Phuket is much more than a party destination with a flawed reputation, so leave Patong Beach behind and go see the true beauty of this place. Here are some of the things you can do, when you’ve had enough of Chang beer and Bangla Road:
Plane spotting at Mai Khao Beach
Julia: We stayed away from Patong this time and found that Phuket indeed has some wonderful, quiet beaches. One of my favourite was Mai Khao Beach which is right by the airport and has become quite an attraction for plane spotters. Apart from aircraft noise here and there (which I found rather entertaining), this stretch of sand is the longest but also the least frequented of Phuket.
Sanne: I’m completely with Julia regarding Mai Khao Beach. It’s such a nice place, not just for plane spotters.The beach is right at the threshold of runway 09, so when the wind is right, you’ll have the planes flying right above your head for landing. The runway numbers are based on the direction of the runway. You just add a 0 at the end to get the direction on a 360° scale. Each runway is therefore assigned two numbers, depending on which direction you’re approaching from. In Phuket, when approaching from east, you are using runway 27, while if you’re approaching from west, it’s runway 09.
Visit the old part of Phuket Town
Julia: The old part of Phuket Town is definitely worth visiting. Although Thailand never has been colonized (and they’re very proud of that), you can still feel the different cultural influences of Chinese, Portuguese and Arabian merchants thanks to the pretty architecture. Also there’s plenty of food options and we enjoyed some local specialities (like the Hokken noodles and shaved ice) and delicious seafood at some simple but popular restaurants.
Take a boat trip
Julie: This time in Phuket, my weekend was a little more varied than the previous times I had gone. As it was two of my good friends birthday, they hired a boat for us to chill on as we went around the islands around Phuket. Boat day in Phuket! Total bliss! The boat stopped at one little island where we jumped off the boat and snorkeled around. Loads of fishies in the water along with ginormous jelly fish. Luckily you are able to see them first before you have a nasty encounter.
At another stop, we took the little boat and went to the beach. It was pretty crowded and the sand was piping hot. Ana and I went and grabbed a drink – I am obsessed with coconut shakes in Thailand. So.damn.good.
Go scuba diving
Sanne: On one of my first days in Karon, I saw the Sunrise Divers shop, and after 3 days, nothing could keep me from walking inside and book a scuba diving day trip. The dives were at Racha Yai, which is a small island south of Phuket. I checked my gear and put on my mask. Then I took one big step, and I was in! Being able to breathe under water and literally swim with the fishes is an unbeatable feeling second to none! And there’s so much to see down there!
Corals, wrecks and even a motorbike were just some of the things we encountered. Regarding the motorbike, the story goes that two friends bought it together, but then they got into a fight and one of them threw the motorbike overboard from a ship. Now it provides the perfect selfie settings at the bottom of the sea.