Epic Family Journey

The mirage of Phuket

Let’s start with a little visualization exercise… Imagine yourself on the island of Phuket in Thailand, you probably imagine yourself on a paradise island, worthy of a scene from the movie “The beach”, lined with white sand that would lead you gently towards a turquoise water. We, too, had the same image in mind, probably like a ton of tourists that were there at the same time as us. We should have known better, the blogs we had read mentioned that Patong Beach was very busy and our Lonely Planet guidebook mentioned that we would either love it or hate it. In this post, we are going to tell you about an unfortunate beginner’s mistake. ? After booking our plane tickets, we were very excited to spend 10 days on a paradise beach in Thailand. We then realized that the high season was in full swing and that the family rooms were already booked, except for a few top range hotels that were clearly above our budget.

To our defence, we never really had a problem booking a last-minute room, here we are talking about a month in advance. This is probably not possible in Phuket. The booking websites showed that 95% of the rooms were already gone, so you can imagine the amount of tourists that were on the island at the same time as us. The only rooms we could afford were either in Phuket Town (far from any beach) or in Patong Beach (by the beach !!), we chose Patong Beach to avoid having to commute to get to a beach. How many times during our trip did we read on a blog that a town or an attraction was not so great, but that we ended up having a fantastic time. So we did not pay too much attention to the recommendations and we trusted fate when we planed our stay in Patong Beach thinking that we could always visit other beaches around the island. Another beginner’s mistake.

Upon arriving in Patong Beach, we quickly realized that we were not in our place, even more so because we had just spent two weeks in a hidden gem in Thailand. Unfortunately, there was no public transport between the different beaches. There were many shuttles going to the various beaches on the island, but all of them were leaving from Phuket Town. There was the option of using taxis which we refused to take by principle since the mafia of taxis on the island was charging a small fortune for short distances. Finally, there was the option of renting scooters, but Karine was too afraid to bring the boys on the road with so much traffic. Let’s say that we saw a few people with serious injuries on the streets and we assumed that it was due to scooter accidents. So we decided to walk.

During our stay at Phuket Beach, we enjoyed a wonderful temperature, a shining sun, a blue sky and absolutely no rain. The water was nice and warm, but not exactly turquoise. The beach has a sandy bottom and with all the activity in the water, there is a lot of sand in suspension. So the kids could not go snorkelling. They are carrying their snorkeling equipment since our trip to Greece and they can’t wait to use it again. Nevertheless, the boys had a lot of fun playing in the water, especially when there were waves. The beach is made of beautiful white sand and is relatively clean considering the amount of people who are spending the day there, sunbathing. We spent our morning in the shade of palm trees reading while watching our charming boys play in the water.

Patong Beach is trying to be more family friendly, but the vast majority of the visitors like to party hard and late. We were courageous enough to take a walk on Bangla Street, don’t worry, it was still very early in the evening. Here, everything is set up for the pleasure of tourists including: sellers of illicit substances and the incentive to play alcohol games proposed by very beautiful girls. Simon was always holding hands with one of the boys, as he was tired of being offered services classified “for adults only”. There were also the masseuses who were offering their services on the doorstep of their business by saying “Massaaaaaaage! “. At the end of our stay, Kolya was literally losing his cool any time he was hearing the words “Cutiiiiiiiiiie Boy” which he (as Hugo) was being called a dozen times a day. Honestly, Patong Beach was really just not our style. We have had our dose of being solicited every two seconds in other countries and we have kept a short temper when this happens ever since.

Although, all the beaches are public on the island, some beaches are practically inaccessible since they are part of a resort. If we had to go back, we would have stayed in Phuket Town and would have taken the shuttle to visit the different beaches on the island. We spent a nice day in Phuket town, when we took the opportunity to visit a Post Office museum, have a nice walk in the old downtown and sightseeing old Portuguese architecture. 

Anyway, there is worse than spending a week in this beautiful corner of the world. We heard that it snowed a lot in Canada ?. Our stay on the island of Phuket concluded our adventure in Thailand. This is a wonderful country to visit as a family and we will definitely stay here again in the future.

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