Oh oh oh Merry Xmas!!! This surely is the most unsual winter vacation to date for us, far from our families and on the beach! We gotta say that after being in India for almost 2 months we were eager for some rest, privacy and comfort, but while you can certainly find those in Phuket, the island fails to deliver an authentic Thai experience, or barely any experience. Like many mass-tourism destinations, they sold out for cash. Once a lush tropical paradise, this place is now filled with pool resorts, mediocre restaurants, cheap bars and sleazy massage parlours. As the law of demand and offer is driving the universe, this says a lot about the type of tourists that you find here: families that hang out from dawn to dusk by the pool and eat buffet dinners, youngsters that get wasted all day and party all night and solo/group travellers looking to fulfill their sexual fantasies at the detriment of poor village girls or boys (or both).
All in all, we found Phuket and Southern Thailand depressing. But we still managed to have fun and make the most of a last-minute uninformed decision (coming to Thailand). Phuket old town was pretty nice, with a big market where you can taste the real street food, the sea gypsy village is THE place to go to for booze and laughs with villagers, the temples offer a relaxing gateaway from the crowds and the local rom distillery is a must-do if you enjoy spirits.
In the nearby islands you get a glimpse of the relaxed athmosphere you were longing for, a taste of real local food and you can definetly find some cool spots to rest on the beach and enjoy the view.
Pabuk the storm cuts short our beach vacation in the most dramatic way possible, and who are we to fight the force of nature?