Maria Valaskatzis Phuket 013

It was definitely not my first visit to Phuket, but this time around my  travels to this exotic island was most definitely different. My first visit to Thailand was probably about 15 years ago. Before leaving South Africa, people warned me that Thailand would be a “culture” shock. Naive and filled with adventure, I thought nothing could shock me.

Well, I was wrong. Landing in Bangkok was the first eye opener. The city air was filled with smog and the crowding was something I could not get used to. From Bangkok, Phuket was about an hours flight. Phuket was noticeably quieter, but still busy.

The night life was crazy, with “walking street” being the place to be on as soon as the sunset. Filled with bars, nightclubs and restaurants, you are without a doubt spoilt for choice.

You can not visit Thailand and not attend their “ping pong shows”. Yes, that is what they are called and trust me, it is not what you are thinking.

But that was my past adventure, this time around my visit very different. This visit was with family and friends which included little kids, so ping pong shows were not on the cards. Thailand is known for its nightlife and crazy shows but hidden in the insane bustle lies the most breath taking family resorts.

We chose to stay at Pullman Khao Lak Katiliya Resort and spa, this tropical resort is situated an hour and 30 minutes from Phuket airport. Nestled amongst the rich vegetation and the endless white beach, this resort proved to be the ideal family getaway.

It was  on the second day at the resort that I learned that this particular resort was actually one on the hardest hit during the Tsunami. You can only guess what I was doing for the rest of the trip, waiting to hear warning sirens. The fact that you are reading this obviously means that there were none. Thank goodness.

January was monsoon time, so although there would be moments of rain, it would stop as fast as it started. The humidity levels are very high.

Places to visit in Phuket

  • Phang Nga Bay is known for its lime stone features but you will remember the James Bond Island which is the more famous spot
  • Bangla road is where the night comes alive and although I did not get to visit it this time around, I still have very interesting memories.
  • Phi Phi Island is a must.
  • Surin Island was one of the places I visited on this trip, and if there was a place that humbled the spirit, it was without a doubt Surin Island. The people there live on and off this island with very little contact to what happens off it, except for the contact that they have with the foreigners that visit. The people live such simple lives, content with whatever little they have. I witnessed young naked kids playing and carrying on with their own business whilst the older ones, and when I mean older, I speak of kids that are probably nine years old, sitting next to their homes selling curios. This place broke my heart.


Things you need to know about Phuket

  • Phuket is very expensive and a lot more costly than any other part of Thailand.
  • Patong Beach is the most famous beach in Phuket.
  • Many see Phuket as the sex change capital of Thailand.
  • The currency used is theThai Baht.
  • Phuket is a tropical island, therefore the humidity is insane. So if you are anything like me, carry your hair straightner.
  • Because it is tropical, combined with the humidity and warmth, expect mosquitos. And there are plenty. I suggest that you pack mosquito repellant from home.
  • So for those people traveling with technology, it is important to note that in Phuket you will need those 2 pinned plugs.

Thailand is one of my favorite places to visit, the food, the people, it all captivates my mind and spirit. This will most definitely not be my last visit.




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