Celebrating new Year at beach with bear feet is one thing that I can cross out of my Travel-Bucket-list because this dream was full filled last year at Phuket, Thailand – the ultimate New Year’s destination where the weather is perfect, ranging 23°C-28°C at December and ideal for hitting beaches in flip flops and summer shorts and not getting burned immediately.
Actually I did not go there for partying but to rest, relax and regain strength for new year to start it fully recovered. Previous year has been crazily intense in work, in private life, travelling and never manage to fully stop, think and relax so this trip was something I was looking forward for last quarter and was counting days (seriously – had a countdown – Day Counter application in my phone to motivate me and keep me going).
As a traveler that prefers to have a real, local experience wherever I did not book a hotel but rented a flat in a condominium via Airbnb.com which is perfect way to save money and have your own way. Found a perfect house in a silent but central location in Kathu which had even a gym in the condominium and a kitchen and washing machine option in the apartments (that trust me is essential in Thailand as your clothes get dirty in no time).
Of course the first thing we did after arriving to our final destination was hitting the beach but as the weather first week was not so good we started with island exploring with a scooter we rented earlier for all our vacations. I must add that without scooter getting around is impossible as the public transport is almost non existent there.
One of the most intelligent and surprising things I have seen everything that was related to gasoline : the price, the selling points and gas convenient “stands” even on small streets could buy a gasoline in a bottle, so you can never remain in the middle of nowhere.
40bhat is equals to 1 eur. So 1,5l bottle cost 1,25 eur. Did not have a necessity to use them ourselves but would be useful if occasion arose.
One of the first our stop was a Phuket city and it’s Monkey hill. Had to see myself how is when monkeys are living free. Was pretty strange seeing them along runners and people who goes for a walk there.
As it is pretty strange to an European to see a monkey just freely going around that had to have a picture, of course.
Going around the island, which I believe I know as good as my pocket now you cannot do without a GPS especially because 90% of the streets are one-way.. As your home country internet would cost a fortune if turning on roaming, I bought a local, pre-paid SIM card with an internet coverage for a month which saved us a lot of time and made our trip a lot easier. We always could find correct roads, best local dining places and read fellow travelers reviews an tips which is an essential thing for a tourist without having local help.
After running around you must stop to get some local food experience – we went for local dishes – Pad thai was one of them. (here you can discover typical meals of Thailand).
And after a good meal is time to relax. Like this lady and baby had found their way to relax near the beach.
One of place you will see from far away when heading south of the island is a Big Buddah statue on a top of the hill. Really amazing place. (Important that you always cover your legs and shoulders as it is a sacred place otherwise they will not let you in the territory nor temples).
Another fun place to see is Phuket aquarium where you can hear the ocean story and see some of the strangest fishes and sea inhabitants, some are still in discovering process.
And of course the main destination for me was beach with it’s white sand and blue water.
Kata beach was one the spots we were going for first week as it is in south part of the island a lot calmer than crazy and dazzling central part in Karon and Patong (which is famous for their night life and wild parties).
However the last nights we spent watching sunset at Patong beach as it was already after New Years craze and majority of people has left the island already and it could be enjoyed a lot better.
Another lovely sunset spot is right in furthest South spot of the island – Sunset view point.
The sunsets there are just breathtaking with all those beautiful colors and a perfect ending of a beautiful day – looking how the sun goes down in the Andaman sea.
Stay tuned as next week is coming up last part of my Thailand trip – the island hopping.