Exploring the Beaches in Phuket
Sandals, Sunscreen and a Scooter
Updated, August 2019
There was an air of excitement on the plane as we approached Phuket, Thailand. The like-minded sun-seekers in the seats around us were leaning towards the windows spotting the beaches and islets below, wide grins on their faces. We were no different.
When booking our hotel, we opted for the airport pick up. Our friendly driver was waiting outside the terminal with a sign with our names on it. The vast differences from Cambodia and Vietnam were immediately visible on the drive across the island to the south end of Phuket. Summed up in one short sentence; this part of Thailand is more affluent with fancy cars, a well-maintained highway network, brand name stores and much to my surprise, hardly any countryside to admire on the hour-long drive.
Where to Stay in Phuket
I am grateful we had done our research as to where to stay and which areas to avoid in Phuket. The south end of the island is quaint and cozier compared to the rather touristy Patong Beach on the mid-island west coast. We spent six nights at the Le Piman Resort, Rawai and paid CAD $78.00 per night, breakfast included. We booked with Expedia. Our budget did not allow for a beachfront property but we enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and amenities at Le Piman including a wonderful pool and cozy dining area. The private bungalow-style units were comfortable and had a small kitchen area. We prepared smaller snacks in the kitchen but for the most part, we dined in the restaurant on-site. The staff was friendly and helpful. A big shout out to the front desk manager and chef.
Phuket Scooter Rental
We rented a scooter at Le Piman but you have many options for rentals across Phuket. No matter where you stay a rental place will be nearby. The scooter was so much fun and gave us a tremendous sense of freedom. As I wrote in an Instagram post from Cambodia, riding a scooter makes you feel eighteen all over again and for a brief moment navigating the curvy roads and viewing the beaches from the viewpoints gave me a rush I would compare to the times in our early twenties when we would drive around British Columbia from ski resort to ski resort spotting the ski runs from the road.
Despite our adventurous reputation, we visited our favourite French bistro “Chez Nous” five out of our six days on the island for the best coffees and baguette sandwiches.
Best Beaches in Phuket
It was wonderful to have the scooter as it allowed us to explore a new beach almost every day. Rawai Beach was only a few minutes away. We would go to Rawai beach in the evening, taking in the atmosphere and enjoyed a seafood dinner one night. Our favourite beaches, Kata Beach and Karon Beach, had the greenest, warmest and cleanest water and waves which knocked us both over a couple of times. We scootered up to visit Patong Beach. A very popular choice in Phuket but the area was over the top touristy for us. Patong Beach was a disappointment with huge crowds and somewhat murky water.
Needing a break from constantly looking for scenes to shoot, I left my camera in the hotel safe for almost the entire duration of our Phuket stay. I travelled light and relied on the iPhone to do the job. The one time I did take out the camera was for a sunset walk at Rawai Beach. After sunset the kids were out playing. It was low tide and the game was; let's pretend we are fishermen.