Phuket, Thailand

I had been looking forward to Phuket since the very start of my trip planning. I had seen pictures of islands like Koh Phi Phi and just couldn’t wait to get there for all the great photography potential. I was also looking forward to doing some fishing (I’ve been fishing my whole life and love to do it in foreign places).

So I left Chiang Mai and took the short flight down to Phuket. The airport was about an hour from the hotel and I had arranged a pickup through the hotel (Le Meridian Phuket). It was around 230 by the time I got there so I just hit the beach for an hour or two and grabbed some dinner at the hotel buffet. I was in Phuket for 3 nights and had excursions planned for both days. I had to be up bright and early for a fishing trip the next day so I had an early night.

Koh Phi Phi Island near Phuket (more details below)koh phi phi phuket thailand boats in the waterThe pick up for fishing was around 8:15 and we picked up the rest of the guests and arrived at the pier about an hour later. Two my ‘dismay’ none of my fellow fisherman (and women) spoke english. Instead I had been teamed up with 8 burley russians. I had been in touch with the company prior to the trip and was pretty clear that I was hoping for some english speaking guests and also a good day of catching BIG fish. While the trip was fun, neither of these things happened. I wanted to catch big marlin and tunas and instead we caught little 3-5lb blue fin tunas.

phuket fishing boat

We trolled out to our lunch spot for about 2 hours. The weather wasn’t so great and the sea was a bit rough. I don’t get seasick but my assumptions that one of these russians would was affirmed about 45 minutes into the trip when Alex was hurling over the side. Watching a 300 pound russian in a speedo blowing chunks over the side of a fishing boat in Thailand wasn’t on my to do list, but it sure was worth it.

phuket caught fish phuket puking speed

The fishing for most of the day was pretty shitty. Again, it was not what I was expecting (hoping for). After about 2 hours of trolling we stopped for lunch and snorkeling. This added to my frustration as I had booked a FISHING trip and would have been content with eating a PB & J sandwich with fish guts all over my hands. But alas, this was the trip. We had a surprisingly good lunch and did some snorkeling. Lunch was green curry, rice, chicken skewers and veggies. They also cut up some sashimi from one of the fish we had just caught. Afterwards, we started heading back towards the dock and some more fishing. We started getting some bites and even though the fish were very small, it was nice to actually be touching a fishing pole. We took turns (between vodka shots) reeling in the lines and just trying to communicate with each other.

We trolled all the way back to the dock and once there got a transfer back to the hotel. The whole day ran from about 815am to 530pm and cost about 3600THB (figure with tip about $140-$150 per person).

fishing boat in phuket thailand

Ban Zaan Market

I was determined to get out of the hotel for dinner and someone at the hotel had suggested heading to BanZaan market for street food. I’d become a street food expert here in Thailand so I grabbed a taxi and headed into town. BanZaan is just outside a massive mall complex with chain stores and restaurants so I got a bit nervous. But I was not disappointed. They had all kinds of fresh street foods and drinks. I start with 90THB worth of sushi, followed by just a couple BUGS!!! because I figured… “when in rome”… the I grabbed an awesome 80THB grilled squid. All the food was delicious and the bugs tasted like you would expect… like bugs. (more details on the food in this thailand food post)

phuket ban zaan cricketphuket ban zaan wormphuket ban zaan seafood stallphuket ban zaan sushi

 

Koh Phi Phi Tour

I had another early wake up the next day for my trip to Phi Phi Island (where Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The Beach” was filmed). I was very happy to find english speaking Aussies in the van who would be joining me for the day. It was a family of 5, Joe & Teresa and their 3 awesome daughters, Tiana, Ebony and Bianca who were all in town for about a week. I was just excited to be able to speak to people for the day after my very quiet day fishing. We picked up a few more quests and went to the peir to grab some gear and get on the boat.

We were introduced to “Mr. Boy”, our tour guide for the day. He is a self proclaimed future lady boy but he was hilarious. He gave us the rundown for the day and told us we’d be hitting a few islands including 2 of the Phi Phi islands. We got to our first spot, snorkeled a bit and had lunch. Joe and Teresa were nice enough to invite me to have lunch with their family which was really appreciated. We got around to a few more islands, did some more swimming and I got some photography done. We hit one more island where I bought Joe and Teresa a couple of beers and then we headed back to the dock to end the day. The tour company was selling photos and videos that they had been taking all day and you could purchase for $10-$15.

I was making suggestions to Joe and Teresa about places to eat dinner and they invited me back to their hotel for dinner with the family. Another pleasant surprise. After taking quick shower and changing I grab a hotel taxi and met them for a BBQ buffet. It was really good and you could have just about any protein you wanted including seafoods, lamb, veal, beef, pork, etc. It was all delicious and Joe even covered my share, which was completely unnecessary but very much appreciated. I headed back to the hotel and got to bed early. I had a 530am wakeup the next morning to get to the airport for my flight to Japan.

All in all, Phuket was a perfect finish to my thailand adventure. I wish I had a couple more days there though to just relax on the beach or take another excursion or two. The Australians really made the trip that much better and it was a true pleasure to meet them, even for a day.

thailand-phuket-beach-sideways-umbrella thailand-phuket-beach-umbrella-sunset thailand-phuket-beach-umbrellas-with-chairs thailand-phuket-beach-waves-sunsetboat in the water at koh phi phi in phuket thailand island off of koh phi phi in thailand another boat at koh phi phi in phuket thailand the pool at le meridien in phuket

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