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Old 12th November 2014, 22:07   #16
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Default Re: Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand

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Originally Posted by raksrules View Post
Have visited Phuket and Bangkok back in 2011 for my Honeymoon. Phuket is amazing place. We also did a full day outing in the sea visiting several island and having lunch on one of the islands.
We also stayed in Patong and one day we spent for a leisure on the patong beach. Rented those chairs with umbrellas and just relaxing on the beach.
My wife even did that para gliding or whatever it called (where they strap you to a boat with a parachute and the boat goes in water and you have to run towards sea and you are lifted off soon). It lasts for a couple of minutes or so but it is enjoyable (as mentioned by wife...me too scared to do that).
It is called Paragliding. I love the adrenaline rush it gives.

When did you do this trip?

Phuket is amazing, if you are a single person, a group of people or a family, this statement stays the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Yeeha! Nice writeup and pics. This hopefully will inspire me to write up about my solo Cambodia trip.

Such fun travelling alone!
I think you should, I have cambodia in my list. It will be a great help to me and to the others also.

Cheers to solo travel! Indeed great fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Thanks for the travelogue! Great pictures too


Is this the picture of Maya Bay where the movie Beach was shot?
Attachment 1308105
Thank you vb-san. Glad you liked it.

Yes that is the pic of Maya bay, I clicked as my guide mentioned it but I couldn't recollect. Thank you for pointing out.

Cheers!
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Old 12th November 2014, 22:51   #17
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Day Six :

This day was again going to be a day of activities. It was scuba diving day. I had booked the trip on day 4 in the evening from a hotel nearby selling tours.

To be honest, this was one bad decision I took. There were like 2 options, half a day for 1600 THB and full day for 1900 THB. I being Indian and looking at price difference jump for the full day option. Stupid me….grrr!!! There are better options definitely, I would recommend you to research and take a course from PADI instead of doing it like I did. Sure I did see the coral islands and touch fishes but I was not satisfied at all. My gut feeling says there is much more to Scuba diving and my gut feeling never goes wrong. The other professional scuba diving institutions charge 4500 THB for a day. I would recommend that you look it up on trip advisor or lonely planet for the best ones.

Again at 8:00 am the guy picks up in a mini bus. The bus had some people. We go to a harbor and from there the coral island is 15 mins far. Obviously it’s a speed boat. We board the speed boat and in 15 mins we are there at coral islands. I met couple of couples in the boat. We had general discussions about Thai massage and how the 2 guys got ripped off. We laughed a lot quoting various incidents. Moving on, let pics do all the talking from now, but I'll make sure I save the best for last...

Look at those waters, rocks in between can prove hazardous. Swimmers beware.
Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand-tn_dsc_0260.jpg

Thailandi Ramasethu
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Pristine beach of coral islands
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Beach benches
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I had a hesitation as to which should be my intro pic to Thailand, eventually the pic in first post won the battle. But in this too 18mm showed it's class.
Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand-tn_dsc_0266.jpg

Some of my best shots can be owed to this place. I loved the place, a better photographer could have done wonders.

About Scuba diving, we went there in the speed boat and after we reach the island we are given a safety briefing. Also they suggest we get a locker to keep our stuff. I being alone and having my cam and other equipment’s get a locker for 100 THB. Then I go to the scuba diving place, and there I was told that Sea walking (other activity) and scuba diving costs on 1800 THB. I understand I got ripped off but it’s alright getting ripped off once in a while on vacation I guess.

I walk to Scuba place, the instructors are Thai men who are very experienced with the sea. Not really professional, but very friendly and kind. They brief the basics and demonstrate on how oxygen cylinders are used and other signs and symbols. Within 10 mins we are in our fish suit ready to be fishes, or fishermen I must say. We are led by our instructor with two other kids alongside me. So we were four in a group. The other two lads were from Isreal and I didn’t bother talking to them as they were just 14 years old siblings. Too young to talk about cars and other problems life can offer.

So after we reach about 1.8 meter high, we are asked by the instructor if every one knows how to swim. I tell him that I am beginner, so he holds my hand and takes me to the around 5-6 meter height. The suit has an option to inflate and deflate. Inflate to rise up in water and deflate to go down. We go down to see the rocks and fishes. This 6 meter height doesn’t have much aquatic reefs or rocks which are worth drooling. The instructor had a loaf of bread which he used to tempt all the fishes to coming near us. In this process, a white fish bit me on my left leg. May be as a protest of not getting enough bread. Salt water was the savior as it is said to have quick healing properties. Then after around 40 mins we head back to the island. By 25 mins the pressure had started taking toll on me. My head started paining and the water started putting pressure on my eye mask causing pain on covered area on my face.

By the time I reach the island, I have cold and headache. I just want to go back but there were 4 hrs remaining for the return journey. I should have booked the shorter trip. I wait, click more pics and then wait again.

Food is served in a while, Thai food with option of unlimited watermelons. I concentrated more on the watermelons and some food. The other tourists did give me a look, but come on people I was having fever and needed a lot of energy.

Finally at half past two in the afternoon, we head for the main Phuket island. By round about 3 we are there.

I am in no position to do anything more other than drop dead on my bed. That marked the end of activities for that day.

These were some good shots I believe,

Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand-tn_dsc_0267.jpg

This though is my favorite shot, minimal editing. I believe photography is all about getting the base shot right with minimal editing.
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To be contd...

Last edited by voyageur : 12th November 2014 at 23:04.
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Old 13th November 2014, 00:13   #18
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Default Re: Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand

Day Seven:

All my friends who watch Bollywood movies would understand the following things I am going to say.

Does anyone remember the dialogue, ‘Enna rascala, mind it!’ from the movie Om shanti om. Mind it was Shahrukh khan, iirc.

‘Pappu….Tiger cat?’ screams Shahrukh khan to Shreyas Talpade (Pappu). The movie om shanti om that I saw the night before my university exams :P

Everyone in the audience looks astonished and repeats, ‘Tiger cat…Tiger cat…Tiger cat…???’ Our movie hero is going to battle it out with a tiger cat now. It’s a movie that shows shooting of another south indian movie ie Tamil.

In the meanwhile Pappu throws a dummy Tiger cat (something like a stuffed tiger which we buy for kids) for mind it to fight as there is no equals for him elsewhere. Now once the tiger cat is thrown, our hero grabs it by the tail and rotates it round and round and says,

‘ Naughty pussy, naughty pussy… who is the daddy now?’

Here is the dialog copied from Google

Tiger cat.
Tiger…
what a tiger.
Oh you bad cat.
You fat cat.
Rascal cat.
Take it. (shahrukh punches the tiger)
Take it.
Take it…
who’s your daddy now?
You want to say sorry?
Pussy cat pussy cat.
Where have you been?
Have you been to london?
To see the queen.
Go see the queen.
Find it.
Are you fly you are not toy.
How nice he flying.
How nice he flying.
You rascal!
Mind it.
Cut it.

I have laughed my gut out then seeing this scene. It was stupid but funny as hell.

watch the scene.

So on day 7 I had an adventure planned something similar. Being my last day in Thailand, I sure didn’t want to spend much money but needed something that I would cherish my entire life.

I heard on day 5 from the Aussie couple that they were off to tiger kingdom later on. I had my mind on Tiger kingdom, one of the rising spots of Phuket. I learnt from trip advisor that the place opens at 9 and closes at 6. I thought better to go early than late. I was up by 8 am and was on the streets by 9 am. Now to find a taxi that doesn’t charge too much was a challenge. Need to use my bargaining skills which comes handy usually in any part of Asia. I have fever but I have decided that I will do this before I leave.

It had started to rain in Phuket. The previous evening it was raining for 3-4 hrs and I am not sure about rains after night fall. With the heavy fever I walk on the streets, ask taxi drivers. Some say one side 200 THB, some said both ways 600 THB. Finally I bargained it down to 200 THB for both ways.

The ticket cost of Tiger kingdom was 800 THB for big, medium tiger. 1000 THB for small cubs. I don’t get the logic but I think they charge the extra for the cuteness factor. The deal was that we can touch and take pics with the wild cat for real. Who wouldn’t want that!!!

My minicab enters the tiger kingdom in 10 mins. It’s hardly 4-5kms away from my stay. They have a good go-kart place next to the tiger kingdom.

As I enter the facility, they have polite staff asking on what is my pick. I pick big cats, pay the fees and move on. There is a huge crowd near the big cat cage. I start walking around and clicking pics…

Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand-tn_dsc_0269.jpg

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Proving my point that they are alive and kicking
Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand-tn_dsc_0314.jpg

Giving angry looks, for invading it's space. Trust me, I can understand.
Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand-tn_dsc_0327.jpg

About this I will comment later on, please continue reading.
Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand-tn_dsc_0328.jpg

I have plenty of photos where I sit with tiger, touch its back and pose for a pic and all this while the tiger is either sleeping or it’s quietly sitting down. Sharing one with you guys.

Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand-tn_dsc_0292.jpg

For this pic, I know my dearest keralite bhpians would launch a drone attack but let me explain. It is a general rule of the tiger kingdom that a tiger can be approached from behind. If you go from the front and the tiger feels you are yummy then it would be a problem for everyone, including the tiger who eats you. I am quite sure that I was less yummy, very less but who knows what I look like in tiger eyes. May be a headless chicken.

As far as I know tiger is the most dangerous predator, even more than a lion. It is said that a tiger would kill anything that it sees despite of not being hungry. But what you see here is a well tamed tiger. I question the staff there if the tigers are sedated.

No, no sir. We train them all the day and for all this 19 months it is used to human presence. Hence it is sure to not attack humans. They are used to humans.

Are you kidding me? I am holding its tail and it doesn’t respond. I touch its body and it doesn’t respond. I sleep on its belly with my head properly supported on its belly and hands on its paws, still it wouldn’t respond???

I am not buying that. I am sure that these big cats are sedated. Proof, give a proper look on the pics, especially the eyes. I would request everyone to stay away from this place if you feel what I say is right. I was wrong to go there, I feel. I hope if they are mistreating the tiger, they might as well close this place.

I could have chosen to go and have couple of rounds on the karts. Being petrolheads, Tiger cat or Kart, Kart it should be. But fever grrrr.

I come back and by then it’s already late. I get something to eat for lunch and in the afternoon, I check out my pics and make it ready. In the evening I go to swim again even though I have fever, height of stupidity.

Then all I do is pack my bags for my return next morning. After that is done, I lie down on the bed recalling things done on a blessed holiday. First time in my life that I have been away for a vacation, though I have traveled to different locations for work.

I don’t even know when I fall asleep but that marks the end of my activities for that day.

In the next post, let me help you fellow travelers by posting my little suggestions/observations.

To be contd...


PS
Today a friend of mine pointed out the below mentioned link with the story of medium size tiger attack on a tourist.

Read it here

Last edited by voyageur : 13th November 2014 at 00:15. Reason: Typo
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Old 13th November 2014, 18:03   #19
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Default Re: Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand

Excellent narration and wonderful pictures Anoop!!

Even though you had told me lots about the place, seeing the pictures really gave us a glimpse of the fun you must have had.

The water near the islands looks so amazing!! More like liquid emeralds than water.
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Old 13th November 2014, 19:29   #20
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Default Re: Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand

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Seriously, I missed staying at Phi Phi. I think your stay was very short, just a night at Phuket and bangkok. Do you plan to go again?
Yes. A day more at Phuket would have been nice. But I seriously don't repent our short stay at Bangkok. Didn't like it so much as :

1) We are nature lovers. City chaos is not our cup of tea. And secondly,
2) May be it was an after effect of Phi-Phi and Krabi back to back.
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Old 13th November 2014, 20:34   #21
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Default Re: Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand

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Originally Posted by Speed.Demon View Post
Excellent narration and wonderful pictures Anoop!!

Even though you had told me lots about the place, seeing the pictures really gave us a glimpse of the fun you must have had.

The water near the islands looks so amazing!! More like liquid emeralds than water.
Hi speedy,

The water is good and nature is also great. Losing ourselves to the nature once in a while is not a bad idea.

Thank you for passing by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead_mait View Post
Yes. A day more at Phuket would have been nice. But I seriously don't repent our short stay at Bangkok. Didn't like it so much as :

1) We are nature lovers. City chaos is not our cup of tea. And secondly,
2) May be it was an after effect of Phi-Phi and Krabi back to back.
Then I suggest you should stay more in Phuket. There is lot of things to see and do.

Cheers!
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Old 13th November 2014, 20:40   #22
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Day Eight:

The eighth day afternoon was my flight back. I was supposed to reach back at 10 pm in India and would depart at 3 noon. I had already booked a mini bus back for 200 THB. I also bought 2 snickers, one for Jazz; my guide on the first day and one for Tah; our receptionist. I leave the chocolate for Jazz in the room itself and give the other to Tah.

I wait for my minibus and it reaches by 10:30 am. I am off to the airport. In an hour and a half I am at the airport. I wander around, buy my friend a souvenir and buy myself Merc SLS AMG and Mini cooper S scale model. I still have plenty of time. In another hour I check in just to know that the flight is delayed by an hour which again got delayed by half an hour.

I board the flight at 4:35 pm and reach India by 11:00 pm. So thus marking an end to my saga.

As promised I am going to write down my suggestions for you guys to have a safe and cheap trip :

1. Don’t exchange money from airport. Please bring Thai Baht for you get very low rate at the airport.

2. Anyone who has driven in India need not worry about crashing, just go ahead with renting a car/motorcycle. You will save a lot of money. I can assure that the chances of a crash are bare minimal. But mind you, if you crash those thieves will suck your bank account dry.

3. You can save a great deal of money on your stay. If you don’t want fancy swimming pool and other luxury things there are tons of cheap hotels around. Book an expensive hotel for a day or two and then walk around and get room in a cheap hotel.

4. Don’t book tours online. They charge you twice the amount that local tour companies charge. I booked Phi Phi island through internet and paid the price for it. Just check the local tour agencies and bargain a bit. You can save a few Baht’s

5. The food is expensive in Thailand. Choose a hotel having kitchen facilities or get McDonald’s or Pizza. It is actually cheaper than the other restaurants.

6. Never get into a taxi or for that matter anything without fixing the rate. Bargain and fix a price or you will be screwed at the end. May it be a small shop or a small tuk tuk ride, bargain and fix a price.

7. Stay safe. There are many bad things around especially at nights. I have traveled a bit and hence I guess I can kind of sense it, but I would request you guys to be safe and not carry a lot of cash in hand. Bad people are everywhere.

8. Drink bottled water only.

9. If you are travelling with family or even kid, book a minibus from airport to hotel and back. It sure is crowded but can save you 500 THB at least.

10. When you are in a wash room of a mall or some other place like a boxing stadium, if there are three or four people behind trying to massage you, it is usually for a tip. They expect at least 50 THB. Avoid it as you can get better massages in professional massage parlors outside.

11. Ditch swimming pools and visit beaches, for they are amazing.

12. Scuba diving should be booked from a reputed place. You will appreciate the experience.

13. Don’t try drugs that they sell on roadside. Many people try to sell you marijuana and stuff. I was talking to a local lady about this and she said it can be a trap too. So if you are alone, don’t even bother thinking of it. I would never do it even if I go in a group. Don’t let yourself be caught off guard.

14. Get a travel insurance. Jade’s friend had underwent an operation because a kid dropped oxygen cylinder on his leg. You never know when you need the insurance. Better pay the small amount and get it for peace of mind. I didn’t get it but I would recommend you do.

15. Treat their culture and religion with respect. Learn a bit of Thai and people would appreciate it. Thai people are one of the best I have met, very friendly and helpful. Treat everyone with respect and in turn you will get a lot of respect.

16. Be careful of the rocks on the sides of islands where you swim. I got plenty cuts on my left hand trying to catch it.

17. Get a free sim. Internet is free almost everywhere.

So I guess these are all the things basically you need to be aware of. You are good to go now. Do some ground research and pack your bags, get going….

Thanks for reading people Leave me a comment or suggestion below if you liked it or if I have to improve.

Cheers!!!
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Old 14th November 2014, 09:41   #23
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Default Re: Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand

Man, that was one hell of a solo trip

It reminds me of Santiago of "The Alchemist" (if you've read it) who embarks on a similar voyage in search of his treasure (in a way, I guess, you too were).

The narration and the snaps were both amazing. Phuket seems amazing- must visit.

I can relate to your idea of a solo trip since I had done one myself 8 years back to Paris (from London) though it was only for a weekend, nothing compared to your epic

So, how much did it cost you right from your doorstep and back?
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:34   #24
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Default Re: Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand

Great travel voyager. A very good list you have compiled, but I think 5,6 is more of a Phuket thing. Food is really cheap in Bangkok, Thailand has abundant road side eateries which make fresh food.
15 is very true, Thai people are one of the most polite and respectful people I have ever met. Even if you get cheated by a cab for more money, people usually walk away politely and don't start up a fight.
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Old 14th November 2014, 15:13   #25
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Default Re: Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand

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Man, that was one hell of a solo trip

It reminds me of Santiago of "The Alchemist" (if you've read it) who embarks on a similar voyage in search of his treasure (in a way, I guess, you too were).

The narration and the snaps were both amazing. Phuket seems amazing- must visit.

I can relate to your idea of a solo trip since I had done one myself 8 years back to Paris (from London) though it was only for a weekend, nothing compared to your epic

So, how much did it cost you right from your doorstep and back?
Hey there,

How are you? Glad you liked my travel. The Alchemist is something I have heard of, but since I am not friends with books since childhood never read it. The base version of the book is in Portuguese I believe. UK is in my to do list but it is really expensive.

Let me break my expenses down,

For flight -31,000 Inr
Room - 12,000 Inr (though I had qvi club booking they charged 200$ as maintenance fee)
In Phuket -30,000 Inr

So on the whole in >75,000 Inr. If you have a 1,00,000 Inr you can enjoy the place very well. I would call mine a budget travel.

Have a great day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
Great travel voyager. A very good list you have compiled, but I think 5,6 is more of a Phuket thing. Food is really cheap in Bangkok, Thailand has abundant road side eateries which make fresh food.
15 is very true, Thai people are one of the most polite and respectful people I have ever met. Even if you get cheated by a cab for more money, people usually walk away politely and don't start up a fight.
Hello Kraft,

I need to visit Bangkok and Pattaya next. Will wait for a bit for the off season.

You are right about the suggestions, they are all phuket oriented. You find some stalls on roadside, but I didn't try. I should have tried them. Thai people are amazing.

Cheers!
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Old 14th November 2014, 16:07   #26
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Default Re: Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand

Nice travelogue. Reminded me of my Thailand visit couple of years ago. I understand when you say sharp rocks

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Let me break my expenses down,

For flight -31,000 Inr
Room - 12,000 Inr (though I had qvi club booking they charged 200$ as maintenance fee)
In Phuket -30,000 Inr

So on the whole in >75,000 Inr. If you have a 1,00,000 Inr you can enjoy the place very well. I would call mine a budget travel.
Not to offend but yours is not a budget travel by any means. With proper planning you could have halved the air ticket. I paid 14k return in Thai Airways. Now with AirAisa, it would be even cheaper.

And curios how you ended up spending so much in Phuket considering you said you at places like McDonalds. I suppose you spent more on transport. Renting a bike would have saved tons.

The real budget travel is to do Bangalore-Singapore-Penang-Langkawi-KL-Bangalore for 10k Those were the good old days Tiger airways.
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Old 14th November 2014, 16:13   #27
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We visit Thailand quite often - thrice in the last few years, and have returned to Phuket because we love it so much. Do tend to avoid Patong though - there are far far better places to stay and visit on the island! I disagree with point #5 about the food. Thai food is one of the best in the world and also super cheap. Part of the reason we travel there at all is to eat that yummy food!

Last time we rented a car (picked it up from Phuket airport on arrival and dropped it off on departure). This allowed us to visit a lot more places independently without worrying about taxis. We drove from Phuket to Surat Thani on the east coast (about 400km each way IIRC), put the car onto a ferry and went to Koh Samui where we spent a week before returning. This is an amazing way to see the countryside and get away from the tourist traps. Next time we plan to pick the car up in Bangkok itself and dispense with the BKK-HKT-BKK plane ride as well!

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Old 14th November 2014, 20:08   #28
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Nice travelogue. Reminded me of my Thailand visit couple of years ago. I understand when you say sharp rocks



Not to offend but yours is not a budget travel by any means. With proper planning you could have halved the air ticket. I paid 14k return in Thai Airways. Now with AirAisa, it would be even cheaper.

And curios how you ended up spending so much in Phuket considering you said you at places like McDonalds. I suppose you spent more on transport. Renting a bike would have saved tons.

The real budget travel is to do Bangalore-Singapore-Penang-Langkawi-KL-Bangalore for 10k Those were the good old days Tiger airways.
Hello Jag,

Sharp rocks were a nightmare.

Not at all offended mate. But I booked tickets in Silk air cos air-asia and others would take like 16 hrs and 18 hrs, Silk air was around 6 hrs journey. Plus I booked in Aug for Oct. I think that is why the price was high. Since it was a solo travel I had to pay more in terms of rent, taxi etc. Nobody to share with. Solo travels always cost more imho.

I ended up spending in taxi, small shopping. 30k is 15k in Thai plus I got it changed from airport which made it less around 13.2k. A lot of mistakes happened due to lack of planning I would say. Let that be a lesson to my next solo trip.

Thanks for passing by mate. Cheers!

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We visit Thailand quite often - thrice in the last few years, and have returned to Phuket because we love it so much. Do tend to avoid Patong though - there are far far better places to stay and visit on the island! I disagree with point #5 about the food. Thai food is one of the best in the world and also super cheap. Part of the reason we travel there at all is to eat that yummy food!

Last time we rented a car (picked it up from Phuket airport on arrival and dropped it off on departure). This allowed us to visit a lot more places independently without worrying about taxis. We drove from Phuket to Surat Thani on the east coast (about 400km each way IIRC), put the car onto a ferry and went to Koh Samui where we spent a week before returning. This is an amazing way to see the countryside and get away from the tourist traps. Next time we plan to pick the car up in Bangkok itself and dispense with the BKK-HKT-BKK plane ride as well!
Hello Ajit,

I tried padthai and didn't like it much. Thai food is cheap but lack of spices makes it hard for me. I couldn't even get done with half of the padthai that I ordered. If I had eaten thai food the 5th point wouldn't exist. If you have any suggestions for Thai food then it will be great, if at all I visit anyother places in Thailand.

I didn't rent a car mate or motorcycle for that matter, I was worried if I were ever to crash I will be screwed royally. some of the disadvantages of travelling alone. Koh samui, krabi islands etc were in my list but lack of planning, less number of days.

Cheers!
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Old 14th November 2014, 22:13   #29
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Default Re: Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand A cleaner bangalore with a little more discipline. and more free than any city in India and even safe as well.

Thats Thailand.
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Old 15th November 2014, 09:27   #30
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Default Re: Voyage: Phuket, Amazing Thailand

Quote:
Originally Posted by hishamkabir View Post
Bangkok, Thailand A cleaner bangalore with a little more discipline. and more free than any city in India and even safe as well.

Thats Thailand.
You are absolutely right, but I may add 'with beautiful clean beaches and islands' . That's my opinion about Phuket.
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