We visited Phuket with Evan was 5 months old. My sister was in town so we had the perfect excuse to pack our stuff, diapers, bottles, and all and head to the paradisaical beaches in the south of Thailand. This was our first time flying by plane with out little Evan so I was very excited and scared at the same time. We flew Air Asia and had a great experience getting there and back.
After some research, not enough I would say, we ended up staying in Patong beach. It turns out Patong beach is a party beach, not exactly appropriate for a couple with a babybjorn permanently attached to their chests. Let alone my 19-year-old sister who was eager to go out by herself every night (yes, I’m overprotective, I know. People say Dany has two moms and that I’m the sterner one).
Patong beach is not exactly a beach where you want to go swimming. Let alone let your baby roam around freely and crawl. At the public beaches, all kinds of vendors harass you and try to make you buy overpriced souvenirs, mango sticky rice and flipflops. I would know, I’m an expert Chatuchak shopper and I remember I had seen the same flipflops for 100 baht, not the 500 they were asking for. The sand was not as white and powdery soft as I was expecting it to be and multiple motorboats made me scared of jumping in the water. I think I was expecting to see the kind of beaches I was used to seeing in Thailand. Clean, almost uncivilized and a two-hour drive away from Bangkok. Patong beach was not at all like that. Don’t get me wrong, remember I was a new mom who used to freak out about everything that might go wrong. The scenery was great but I wasn’t used to such touristy beaches. On the upside, a few blocks away from our hotel a very lively nightlife was awaiting anyone brave enough to venture into it. I visited the area often just to get my daily dose of Starbucks.
The hotel we stayed in, Burasari Hotel, had gorgeous rooms and suites for fairly good prices. When we arrived we were greeted by a welcome smoothie and great Thai hospitality. We stayed at a small suite. My sister slept in the daybed and we were provided a nice sturdy crib for Evan. The pool was very nice and warm and a melting pot of tourists came together. All with different travel aims. We got to meet a few families with babies, some honeymooners and the occasional group of single guys looking to have fun. Overall the hotel had great staff. They were all very friendly and helpful and greeted Evan with a big smile and by name in traditional Thai manner. We loved their fresh juice bar and Evan was happy to be paraded around the restaurant as we enjoyed our fresh smoothies. Another plus, the Hard Rock Café was our neighbor. Guess who ate grilled hamburgers at every opportunity? What were you thinking of course it was 5 month old Evan….
Since my sister didn’t have the opportunity to ride an Elephant in Bangkok, we went on an Elephant Trekking Tour at the Kinnaree Elephant Center. We did a short tour of the jungle that lasted about an hour. It was a lot of fun and very different to what I had previously done in Bangkok since we went up and down streams and hills. I don’t recall the price exactly but I do remember that it was more expensive than in Bangkok. It was worth it nonetheless.
After realizing we were not going to be swimming at the beach in our hotel we decided to go on a day tour of Phi Phi Islands . Yes, the same ones that were featured on The Beach movie. Let me tell you I can see why. They are just gorgeous and all that I was expecting from a Thai beach and more. Although it was highly populated by tourists it was simply gorgeous. The views, the warm water, the incredible snorkeling made it worth the boat ride there. We spent the whole day snorkeling and walking around the island. The island has a great bohemian feel that just entices you to relax and enjoy life. This is definitely a place I want to see again and hope to visit in the near future.
Our short four-day trip gave us a good taste of Phuket. Since we thought we would be staying in Bangkok for longer we were certain we would visit Phuket again with some of our visitors so we didn’t check out some of the main attractions such as Fantasea or any of the temples. Nonetheless, I would say it was nice to cross it out of our to-visit list and I would love to go back and look at it thru different eyes. Maybe the eyes of a toddler and not a new mom freaking out about all the seaweed around my baby boy.