After our stay on Koh Samui, (koh means island in Thai), we were headed to Koh Phi Phi by way of Phuket. We had a day of traveling ahead of us, and decided to wing it in Phuket for a night. So we flew in from Koh Samuiâ€™s airport with no lodgings or knowledge of the area whatsoever.
As soon as we got our luggage we figured we had better consult theÂ Rough Guide to tell us what was our best bet. The largest tourist concentration, and the closest destination from the airport, isÂ Patong beach, and from what we saw it didnâ€™t look very relaxing. If youâ€™re looking for a place to party though, that is it. Patong has some pretty cool bars up on the hill.
We decided on the second beach from the airport, known as Karon beach. We found a cheap place called the Brestol Hostel, which runs 200 Baht rooms in the off-season (about 7 dollars). But when we asked for that price, the lady scoffed and told us 400 Baht. Still not that bad considering we only needed a place for one night.
In Karon, we also found the best deals for souvenirs and gifts of anywhere on our trip. The market in Karon is large and the people seem very desperate to sell. Just keep a smile on your face and you can get prices that are a third of the price quoted elsewhere. The people are very happy to bargain with you but donâ€™t seem to understand how much it weakens the effect whenÂ everyone gets a â€œspecialâ€ price.
We went to dinner as we were craving some Mexican food. We met a deeply-tanned Norwegian couple who I swore owned the restaurant. They acted like they owned the place and were tattooed with Thai characters and Norwegian flags. Turns out they didnâ€™t own the restaurant but they have been to Thailand almost 30 times.
What drew us to Karon beach, however, was its long sweeping beach; uninterrupted sand that stretches for two and a half miles and squeaks audibly beneath your feet. Phuket is a very large island, and is connected to Thailand by a highway, which makes it a great jump-off point for travelers who want to experience both beaches and jungles. Karon is a very beautiful beach and the limited amount of time we spent in Karon we enjoyed.
If you like the pictures on the side of this, or any other blog entry, go to theÂ Photos page and click theÂ Blog Photos album. Sometimes there are not enough pictures to necessitate an entire album, so I add them together in one big album. The album has recently been updated, so you might see others that you missed full-size the first time. Scroll to the bottom for these pics.