After Bangkok it was time to head down to switch gears and head to the beach. You can get to Phuket on just about any budget, but in my opinion, to make your stay truly enjoyable, it’s important that you pick a clean, friendly, well-located resort. For an extra $40-$60/night, you see a big difference. Katathani Resort on Kata Beach was a perfect choice. It is located a few minutes off of the main road, but it’s downtown Kata is perfectly walkable. With several pools, restaurants, and a great beach front location, I would highly recommend this spot for your next stay in Phuket.
While in Phuket, taking a day trip out to see the famous Phi Phi Islands is a must. The hotel recommended the Tropical Andaman Marine Tour, which ended up being a great choice. The tour costs 3,100 baht (roughly $100) and includes hotel pickup, lunch, and stops at five different islands.
One compliant that you will hear a lot regarding speedboat tours is that they are usually very crowded, and there is not a lot of time to enjoy on each of the islands. Unfortunately, for one day trips this is almost always unavoidable. The crew on our tour made a considerable effort to get to different islands and lagoons quickly, as to beat the crowds, but there were some spots that were likely crowded all day. If you are looking for an experience a little less crowded, it’s worth it to look into an overnight option on the islands.
One of the great parts about my stay in Thailand is that my mother was able to join me! After 7 weeks of travel, it was definitely nice to see a familiar face. Aside from relaxing, she was also breaking in one of her bags that she decided to bring with her on the trip. Her company, Hoist Away Bags, repurposes old, retired sails into functional tote bags that are perfect for any vacation. Everything we needed for the day fit comfortably, and thanks to the sail cloth, stayed dry all day.
After a long day of island hopping, it was nice to head back to the resort, order some room service, and watch the sun set from the beach with a mango daiquiri in hand. This day trip was a good first step on the way to relaxation for the rest of the trip, and is a must-do for anyone visiting the Phuket area.