondly if you have time to visit only one place in Thailand we’d recommend Phuket because it just has so much to offer! One of the places we will definitely visit again :)! And finally I also made one more video of our adventures in Phuket, hope you’ll enjoy it :)!
All the best!
Although we still have a few days left here I’d like to share our list of places to see and activities you can’t miss during your the stay in Phuket. Once again most of them have already been mentioned in the previous posts but it’s always good to have an overview. Here goes (in no particular order) 🙂
- Go to the beach! Enjoy the sun, swim in the warm sea, do whatever you want to do but go to the beach :)! I would especially recommend Yanui, Nai Harn, Ao Sane and Bang Thao beaches but there is just a huge choice here!
- Drive on the west coast of the island. It’s full of beautiful beaches, mountains, views and just all in all magical nature accompanied by a small town or a bigger city every now and then.
- Rent a scooter. Honestly, if you plan a bit longer stay then scooter is necessary to get around the island. But of course be careful in the traffic!
- Windmill viewpoint – one of the best views on Phuket. In addition cute kittens live there 🙂
- Promthep cape – after a 15 min hike you can enjoy the nature at it’s fullest. Truly a sight you won’t forget!
- Chalong sauna – a truly vivid local experience + the sauna itself is just great! I don’t know what kind of herbal mixture they are cooking there but after each visit you will feel revitalized!
- Phuket weekend night market – the best market on the island. You can find basically everything from there! Opened from 4pm every weekend.
- Monkey hill – although monkeys living there are still wild animals they grow on you really fast and you get the urge to visit them again and again 🙂
- Phi-Phi islands and Maya bay – I know it’s a commercial touristy thing. But still, the islands are really beautiful and you can’t miss them while you’re here. But be advised, if you choose to go with a speedboat, sit in the back :)!
- King Rama IX park – a really beautiful park in the middle of Phuket town. Although it’s currently undergoing some renovations it’s still a great place to have a walk, feed the fish or do some exercise!
- Ton Ao Yon waterfall – a magical small waterfall in the middle of the jungle. Once again, you can’t miss this!
- Phuket aquarium – a great place to visit with a very reasonable entrance fee. Definitely worth a visit!
- The Big Buddha – one of the icons of Phuket. Although I’d say it’s still under construction the statue itself is beautiful and views from the hilltop just breathtaking!
- Go snorkeling – Phuket and Andaman sea has one of the most beautiful underwater scenery!
- Visit Central Festival shopping mall – it’s actually a pretty nice shopping mall with a lot to offer (including a cinema) plus quite often beautiful live music or dance shows are being performed near the main entrance.
- Enjoy the sunset from one of the many beautiful viewpoints!
- Go to the beach when it’s dark. Usually it happens here around 6-7 so it’s not late. But in the evenings most of the people have gone from the seaside and you can enjoy the beautiful sound of the waves and distant lights flickering on the water.
- Just enjoy yourself! As I’ve said before Phuket has a lot to offer to everyone! From great beaches to vivid nightlife in Patong area, it’s up to you! Just inhale the beautiful nature, kind people and a tender scent of paradise…
Although we had already been to the peninsula where Phuket aquarium is located in the beginning of our trip to Phuket, that time we didn’t visit the aquarium itself. Now we fixed that. And I’m glad we did since for a 180 baht entrance fee it has a lot to offer. A huge number of fish (one of the biggest I’ve ever seen included) and other sea creatures can be find inside numerous tanks. I also made a video about a lot of them so you can have a better look when I finish the next and most likely the last video of Phuket.
Aquarium had also a lot of written and video information about the sea life in Thailand and Andaman sea. Although as mentioned before a lot of damage has been done but at least in there it seemed that they are now starting to really work towards a better future – in order these hundreds of species of coral and fish would be there also in 100 years.
During our trip we also discovered a picturesque small waterfall called Ton Ao Yon (picture seen above). It’s located in rather remote area and there’s only one small road leading to it, hence we were the only ones there. What I really liked about it was that it’s located in the middle of dense jungle with a lot of trees and other plants covering the area. It was just like “the waterfall” when someone asks you to close your eyes and try to imagine a beautiful tropical waterfall. It also had many pools in it so we just couldn’t skip the opportunity to go for a little swim. At that point it just started raining which made the experience even more memorable. Once again I highly recommend a visit when you’re in Phuket.
Shortly after our visit to the waterfall the rain started coming down like I’ve only seen once here in Bangkok. We had raincoats so at least the upper body was relatively dry but otherwise it was soaking wet. The biggest difference compared to Estonia for example is that when it rains there and you get wet then most likely you will be cold also. But here, even if it’s a massive downpour, there’s still about 30 degrees so you don’t have to worry about that. Driving a scooter with this kind of weather was also quite interesting :). In lower places there were rivers and lakes where the road used to be and in some cases you even had to put your feet up since the water was so high. Of course you have to be extra careful since wet roads are much more slippery and the visibility is also quite bad. But we were cautious and drove slowly :).
Btw we have tried a lot of different exotic fruits here but none we’re really any good at least by our tastes. But now we found the passion fruit which is really good and healthy! Luckily we have a small fruit market about a minute drive from us where you can get a beautiful pineapple, several passion fruits, a bunch of bananas or something similar for only 20 baht. I wish there would be something like that back home also… 🙂
Yesterday we had a visit to the biggest shopping mall in Phuket – the Central Festival. There was several reasons why we did that. Firstly my laptop charger is acting a bit weird so I wanted to know if it’s possible to buy a new one from there and as it turns out for 1000 baht it is. But at the moment it’s still working so I have my fingers crossed! Secondly since I’m using my computer quite a lot when Anna is resting or going to sleep and my mouse is making a quite loud annoying “click” sound I wanted to buy a new silent one which also succeeded (as it turns out there are a lot of things that you really don’t think of before the trip :); in related to that we bought together quite a significant amount of sunscreen since supposedly it was expensive here and a lot is needed but as it turns out it’s not very expensive and you’re going to need it only when you’re hitting the beach near midday – so one bottle is enough 🙂 ). Thirdly we wanted to go to the cinema and see the new Thor movie – Thor Ragnarok. Which was actually pretty good and funny so I’d definitely recommend! For some reason even though cinemas around here have a lot of halls they only play maximum 2 or 3 different movies. And finally we just wanted to see how this shopping mall looks. And the answer is basically the same as any other huge shopping mall here in Thailand – at least 4-5 floors and hundreds and hundreds of different stores.
For a couple of times after the sunset when it’s quiet and not much people are moving around near the sea we have went to Promthep view point to just relax, enjoy the view, see flickering lights of the surrounding boats and the houses and just listen to the waves. And by doing that we got ourselves some new friends :). There are 3 small extremely cute kittens always walking around at the viewpoint in the evenings. We got fond of them so much that we bought some cat food from the local store and now we always have something in our scooter for these small fellas :).
When you’re visiting the seaside at dark you can always see some flashlights moving around at the shore. We decided to investigate more closely and as it turns out a lot of people are catching crabs from their nighttime hiding places. Today there was a quite big group of friends walking around on Yanui beach with flashlights and plastic bags. If they find the hiding place (a hole in the ground) they usually put a wooden stick into it and then do some excavation work until the crab is revealed (plastic bags are for storing the crabs). Actually I feel pretty sorry for them but at least there are some who fight back. So at one moment you could see a guy chasing the crab and some seconds later the crab was in turn leading the chase.
All the best!
For the past 2 days you could have found us mostly with our bottoms towards the sky :). Which means that we have been discovering all the secrets the sea has to offer. There’s a local second-hand shop right near our place so we went and bought 2 sets of snorkeling gear for 400 baht (10€). Usually near the beaches here you can find them with 800 baht a piece so we were extremely happy with our find! Especially since we will have a lot of coral and fish exploration options coming up at Langkawi and Bali also :).
I had been snorkeling only once in my life before. And there was not much to see, especially compared with Phuket. Of course sadly a lot of damage has been done to the sea life around here and all over the world. I can only imagine what I’d would have been 50 years back for example. But it’s still a very very magical world that quite often just slips our attention. Back home we have actually 13 fish in 2 separate aquariums (otherwise the bigger ones would just eat the smaller ones 🙂 ) so we really enjoy watching them.
So far we’ve only discovered this world at our local Ao Sane and Yanui beaches (which I wrote about a while back) but we will definitely go and explore in some other places on and around Phuket also.
But I’m keeping this post short since it’s quite difficult to describe this with words. It’s much better to have a look for yourself :)! Here’s the next video about the underwater world of Phuket and our adventures at Monkey Hill.
PS. If you’re planning a similar trip like ours or you just want to capture different pieces of you’re life in whatever imaginable circumstances then in my opinion GoPro or something similar is a must :)!
Visiting monkey hill here in Phuket is quite an experience. At first you are just driving along a rather steep mountain road until one moment there’s just hundreds of monkeys on the road. And they seem really relaxed and just chilling around. It took some time to get used to these small fellas but after a while it’s totally normal to see them walking and climbing around everywhere. But they are also very clever :). For example you will find yourself looking at one of them doing some sort of show and just being really cute but at the same time another one is literally sneaking up on you to pickpocket :). And he wasn’t very far from getting my scooter keys. By the way – if you’re going there with a scooter then don’t leave your helmets unattended. You may find them in a totally different place from where you put them or in a bit different condition :). In a matter of fact don’t leave anything unattended and hold strong to your belongings. For several times we saw a monkey stealing a drink, a package of nuts or just a plastic bag with shoes :). You will see more of them when I’ll finish the next video 🙂
By now we have been around the island quite much and at least in my opinion the most beautiful places, beaches and views are in the southern part. For example today we went to Promthep cape.
To get there you have to walk/climb on a narrow rocky and mountainous road for about 15 minutes but it’s actually really good. Since it’s not so easy to get there a lot of people don’t bother to take the journey. Which in turn means that it just might happen that you can be there (at least for a while) totally alone enjoying the waves, the view and a nice sea breeze against your face. This is one of those “Can’t miss” places.
We also went to Ao Sane beach which is slightly different with it’s small stones and pieces of coral which massage your feet with every step. It’s also a very good place for snorkeling (we will try that soon). All in all 3 of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen in Phuket are located all here in the southern part with just a few minutes drive separating them. Each has their own virtues that make you come back again and again…
One interesting adventure a few days ago was visiting the local Chalong sauna. It’s a very simple place with a 100 baht entrance fee. Basically it’s a very hot steam sauna where local Thais cook up some sort of special herbal mixture and boil it for steam. Afterwards you can dive into a cold water barrel (with ice cubes) or just shower yourself. You can also get a massage, some drinks and food. So in conclusion a great place to get a bit more into Thailand life and just relax. We will definitely go back 🙂
All the best,
Yesterday we visited the 3 main tourist areas on the island. Kata and Karon are located rather close to us and Patong a bit further away. In general I could say that I’m very happy that we are staying in more quieter Rawai area :). Kata and Karon have beautiful long beaches, hundreds of shops, restaurants, massage salons and much more but they are still quite touristy. Nevertheless if you’re staying for a shorter period and you don’t want to travel around on the island very much then they’d be quite good places to stay since everything is located just around the corner. As much as we saw the prices were also relatively same as around here so all in all not a bad choice.
But Patong… it felt like we were back in Bangkok again with only difference that there was also a beach. Although we just drove around there with a scooter for a bit and took a small walk at the beach we got the idea of that place rather quickly. Dense traffic, a lot of people, more tourists than local people (the same seemed to apply to Kata and Karon also), tuk-tuks (although in Phuket they are like a small minivans rebuilt to be very bling, not tricycles like in Bangkok and Chiang Mai), “Hello my friend”‘s shouted across the street and so on. You could definitely say that this place was full of life and there’s much to do but if you’re looking to put your feet in the sand at a quiet seaside and relax this place is not for you. But you could definitely say that Phuket has a lot to offer to all kinds of taste :).
Driving a scooter for 10-15 min is totally fine and very quick and reasonable method of transportation. But if you plan to travel for a half an hour straight then it would be reasonable to make stops here and there. I don’t know if we aren’t used to it yet but after a long drive your bottom and back are quite sore :).
I’ve also finished the second video of our adventures in Phuket. Go and check it out 🙂
Sending sunshine – we have more than enough of it in here 🙂
So we’ve been in Phuket for a week already. Time flies fast :). But we really really enjoy it and although we will be here for 4 more weeks approximately I can already say that we will definitely want to come back! Our usual day here looks like something like this. We will wake up around 9, have a light breakfast, then do about 20 minutes of stretching/pilates and after that about an hour at the pool swimming, reading a book or just relaxing. Then it’s either going for a lunch (we already have a a few of our favorite places, I will talk about them in one of the later posts) or getting on a scooter to discover some new part of this beautiful island. Driving a scooter has by now become a norm and a part of everyday life :). During our stay we have visited The Big Buddha (which is really big also in real life, height about 34m), Chalong temple, Phuket town and the night market, Rawai and many other great places.
We haven’t yet went to Kata, Karon and Patong – the 3 main tourist areas but we will do that soon. No hurry :).
At about 3-4 in the afternoon we usually go to the beach since by then the sun is lower, it’s not so hot anymore and you can really enjoy the seaside. If you plan to go during the midday for example then without a shade you can last max only about an hour or you just have to be in the water constantly. Otherwise you’ll just get a sunstroke. Our favorite beaches here are Yanui and Nai Harn, both about 10 minutes drive from here. And in the evenings we will go and have a dinner (naturally), on some days go to enjoy a steam sauna (located nearby, a great place to end a day) and then back home either we will watch a movie, invest time in the world wide web or read a book. Nearing the nighttime I’ll usually spend a few hours behind my laptop working with pictures, videos, gaining knowledge in Youtube or dealing with on one of my different projects.
Quite often we are spending time with our friends who are currently also living here in Phuket. We have already had a card playing + rum and coke night :), traveled around the island together and tomorrow we plan to go kayaking for example.
And actually we’ve seen quite many Estonians around here, basically you meet some new people every day. It’s a small world 🙂
Here are some additional thoughts:
- In Thailand there are small reddish ants everywhere where there’s food lying around. If you forget something edible to the balcony for example it wont take long before these little guys are there to have a lunch on your behalf 🙂
- Sometimes when swimming in the sea you will feel a small burn on your skin. It will go away quickly and it’s nothing bad but still an interesting sensation. No-one knows exactly by whom these are caused but I’ve read that it’s either very small jellyfish or sea lice. Don’t worry, nothing harmful. Just don’t be surprised getting that feeling if you end up swimming around here 🙂
All the best and sunshine,