It was my first time travelling to Phuket for a holiday and it was a treat from me to Redza for his 22nd birthday. I'm not gonna lie, this time around my planning was pretty bad. I underestimated the size of Phuket, assuming it was going to be another Krabi where the beach was just a walk away and the nightlife was just across the street. Boy, was I wrong! Phuket is huge, the hotel we stayed in was Hotel Ikon in Karon which was quite a distance to Patong. Transport was expensive even though the ride was easily just 10 minutes. However, lesson learned, here are my favourite places to visit and eat with a budget and added tips!
1. Dine In At Mama Jin Restaurant
It was the nearest restaurant to our hotel with a walking distance of only 150m. The restaurant was suggested by the staffs at the hotel. We didn't think too much of it, we just needed a meal when we landed at night. We sat down and browsed through the menu, thinking it was pretty reasonable for such a vast variety to choose from. To be honest, it wasn't even priced for tourists! We ordered a feast after being stuck on the plane and ride from the airport to our hotel, we were starving! I'm not lying when I say this but MAMA JIN WAS WHERE I HAD THE BEST THAI MEAL IN THE WHOLE OF THAILAND TO DATE! Redza and I literally went back there for almost every meal after that night because of how cheap and delicious it was. I recommend this to everyone who's visiting Phuket anytime soon, no matter how far you might be from Karon, take the trip! SO WORTH IT.
2. Cocktails And A Dip In The Pool
I had the privilege to stay in Hotel Ikon in Karon, Phuket while I was on my holiday there. The boutique hotel had beautiful rooms and since it was nested on higher grounds, the view was just ace. Since we were on a budget, Redza and I spent quite some time in the hotel unwinding as well. One of our favourite things to do was sip on cocktails while having a dip in the pool. The bar served pretty decent cocktails at a good price, nothing more we could ask for with the sun shining on our backs, cocktail in our hand and a refreshing dip in the pool to call it a day.
3. Sunsets And Massages By The Beach
I witnessed the most beautiful sunset on Karon Beach, approximately 15 minutes walk from our hotel. It was cotton candy skies that brought a sense of serenity to it. Not to mention while enjoying the beautiful scenery, I had a decent fully body massage on the beach priced relatively cheap. Redza and I bought a bottle of duty free wine from the airport and brought it to the beach that fine day to enjoy the simplest pleasures. I'd say it was the most relaxing time I had in a while without spending much at all.
4. Indulge In Cheap And Overflowing Pad Thai At The Pad Thai Shop In Karon
I was browsing through the net to find things to eat or do around the area on the trip and came across "the best Pad Thai restaurant" in Karon just 300m away from our hotel. The Pad Thai Shop is as local as local food can get. We took a walk there for lunch and found ourselves so lost in translation. The menu was written all in Thai and everyone there couldn't converse in English at all. Not to mention, it was filled with locals as well. Redza and I tried our best with Google's translator and eventually got to order. The Pad Thai came in a huge pile I'd say. One serving could have easily fed two or more. It was such comfort food, definitely lived up to its title.
5. Party As Hard As You Can In Patong Beach
Patong Beach is where the night comes to life each night. We took a trip there one night and was mind blown. The drinks were relatively cheap, however, make sure you walk the entire stretch to compare for the best price before you choose to sit down at the bar. Also, there was a lane dedicated to just the strip clubs in town which was quite an eye opening experience as well. If you're a easily intrigued and always seeking out new and crazy adventures like me then I'd recommend you to go for all the weird shit they have in Patong Beach. From Ping Pong shows to Strip Clubs and plain bar hopping. Once in a lifetime I'd say.