Phuket is a tourist-friendly island located in Thailand off the Andaman Sea. The island is known for some of Thailand’s picture worthy beaches and Patong Beach, a resort town with a buzzing nightlife. While visiting the beautiful and busy city in March, the weather ranged from 90-100 degrees with sunny mornings, humid evenings, and breathtaking sunsets. There is plenty to do in the city, whether you’re shopping at the local premier shopping mall, catching a cabaret show, or exploring the Thai food culture.
My journey to Thailand started with a Delta flight departing from Detroit and landing 13 hours later in Seoul, South Korea. From Korea, I caught an 8 hour flight on a Korean Air flight. I know what you’re thinking- 22 hours flying was no fun! Luckily our flight provided unlimited cocktails, brunch, lunch, dinner and plenty of snacks, and the hottest movie releases such as Crazy Rich Asians and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Since this was my first international flight, I went overload with items in my carry-on luggage because you never know what you may need stuck in the middle of the atmosphere for that many hours. These essentials were great for my flight and I would suggest them if you have plans on flying longer than 8-10 hours.
- Change of underwear
- Toothbrush with toothpaste
- Lysol Wipes
- Melatonin (sleeping aid)
- Ear plugs
- USB Charger
- Headphones (with regular jack for in-flight movies)
- A great novel
- Neck Pillow
- Eye Mask
- Compression Socks (to prevent feet swelling)
During my time in Phuket, I stayed at the Best Western Patong Beach. I booked the trip through a travel agency and was very pleased with the stylish yet contemporary vibe of the hotel. There were lots of restaurants near including a grill located in the hotel lobby with the best Thai coconut ice cream! The hotel was also less than 15 minutes from Phuket’s popular nightlife strip, Bangla Road, and the shopping district. The best part of the hotel was definitely the rooftop pool and bar offering happy hour drink specials daily.
Thailand is the perfect destination for Millennials like myself looking to experience their first international trip. I booked my trip while working as an unpaid internship right after graduation. I had no idea how I would pay for the trip, but saving and setting up a payment plan with my travel agency really helped. For a seven day trip, including airfare and lodging, I paid close to $1,300. I brought $800 in US dollars to convert at the airport because US dollars are not generally accepted. The currency rate is 30 Baht to 1 USD, while in the city I was able to eat two to three times a day, visit tourist sites, go on cultural tours, and get random Thai massages for 70-100 USD per day.
Places to Visit
The Coffee Club (Breakfast/Brunch)
The Coffee Club is an Australian-Based restaurant offering Western-style dishes as well as traditional breakfast and brunch offerings. I had the chance to try Asian fluffy pancakes for the first time and they were amazing! Along with brunch favorites, The Coffee Club also offers sandwiches, salads, meals from around the world, and frozen drinks like the raspberry cheesecake shake featured
I found myself eating at this local seafood stop once a day. There were three locations walking distance, opened at 10am, and made the best drinks! I would definitely recommend trying the fried rice in a pineapple bowl. These are popular in the Detroit food culture so it was great to taste the authentic dish miles away from my favorite city.
Karon View Point
Karon is one of the most famous viewpoints in Thailand. It’s picturesque views gives a birds eye view of the Aldeman Sea and Karon Beach. The viewpoint can be visited through hosted excursions, van tours, and by scooter.
Built in 2004, the Big Buddha statue is located within the Nakkerd Hills between Phuket districts Chalong and Kata. The statue is nearly 50 meters tall and overlooks Phuket, Kata, Karon, and Chalong Bay. The body of the Big Buddha is made out of reconstructed concrete and white jade marble. Next to the statue is also a smaller gold version of Buddha that is made out of brass. The views were absolutely breathtaking!
Wats are Buddhist temples and are some of the most important symbols of the Thai culture. The temples celebrate Luang Pho Chuang and Luang Pho Chaem- monks who led the Chalong people in the Chinese rebellion and also changed culture with their knowledge of herbal medicine. The temples can be visited before sundown and are even open for the wandering tourist. Be sure to wear shirts with sleeves and long shorts- shorts and tanks are permitted in the temples.
Phuket is definitely a place that I would visit again! From the people to the history, to the cuisine- I enjoyed myself every moment. Visiting the island, I did not have exact plans for my visit- next time I will be sure to spend more time exploring street food and the nightlife. Thanks for reading!