Phuket: Short Getaway Close to Home and Heart

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Phuket, in Thailand, is a popular short-haul travel destination for many Singaporeans as it can be reached cheaply by air, especially with budget airlines such as Tiger Airways and Jetstar Asia flying there frequently.
To enjoy great seafood and for the sea breeze, my friends and I chose to go there for a short-getaway.

Phuket is famous for the Andaman sea, beautiful beaches, dive sites, and fresh seafood. Kata and Karon beaches are among the more famous beaches as they are larger and closer to the tourist areas.



We stayed at Southern Fried Rice Guesthouse at Kata Beach. It is run by a Norwegian guy and his Thai wife. We had a really comfortable stay. The rooms were spacious and clean, and there were books, board games and a pool table downstairs which were free for guests to use. Wifi was also available for free throughout the guesthouse and a complimentary continental breakfast is provided.

For all these, the room prices are very reasonable, ranging from 400baht to 2400baht per night depending on room type and tourist season. There were also less people at Kata Beach as compared to Karon Beach.

For most part of the trip, we followed some of Jamie Monk’s suggestions. Jamie Monk, in his own words, ‘travelled all over the world in search of, well, something... India. Africa. South America. From Alaska to Ouagadougou, and even Yorkshire. But it was Thailand that finally persuaded him to stop drifting.’ He has been living in Phuket since 1999, and is currently the manager of Sunrise Divers as well as a part-time blogger. He gives very good recommendations on where to go and what to do there. For example, his suggestion to go to Chen Long Buffet brought us an evening of great fun and laughter.

We went to many beautiful beaches such as Ao Sane and Ya Nui beach, which have a lot less people as compared to the famous Kata and Karon beaches. My favourite beach is Ya Nui beach as there are less people there. It is also possible to climb the rocks to enjoy the view of the area. We also rented a kayak and snorkelling gear to snorkel at a nearby island. We also brought our own Frisbee and beach ball to play beach games. I would suggest that you pack your own lunch or snacks should you decide to spend the day at these beaches as these beaches are less accessible.

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The Laem Promthep viewpoint is also a great place to catch the sunset! It is near Ya Nui beach, hence it would be a good place to go to after spending the day there.

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Local dishes such as Phad Thai and Tom Yum are a must as well! Phad Thai is a common Thai dish made from noodles, egg, chilli, tofu, shrimp, and meat with fish sauce, nuts and lime. Tom Yum is a hot and sour soup, usually served with ingredients such as seafood or chicken. It is usually eaten with rice or noodles. In my opinion, the best places to try these dishes would be in roadside stalls where you see many locals eating at. The food at such places is usually authentic and reasonably priced.

The best Phad Thai I’ve ever eaten in Phuket is at ‘The Pad Thai Shop’, which is also recommended by Lonely Planet. It is near Karon Beach, on the back road near Baan Karon hotel.

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Shopping options include the many roadside stalls where you can find cheap bargains such as imitation T-shirts for less than S$5 as well as Thai handicraft. My friends and I also made a trip down the Premium Outlet Phuket which has many branded goods such as Nike, Ten&Co, and many sports shops.

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There are also many cheap massage parlors everywhere where you can have a body massage or foot reflexology session. A massage session usually lasts about 2 hours and costs 300-500 baht. A foot reflexology session usually lasts 40-50 minutes and costs 400-500 baht.

Other options which you could consider would be to do a day trip out to Ko Phi Phi island which we didn’t get to go due to lack of time.

Phuket is really a cheap and beautiful destination for short holidays with friends or family and I would love to visit it again in the near future.



Related links: Southern Fried Rice Guesthouse, Jamie Monk website, Chen Long Buffet

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