On my first part of the trip, Thailand was full of temples, an atmosphere of coexistence with wild animals and the lantern show. Now, it was my turn to visit the paradisiacal beaches.
And the stop was at Phucket, South Thailand. After paying 36 USD for a stopover flight in Bangkok (cheaper than a taxi ride from Manhattan to the JFK airport) we arrived at one of the islands in the south of the country.
The airport is located one hour from Patong, one of the most infamous nightlife beaches on the island for its tolerance to prostitution. On your way there, you can find the Resorts with private beaches. A taxi can cost between 15-20 USD, but for much less, you can take a minibus, although the journey will be double the time.
Once on the beach, you can enjoy the warm turquoise sea, white sand and sunlight that will roast you. The temperature can reach over a 100 Fahrenheit! The sea is generally calm, but at times it was unexpectedly very rough.
Essential stops in Thailand are the Giant Buddha of Phuket, the town of Karon and Promthep Cape, known for having the best sunset in the country.
After 2 days, our next destination was the province of Krabi and the famous Phi Phi islands and Ko Phi Phi in Maya Bay. Here you’ll encounter all the backpackers who saw Leonardo Di Caprio’s film, The Beach. Unfortunately, the area is closed to tourist.
After three hours by ferry (45 USD), we reached Phi Phi, an area that was destroyed by the tsunami of 2004, but it has recovered over the years and is now the most famous tourist attraction in the country.
There are hotels for all budgets. My choice was Phi Phi Nice Beach Resort, with cabins right in front of the beach and only 15 minutes from the pier. The nightly rate is 34 USD but if you can reserve ahead, you can get it from 10 USD.
Without a doubt, the best part of the trip was renting a boat or “long tail” for 4 hours. In these picturesque Thai motorboats, you travel all around the nearby islands. You can even haggle the price down to 45USD (with capacity for 10 people). At that time, I considered it a bargain.
Simply fantastic and fascinating. This is how I define Maya Bay, Loh Samah Bay, Pileh Lagoon and Viking Cave. You can admire the crystal-clear water, swim with schools of fish, and have a Chang beer lying down in the boat while you admire the sunset… Perfect moments that make life worth living.
I stayed only one day. If you can afford more time, it’s totally wort it. Live the best backpacking experience:
Dance at the Moon party, relax with a Thai massage by the sea, savor the spicy delicacies for 5-10 USD or even less than a dollar, and refresh yourself with mojitos…
By then, I’ve stayed for 10 days and there was still a flight ahead to the capital: Bangkok