At the beginning of the trip we decided that we would book our first few nights of accommodation and then wing it from there, and whilst that sounded really daunting initially, this flexibility really paid off even in the first week! We realised we could spare a few more days in beautiful Thailand than we thought and although the southern islands weren’t in our original plan, we seized the opportunity! We felt our spontaneity peak as we decided to book flights to Phuket for the next day and see the beach before we soldier on to Cambodia as intended. And I’m so glad we did because just look at this view!
The flight down to Phuket was pretty decent:we flew with Nok Air, it didn’t take much more than an hour and we even got given a mini bottle of water. From the airport we got a minibus to Patong Beach where we were staying which took another hour- though it’s amazing how quickly time goes when you can nap! It was lunchtime when we arrived so we went to check into our hostel then explore. We stayed in Hip Hostel which had a great location as it was close to the beach as well as all the shops, restaurants and bars. It seemed to be a family run hostel and the reception/common area felt a bit like their front room with a sofa and Thai soaps on the tv!
For some reason the three of us were massively craving pizza, and I know that sounds bad given the amazing cuisine on offer in Thailand, but what can I say? After a week of chillies a little home comfort was needed so we set out in search of Italian, which was surprisingly easy to find. We demolished our pizzas and headed down to see the beach. When you think of Southern Thailand you picture clear blue waters and amazing landscapes, which is decidedly harder to see in a torrential downpour like the one we experienced. There seems to be no such thing as a gentle shower here as we all got soaked in a matter of seconds! It was actually quite nice being on the beach in the rain though, sheltering under trees whilst everything gets drenched for 10 minutes before the sun comes out like it never happened🌞
In Phuket there are lots of different beach towns you can stay in, and honestly I wouldn’t really go to Patong again I’d go somewhere quieter: it was too overwhelming. It had a resort vibe, packed with tourists and everything seemed more expensive than the rest of Thailand because of this. But the main reason why I wasn’t a fan was infamous main strip Bangla road. Safe to say it was not what I expected! One thing I did like we’re the other girls we met in our dorm who were lovely and we ended up going out for dinner with. Two Germans called Justine and Pia who found the British phrase ‘elephant in the room’ particularly hilarious 😂
For the next day we arranged through our hostel to get the boat to the island Koh Phi Phi and proceeded to have one of my favourite days (bar the elephant sanctuary) of the trip so far. This is what I expected of Southern Thailand hooray🎉 The boat to the island left from the pier just south of Phuket Town, around 45 mins from where we were staying. From there the boat took around and hour and a half and for us this was an event in itself as the sun was shining and the scenery so beautiful. This is a snap of Koh Phi Phi as we approached the harbour:
The island itself is incredibly idyllic, you can see why it’s got such a name for itself: turquoise water and golden beaches surround the island. As soon as we found our hostel (where we couldn’t check in as the receptionist had popped to the bank for the afternoon – island life ey?) we grabbed the world’s smallest toastie from a nearby cafe (no crusts?!) and headed straight for the beach. The three of us admired the amazing view and had a much needed nap in the shade. It was so nice waking up to this:
We only had one night on Koh Phi Phi so we had to make the most of it. We finally checked in at the hostel and went out to explore. The main town part of the island is really compact and only takes around 15 minutes to walk from one beach through the town to the beach on the other side, and this is where all the restaurants and bars are to be found. We walked along the beach and ate dinner in a cute restaurant at the end of the row. Behind us in the bar next door was an amazing fire show which kept us entertained for ages with twirling, throwing and tightrope walking. We even had a mojito cocktail bucket to share between us!
The next day we hiked up to the viewpoint at the top of the hill – this was super steep and made us so sweaty and out of breath in the heat. Though I have to say it was worth it for the view of the whole island! So beautiful!
We had a little more time to spare before our boat back to Phuket so we made a quick trip to the beach for a swim to cool off and dry out our clothes (we got soaked by another downpour as we walked back to the town.) I wish we had more time to spend on the island but it was fun what little time we did have. Until next time Koh Phi Phi!