Phuket Part 1: Rest & Relaxation
We were greeted at the Phuket airport by a driver from our hotel, the Avista Hideaway Resort. When we arrived at the hotel 45 minutes later we were handed a cold towel, fresh pineapple and fresh juice as we waited for check in. It had been decided that the Phuket portion of the trip would be our luxurious relaxation honeymoon time so we splurged and got a room next to the pool.
The Fancy Honeymoon Suite
What we didn’t know was that a friend who had stayed at the same hotel a couple weeks prior had told the hotel staff that it was our honeymoon and they had fully prepared the room. We had a drawn bubble bath with rose petals in the bathroom, a slice of cake and a bottle of wine waiting next to a bowl of fresh fruit and some flowers on the bed as well! Most importantly, we were able to walk directly out of our room into the pool where we had personal lounge chairs! Everything was so fancy.
Exploring The Hotel
We had gotten into the hotel late the night before so we took the next day to relax and wander the hotel grounds. The hotel breakfast was lush and where our obsession with passion fruit began. After eating, we wandered around checking out the many pool options. The breakfast dining area looked out over a large infinity pool and then, even further, to a nearby beach. There was also an “adults only” pool and a very fancy spa like you would see in a magazine with little platforms where the massage beds rise just out of a pool of sparkling water. We decided we better try the infinity pool just outside our room first. We spent the day relaxing by the pool and drinking from the swim-up bar.
Patong and Phuket
In the evening we ventured out to Patong. Our resort was a 10 minute drive from the main street so we took the free shuttle they provided. Walking along the streets we took in all of the food and souvenirs for sale. Patong is so full of tourists it would be easy to forget you were in Thailand. About 10 minutes in it started raining and about 2 minutes later we were caught in a torrential downpour. We got drenched. Some sweet old lady managed to rip us off and sell us ponchos for way too much money. It’s hard to even be mad, that’s just good business. We didn’t stay out long because wet clothes aren’t very comfortable but we did get dinner at a lovely little restaurant. AJ got pineapple fried rice that was just ok but I got Tom Kha Gai soup that was TO DIE FOR!!
Island Hopping with Captain Mark
We had an all day adventure planned next so it was a good thing we had rested the 2 days prior. A driver from Captain Mark’s Tours picked us up at our hotel and we drove a solid 2 hours to the East coast of Phuket Island. We were on a boat with about 10 other people and the bay was gorgeous! Our first stop was a private beach where we could swim in the warm, clear waters.
Monkeys and Mangroves
Our next stop was an island covered in monkeys. We walked and waded through a watery cave into a lagoon with mangroves and steep cliffs! The mangroves were beautiful and there were walking fish in all of the little pools. At our next stop we moved into canoes that were paddled by some of the locals. Our paddler specifically pointed at AJ and wanted to take him in a canoe. His name was Bob Marley, or so he said, and he was quite the character. He was talking to all the other paddlers and joking with us and everyone we passed. He paddled us through caves and lagoons and other hidden places.
The next stop was “James Bond Island” which is known for being in one of the movies. We did not go ashore and am so glad we didn’t because we could see how busy it was from the boat. We did a quick little drive-by and our guides made us pose for some touristy pictures.
Muslim Stilt Village
For lunch, we boated over to a Muslim stilt village. This was one of my favorite parts of the day because the history was so interesting. It also helped that it was a photographer’s paradise. Lunch was very good and had several traditional dishes to choose from. After lunch we took a quick tour through the village with our guide.
The entire village is on the water. The structures are either on stilts or literally floating on barrels. It is also entirely Muslim so there is no alcohol and people dress very modestly. There is a little market, mostly for the tourists, and the first floating soccer field! After the tour we wandered around and took in the sights. It is such a unique place and it has its own gorgeous golden mosque just floating right in the middle of the village.
On the way back to land we made another quick stop at another private island where we spent some time snorkeling and swimming. It was a very long day but it was so great. The weather and the water were perfect and it was a great addition to our relaxing island vacation.
Bangla Street and Phuket Town
The rest of our time in Phuket was mainly spent relaxing at the hotel pools and nearby beaches. We took another trip down to Patong Beach and Bangla Street, where all of the tourist and evening shenanigans take place. You know those videos online and those stories you hear about the sex workers doing weird shows and shooting things, like ping pong’s, out of their bodies? That’s Bangla Street and it actually offers more than that but it is definitely all about the night life. We also made a trip to the Phuket Town night market our last night in town. It had the most amazing street food! We also found a very drunk old man that was carving these amazing elephants out of teak. My gorgeous elephant ended up being my favorite souvenir from the trip!