09.03.2013 - 13.03.2013 30 °C
Oh Phuket! What a let down you were.
Thinking that it might be fun to start Sarah's holiday off somewhere lively, we chose to spend five nights in Phuket. We made a concious decision to steer clear of Patong beach, the busiest (and most notorious) beach in Phuket, opting instead for the "quieter" Kata beach.
The stay started off well. On checking into our hotel, we managed to get a very good deal to upgrade to an air conditioned room. Several days later, however, we had the staff telling us we had to pay more, saying they had "miscalculated". We obviously refused to pay any more as they were clearly just trying their luck to get even more money from us!
Our first evening, we took a stroll down Kata beach. One word...disappointing. Extremelly crowded, a bit grubby and loud! And randomly full of Russians! I think we were the only non-Russian people on the whole beach (not that it matters of course; it was just surprising)!
The next day we spent at Kata Noi beach south of Kata beach. Much more pleasant than Kata! Quiter, softer sand and clear water! And we found a fancy resort to go to for lunch with an all you can eat buffet!
The next two days we spent on the amazing Nai Harn beach which was recommended by some lovely Welsh ladies who Sarah and Jo befriended. As it was quite far from the main resorts, it was a lot more peaceful and, dare I say, exclusive! Clearly a playground for the rich (many private yachts and catamarans were moored not far off shore), the beach was a little more "high-brow" than Kata and Kata Noi. And we liked it!! We found a nice peaceful little cove with sun loungers and parasols, and bought some inflatable rubber rings to float out at sea in.
One of the evenings (also on the recommendation of the Welsh ladies) we went to a reggae bar at the top of a hill between Nai Harn and Kata to enjoy some cocktails whilst watching the sunset. Lovely!
Our final day in Phuket was the worst day trip Jo and I have been on in our whole five months away (and that is saying something)! Supposedly we would be taken to a cave, some mangrove forest, a muslim village, James Bond island and to do some sea kayaking. The cave was underwhelming, we sped past the mangroves on the boat, we never even saw the muslim village (there wasn't time after lunch!), spent all of twenty minutes on James Bond island, and didn't even get to kayak...we just sat in the inflatable kayak and a "guide" paddled us around. I also go soaked on the journey back to the bus as the lady in front of me insisted on holding down the tarpaulin which was there to prevent such a drenching. And continued to do so even after I irritably told her to stop. A fitting end to the trip really!
Needless to say we are not sad to leave Phuket and cannot wait to get to our next destination of Koh Lanta!!