Like Talen here, I’ve always been interested in Asian culture, and particularly interested in traveling the world in general. So last year when I finally got the chance to visit Thailand and other parts of Asia for the first time, and perhaps the only time in my life, I naturally jumped at the opportunity. Thankfully I’d just freed myself from debt, no small thanks to a little 0 balance transfer credit program, and was finally feeling a twinge of financial freedom again.
So what’d I do? I got myself a low interest credit card this time, slapped it down for a plane ticket, and took off for Phuket, a southern province of Thailand that a good friend assured me I wouldn’t be disappointed with. And thus follows the following: a list of the five places/things that I most thoroughly enjoyed in Phuket, which didn’t send me plummeting back into credit card debt.
Old Town Phuket
If you can pull yourself away from the incredible beaches of Phuket, you might think about venturing off to the historically rich Old Town, where you’ll find Sino-colonial mansions, ornate Buddhist temples, cafes, museums, shop houses, markets, and more.
One of Phuket’s most sacred and honored places, the Big Buddha is a must-see. With a body contrived of white Burmese marble that glistens in the sun, Big Buddha is a sincerely breathtaking sight, even for an unenlightened Westerner like myself. Sitting 45 meters high atop of Nakkerd Hills, the amazing statue lookout offers a stunning 360-degree view of the island.
The island’s biggest show, this amazing performance features trapeze acts, dancers, and performing elephants that will blow your trunk. Before the show, satisfy your taste buds with one of Asia’s biggest buffets, offering delicacies from all over the country. Afterwards, if you’re not too full to stand, explore other entertainment including carnival games, market shopping, a palace of elephants, baby tiger feedings, and plenty of food outlets for those that are somehow still hungry.
Phi Phi Island
For the perfect day trip out of Phuket, throw on your swimsuit and cruise through the water by speedboat to Thailand’s most alluring destination. Visit Phi Phi Leh, the location for Hollywood flick, “The Beach,” and spend the day relaxing and wading in some of the clearest water in the world while pretending to be Leonardo DiCaprio – minus the snake blood drinking of course.
Just a quick boat ride from Phuket, this nearby province offers much. Explore James Bond Island, enjoy a seafood lunch at Sea Gypsy Village (built entirely on stilts above the water), kayak through caves, or snorkel around the bay. If you’re even more adventurous, join one of Phuket’s most famous tours and embark on an adventure combining elephant trekking, river rafting, and a waterfall excursion through the luscious mountain forests.
If you won’t take my word for it, then take Talen’s – Thailand really is the land of a thousand smiles. It’s got something to make everyone smile, including you. And if you’re anything like me, and are concerned about spending too much, have no fear, like most places in the world, there are ways to get by relatively cheaply and right now Phuket airfares couldn’t be any cheaper. I hope this list helps you enjoy this beautiful province as much as I did. Happy travels.