When departing for Thailand, my friend and I flew out of NYC on Christmas Day at midnight. Taking this flight saved me about $300-400, which is often the case when traveling on a holiday. Be prepared for a lengthy flight because it is usually about 18-22 hours depending on where you are leaving from and where you are arriving. I would strongly advise booking a flight with the least number of layovers to make your trip as simple as possible.
While on our journey, we first arrived in Phuket. We opted to stay in a small, quality hotel with a private beach rather than staying in a large resort. The hotel was called By The Sea and it was located in Panawa; it was close to Old Phuket, which made island excursions easily accessible. The popular things to see are the Temples, Big Buddha and Markets. As a diver, I made sure to visit Phi Phi Island, a popular destination for Divers and Snorkelers. We the islands of Phi Phi, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Lay, comprising the majority of the trip. We also made sure to go out and try food outside of our hotel. On our last day in Phuket we ate at a great restaurant called The Cove located in Cape Panawa, Phuket. It’s managed by a young expat couple from Europe and is situated on a bay underneath a cliff. The Cove currently also operates three bungalows for those that love intimate locations and has plans to build 15 more by next year.
Leaving Phuket, we traveled back to Bangkok for New Years. I decided that we should stay in something a little more upscale and found Novotel Sukhumvit 20. This hotel was the perfect mix after our stay in Phuket with all the amenities that major hotels offer international travelers. We got into Bangkok with plans to visit the night markets and take a night tour of this 24 hour city.
Unfortunately for us some of the cultural sites were closed due to it being New Year’s Eve, so we were only able to visit a few sites and walk around the city. While in Bangkok if you’re interested in the silk industry, you can take a trip to the Jim Thompson House.
We also got a chance to ride a Tuk Tuk around Bangkok looking for adventure. It seems like this was the best twist of fate as we ended up finding an open temple in Chinatown that had live operating Monks, which was on the “Must See” list for my travel companion. We spent the rest of the time discovering Bangkok, had a two-hour massage, and got to see an amazing fireworks display for New Years from the top of the hotel.
All in all Phuket and Bangkok Thailand are a great experience and a great tourist destination to visit if you have the time. My advice to other travelers is to understand the time required to get here and if you have the budget it is helpful to book flights through apps like Hopper and Kayak. Get out of your hotel and eat safe, great food, and enjoy everything that Thailand has to offer. My parting quote is, “It never hurts to plan!”
Until next time, Just Go!