Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Highlights From Our Honeymoon In Phuket, Thailand

It's been over a year since my husband and I shared our first holiday as a married couple. Despite our circumstances then (he went back to work abroad, while I recuperated from a major surgery), we finally made it to our honeymoon a few months later.



We've been to Thailand (Bangkok) a few years back but on separate occasions. So we were quite ecstatic to finally experience the country together, but this time to explore Phuket. Considered as one of the world's finest beach destinations, Thailand's biggest island is also packed with some of the most interesting sights and sounds - making it a must-see getaway. 


While there were plenty of popular beaches to choose from, we decided to stay in Karon where the shore is said to be much calmer. The beach town, which is a good combination of Patong and Kata (less busy than the former, and more livelier than the latter), was perfect for us.

HONEYMOON ON A BUDGET

We traveled to Phuket to also celebrate my birthday. So we splurged a little bit more for this particular travel. We knew that our trip would be heavy on the wallet (oddly enough, Phuket is more costly than Bangkok or Pattaya), so we made sure to set aside a certain budget per day while on the island, which we were able to achieve (without starving)! 

We were also able to compensate for our week-long travel by spending the first 4 nights at an affordable Airbnb in Kata (Sea Host Inn), while the last 3 nights were spent at a resort hotel in Karon (Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach).

AUTHENTIC THAI CUISINE AT THE PAD THAI SHOP 

Our first few days in Karon were spent eating nothing but Thai food. Should you go on a hunt for that honest-to-goodness bowl of Pad Thai, look for the Pad Thai Shop. It's just a 10-minute walk from Sea Host Inn (walk towards Karon). A big bowl only costs 50 Baht, which is already good for two people.

Dining here was an experience on its own. I loved how local and authentic the staff was (mostly family members manned the floor). I also loved how the kitchen was open for everybody to see, especially for those who liked to take glimpses of their food being prepared. I specifically liked how the cooks tossed their ingredients in their big Woks, and how the aroma of the spices and burnt meat populated the air. Now, the ambiance may not be all that appealing (a no-frills canteen setup). But a visit to this food stand should definitely be on your list. I kid you not. Their food is deliciously packed and worth every penny! 

NOTE: It's only open for lunch.

WHY WE LOVE KARON BEACH

Karon Beach is a wonderful and relaxing place. The waves were strong but tolerable, and the sand was fine and clean. The water was also clear and surprisingly warm. It's basically where we spent most of our mornings and afternoons in Phuket. Now, it may not be as beautiful as our shores in the Philippines (yes, I'm biased), but it's definitely nice. 


Another advantage to staying on this beach is that it never gets crowded. You'll have plenty of room to set up a blanket without worrying about stepping on other people. And the best part of all, you're allowed to bring food and cold beverages by the shore.


NOTE: Should you bring food and drinks to the beach, make sure to dispose of your trash responsibly.

There are also plenty of food options when you stay near or along Karon Beach. You can walk a great part of the beach, and still find a variety of restaurants, all ready to take your orders. We actually made it our goal to eat only local cuisine while in Phuket (about 75% of the time). Then again, we couldn't deny ourselves to also order food that we were used to eating back at home (i.e. Italian, American).



One of the things that we loved about the food scene in Phuket is the fried ice cream. I've seen something like it back in the Philippines, but never really tried it. And it was only in Karon that I got to appreciate how good and unique it was. We probably ordered a bunch of these affordable treats while chilling by the streets of Karon and Patong. 

STOPOVER AT PATONG VIA MOTORCYCLE

My husband asked me countless times if we could rent a motorcycle so that we'd be able to explore the nearby beach towns easily. Not only will we get to cut on costs (expensive tour fees), we'll also have the luxury to go around at our own pace. It probably took me two days to decide before saying yes to him, as I was never keen on riding bikes. Not that I didn't trust his driving skills. I was just apprehensive about the risks that could happen, as we didn't have any travel insurance at the time.

We found a place that had motorcycles for rent (there's plenty of shops like it in town), one that also offered a bike that my husband fancied. The owner actually required that we surrender one of our passport's, on top of the full payment, as a collateral. But we didn't provide any of ours, for fear that it might get misplaced. Luckily, we were able to persuade the merchant into lending the vehicle to us, leaving her to trust just our word. Of course, we stayed true to our agreement and brought the vehicle in good condition on the same day.

PATONG BEACH = PARTY BEACH!

Patong is nice but a little crowded for our taste. The area itself kind of reminded me of Boracay, though it looked more congested (plenty of water vehicles docked or parked by the shore). Several tourists came here not just to sunbathe by its shores, but to also experience the water activities and the bar scene. Patong definitely exuded that party vibe - something that we weren't quite interested in. We just stayed here for a few hours (lounged by the beach and ate fried ice cream) before driving back to Karon. 



THE MOVENPICK EXPERIENCE

My husband and I rarely go on luxurious getaways. But when we do, we make sure to save ahead of time. And when an opportunity to stay at Movenpick for a discounted price presented itself, we grabbed the deal and booked right away. 


I loved the privacy that we experienced during our entire stay, and how it gave us a relaxing retreat. We certainly loved our villa and the whole resort ambiance (the pools were gorgeous), enjoyed the VIP treatment, savored the meals served to us and more. It was truly a nice vacation - one that was worth saving up for. 



We may have canceled our honeymoon in El Nido. But Phuket definitely made up for all of the things that we had to give up then. We certainly had an amazing time on this lovely beach destination, and we can't wait to come back!

*OUR Sea Host Inn, Kata and Movenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach hotel reviews will be up SOON!


*CHECK OUT KLOOK FOR THAILAND TRIP DEALS!

Explore & Be Free!

Mai

2 comments:

Claire | Traveling Light said...

Motorbike rides are love! :) But I prefer riding with a local guide as the driver, so gets ko apprehension mo hehehe. Merry Christmas and belated happy anniv!

Mai Flores-Campos said...

Thank you, Claire! <3 Mahal kasi tours sa Phuket eh, kaya pumayag nako mag DIY hahaah.. Happy New Year! <3