As I’m spending the night lying down sick in bed, I’m actually finding myself remembering the sunny weekend getaway my family and I had in Phuket last July. It was a pretty spontaneous trip and it was extremely short but it was worth it!
DISCLAIMER: People have different traveling styles, this is just one among many. I hope this post serves you useful, especially if you intend to relax in one of the beautiful resorts in Phuket.
Phuket is located in the southern part of Thailand and is home to some of the most breathtaking beaches and sunsets in the world. It might ring a bell because of the tsunami that hit it back in December 2004 but more than 10 years later, Phuket has bounced back up and still continues to attract more and more tourists and now I see why 🙂
Here’s a recall of what went on that weekend in Phuket!
Since this trip was spontaneous, we weren’t able to book ahead for relatively cheap flights. Fortunately though, Cebu Pacific once again did one of its many wonders and still offered reasonably priced flights directly to Phuket. (There aren’t a lot of airlines that actually offer direct flights from Manila to Phuket…) We arrived in NAIA at 5PM, leaving plenty of time to get everything done prior to our 730PM flight. We waited for the 615PM boarding time but due to the bad weather and air traffic (then again, what is new), we weren’t able to leave Manila until 10PM.
We got to Phuket at around 1AM (Manila is an hour behind) and immediately headed to immigration in hopes of getting to the hotel before 2AM. I honestly did NOT expect the airport to be so crowded at that time of the night but the queues for each counter was ridiculous. (Thankfully though, a new airport is being constructed to accommodate visitors and locals better.) That’s apparently normal in HKT since tourists really do flock the place all year round but boy was that crazy. It took about another hour to finish everything, grab one checked-in luggage, and locate our hotel transfer.
OUTRIGGER LAGUNA PHUKET BEACH RESORT
Outrigger is about 30 minutes away from the airport via private vehicle. As soon as we got to the hotel, I was amazed at how everything was beautifully infused with Thai culture. The couches, the lights, the counters, literally everything. It’s one of the many things I love seeing when going abroad — how international hotels are able to infuse the local culture to nearly everything.
Our first morning in Phuket was gloomy and this honestly got me down since I was really looking forward to basking under the sun. It eventually started pouring but thankfully though, the skies cleared out and the sun came out.
After breakfast, we headed back to the room to get our stuff for the beach. It felt so good to just relax and enjoy the view (and snack). After a while, my siblings (Maui and Migi) and I decided to walk along the shore and discovered one part of the beach with swings tied to the trees.
Pa Tong is known as the center of tourism in Phuket because of its shopping centers and nightlife. It was badly hit by the 2004 Tsunami but ever since then, the place has been able to recover.
We decided to head downtown, straight to Jungceylon, a pretty big mall with pretty much everything. One of our agendas that day was to look for the supermarket (SO convenient for pasalubong shopping since it has everything you can possibly think of). Most malls have big supermarkets (Jungceylon had Big C) and they have souvenirs, traditional food, chocolates and candies, among others. Buying presents for friends and family from the supermarket is so much cheaper compared to going to souvenir shops as they tend to overprice their goods.
After strolling around the mall, we then decided to around Bangla Road (a popular place known for its pubs and restaurants) and then to Pa Tong Beach to catch the sunset. While I was in Phuket, I read quite a number of articles and stories about the 2004 tsunami and one of the saddest facts I came across to was when the tourists and locals ended up getting swallowed by the waves when they noticed the water receding, took photos and looked at the shells and fish not knowing that a tsunami was about to happen.