The perfect place because every season is suitable !!!!!!!!
It is finally the 1st of September 19:30 and my friend, and I are departing O R Tambo after planning this trip for 10months. We managed to get a black Friday special from STA Travel which my friend and former colleague Chervelle helped facilitate – you can contact her on 0614606463 tell her I sent you – she’s a super travel agent.
We flew from Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways, which is the 2nd largest airline in the UAE – and has a home base of Abu Dhabi. After 16+ hour flight, we landed in Phuket, and all we needed was our passport and no other paperwork. We each purchased a travellers sim card which worked for 8day of our 10day vacation. I recommend booking all your airport transfers before arriving just to limit costs when you get there. We spent R1200 each for four transfers to and from all the airports. We also paid travel insurance with STA travel and getting it was very smooth.
Thai Baht 1 = 0.50 South African Rands
I would recommend carrying cash (Rands – R5000+-) and exchanging the rands at the airport once you land – this way, you avoid the commission charged when swiping or withdrawing from ATM’s. Phuket is the land of cash – I only swiped at restaurants but used cash for everything else. TIP: Inform your bank that you’ll be travelling just to avoid any inconveniences.
- Pad Thai: This is a must-try – easy on the pallet and very hard to hate.
I had a budget of R1000 a day but went over budget and had absolutely no regrets about that because deep down I like things and am willing to pay for a once in a lifetime experience. This trip was my second trip that I fully funded but my first BIG trip so now I know better when it comes to budgeting for activities.
- 31st of August Sunday: Travel Day (Overnight flights are the best thing to ever happen to me) – carry travel tablets and drink lots of liquids (water + soda water) when on a long flight, try to walk around every 3hours.
- 1st of September Monday: Arrived and went straight to Bangla Road – There are drinks specials EVERYWHERE – spent around R350 including transport.
- 2nd of September Tuesday: Phuket Island tour (includes Big Buddha, old Phuket town and any other inclusion you want) – make sure to negotiate with a cab / ask questions and have fun & Drinks at Marina Hotel (By the way there are entrance fees to hotel pool areas if you are not a guest there)= R1500
- 3rd September Wednesday: Banana Beach & Racha island / Snorkelling/kayaking = R1200 – All-inclusive (Transport to and from our hotel and food) we booked this with STA Travel.
- 4th of September Thursday: Patong Beach for Paragliding & Jet Skies = R1200 combined
- 5th of September Friday: Cafe Del Mar Beach Club & Illusion night club =. R1500
- 6th of September Saturday: Phi Phi Island Tour and overnight glamping at Roost = R1000
- 7th of September Sunday: Roost Glamping / Beach and pool day
- 8th of September Monday: Travel day – Flew to Bangkok on Bangkok Airways and visited the night market – Spent R200 on souvenirs.
There’s so much to do in Phuket that you can’t do it all over 7days – I have to return. We chose not to do any animal-related activities just to preserve and ensure that we are not contributing to the suffering of animals. No, we didn’t visit an elephant sanctuary, no we didn’t see the tigers, and no we didn’t go to a snake show. Etc.
Where to eat:
(Above Pic: Pad Thai)
- Tuk Tuk: Last resort lol
- Motorbikes: Favorite
- Cabs: Only great for long-distance commuting
Passport / Visa requirements:
- Visa Free for South Africans.
- Chervelle Fuller: STA Travel – 0614606463
I wouldn’t use a travel agent again, but if you want the peace of mind that comes with having a trained professional assisting and advising you, then I would recommend getting one. Agents are great as a starting point and for booking flights.
An estimate of how much to budget for activities:
R5000+ over 7days: make sure to negotiate negotiate negotiate
Where to stay:
Kata / Karon Beach
Thailand has so many beautiful options – there’s something beautiful for every budget.
I didn’t like our hotel (I need a window in my bathroom), but it was central, and we only went there to sleep and shower. I would compare it to staying at Garden Court Marine Parade in South beach Durban. I wouldn’t return or recommend it – the staff members are amazing and very, very helpful.
Happy to answer any further questions you have.