I can’t believe my Thailand trip is about to end. I am typing this at a cafe in Phuket International Airport sipping a cup of Latte Macchiato (that’s how they call it). I am 7 hours early for my flight so I am going to spend that writing about my first-time experience in Thailand. I would love to visit Chiang Mai and Bangkok next 🙂
I arrived in Phuket last Saturday evening and I stayed at Hubb Hostel. It is the nearest option for me and they have free airport transfers so it was a good catch. It was just for an overnight stay so I wasn’t really picky about where to sleep. The staff organized the boat trip for me to Phi Phi Islands (Phi Phi Don) and they only gave me two options, morning or afternoon trip. I opted for the morning ferry. The boat company has a free hotel to port transfer so that was really convenient.
During my first night, I went near Nai Yang beach enjoyed pad thai, green curry and roti. It was tasty, especially the Pad Thai! 🙂 Ofcourse, I couldn’t miss a thai massage on my first night so I headed to one of the many massage places and got a foot reflexology. Overall, it was a great night! 🙂 Here are some snaps from my first night in Phuket:
The next morning, the van picked me up at Hubb Hostel and it was a long way to the port. We had to pick up some guests along the way also. Tip: The best place for money exchange is in the port. I had Malaysian Ringgit with me and the exchange was 7.54 Baht for 1MYR. At the airport it was flat 7 Baht for 1MYR.
I could tell you all the great things I did in Phi Phi islands but I would let my pictures do the job for me 🙂 All of my photos were taken using my iPhone and my Android phone. I failed to bring a high-def camera *facepalm*. I can tell you though that my pictures don’t give justice to all the places I went to. It’s best to experience it first-hand and see it for yourself.
Here are some tips I can share to those who are planning to visit Phuket and Phi Phi Islands:
- If your hotel has an airport transfer, please take it. If not, then ask them if they can book a taxi for you. It will save you time from haggling with the taxi drivers and some money too! The airport transfer in Hubb Hostel is free (although they charge 200 Baht for an extra pick-up/drop-off).
- Buy a sim card with free internet. I bought mine for 200 Baht. It’s a tourist sim with 7-days free internet (4g). It helps a lot especially if you need to use google maps or other apps. With the kind of work that I do, I need to have access to my email all the time so it’s really great that they offer a tourist sim like this. Some places don’t have wifi too so if you’re glued to your phone (please put down your phone and enjoy what Thailand has to offer) buying a sim card is a must!
- Ask the front desk staff in the place you’re staying if they can help you organize the boat trip to Phi Phi. It’s not only convenient but you would have lesser risk of getting lost and save yourself from staying under the sun for too long. In my case, Hubb Hostel organized it for me so I was picked up in the hostel, when we arrived in the port, a guy was waiting for us and gave us our tickets and boarding passes. We hopped on the boat and the next thing I knew, I was already in Phi Phi 🙂 So convenient.
- You can buy whatever you need in Phi Phi so you don’t have to buy everything in Phuket, save yourself the hassle of bringing lots of stuff. I bought toiletries, snacks and other necessities in Phuket only to realize that there are a lot of 7-eleven, some supermarkets, small grocery shops in the island. They have a bookstore, a pharmacy, I think they even have a small hospital or maybe it was a clinic. I even bought 2 liters of water and boy was it heavy given that I was already carrying a backpack, a traveling bag and a sling bag.
- If you’re tight on budget, the cheaper and affordable restaurants, cafe and food houses are not in the beachfront. I was so hungry when I arrived in the island so I ate at an open restaurant in the beachfront. It was 2-3 times more expensive than those you can find if you walk a little bit more in the heart of the island. Cheaper prices doesn’t mean less tasty food. The affordable pad thai is waaaaay better than the pad thai I had at a pricier restaurant. Also, the price varies if the drink is hot or cold. Coconut water is sold at 35 Baht for room temp and 50 Baht for the chilled ones.
- Not all green are vegetables. Be careful if you’re not so much into spicy food. Those chilis camouflage as vegetables especially in curries. (Chilis are fruit of a plant, yep! Google told me.) Based on personal experience. Ha! Also you can opt for a mild spicy dish if your mouth can’t handle the heat. I can recommend you to try pad thai, panang curry, fish tom yum, fish cakes and stir-fried kale. Oh! You can’t miss the mango with sticky rice! My order came with the silkiest mango ice cream I’ve ever had! And we have lots of mango ice cream in the Philippines but this one was hard to beat!
- Go for the earliest trip to Phi Phi Leh or Maya beach, it can get very crowded if you go there late. We left Phi Phi Don around 6:40ish in the morning and we were one of the early ones in Maya Bay. It was great to visit the island with less tourists. We headed to monkey beach but there was no island haha, the water level was high so we couldn’t really walk to the island but we saw monkeys! We also went to Shark Point where you can swim with the sharks.
- There are ATMs all over the island and even in Phuket so you don’t have to bring huge cash with you all the time. Just make sure your ATM card is activated and can be used internationally. I encountered a problem when I was in Cambodia because I couldn’t access my account because my card wasn’t activated.
- Check the weather condition before you visit Phi Phi. We wanted to go to the viewpoint but it was raining so hard and we weren’t able to hike to the top. *sobs* This means I should really go back and go to the viewpoint 🙂 A good enough reason to go back to the island.
- This is not just for Thailand but for all the asian trips you will make, please make sure to shower especially if you’ve been under the sun and sweating a lot. While it may be a personal preference, I believe we shouldn’t forget about our hygiene anywhere we go. Wash your clothes before you use them again. The weather is much warmer than most tourists are used to. If you don’t want to shower, you can also do a what we call a half-bath wherein you only wash your body and not your hair. Just a friendly reminder! 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my pictures and my travel blog on my recent trip to Thailand. I am still in the airport waiting for my flight 🙂 Have a great day everyone!
-RJ Lyn xx