$100 in Phuket, Thailand

The Cape Island: Phuket

Phuket

View from the Big Buddha at the top of Nakkerd Hill

Another island in Southeast Asia was ticked off the list, Phuket – Thailand. Well, I’ve been in this country twice, first was in Bangkok last November 2017 and this time is on the island of Phuket.

Phuket is known for its tropical beaches, temples and their lavish royal palaces. Actually, Thailand itself has a lot to offer when it comes to the history of their opulent palaces. The island is the country’s largest island. It was formerly known as Thalang, came from the Malay word “Telong” which means “cape”.

I’ve stayed in Phuket for 4 nights and 3 days to meet a friend of mine and experience the alluring beaches around it. Aside from that, I was able to dive into their culture when it comes to their food and able to challenge myself again with the thing I called “$100 Challenge”. So basically, this challenge is very self-explanatory. 😊 It’s simple, what are the things I can do and buy with my $100? It’s 3,100 in Thai Baht. So let’s get this thing started…

1st Night

I’m all set from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia heading to Phuket. I had a delayed flight with Air Asia again and arrived late at Phuket International Airport at exactly 10 pm, hungry. LOL.

I met a friend and a previous colleague in Oman who’s currently living in Phuket. We both work at the Front Office department in a 5-star hotel way back 2016 in Oman, Middle East. (Read the article: I’m a quitter to know more about my background before hitting the road.)

I owe her big time because she let me stay in her flat. I’ve also met some amazing people that made this trip extra special. Thank you Ate Jona, Ate Venus, Ate Tina, Kuya Reynante and his family. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon. 😊

It’s not new to me to stay at a friend’s or local’s house when traveling. If you’re familiar with Couchsurfing, I’ve used it a few times locally and internationally. Staying with a friend who’s been living in a place for quite some time or with a local is absolute, an awesome adventure. You will experience and know more about the authentic culture, the way of living, and the history of a country or a place.

My friend picked me up at the airport even though her house is quite far from the airport. Having said that, we just had a quick late night dinner in a local restaurant and call it a day.

DAY 1

On my first day, I decided not to travel that much but rather eat a lot. 😊 For me, Thai cuisines are spicy with strong aromatic and medicinal benefits ingredients. Well, I’m not a fan of any spicy dishes ever since and also because of some stomach issues I had lately. Oopps… 😊

You can always request though if you want your food spicy or not. There are plenty of options to try but here are some of the Thai foods and drinks I’ve tried.

Cha Yen

Drinking my all-time favorite Thai drink “Cha Yen”. It was taken in Promthep Cape.

 

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

 

Veggie springrolls

Veggie Springrolls

 

DAY 2

The next morning is the start of our DIY-tour. We don’t have an actual itinerary for this trip, we did everything spontaneously. Luckily my friend got a motorbike and I think it’s the best way to explore and visit every place on the island. The main destination is The Big Buddha in Nakkerd Hill near Chalong.

As we drive along, we’ve witnessed a variety of sites that captivate our eyes and hearts. We started with Laem Singh beach. I saw the beauty of this beach from Laem Singh viewpoint between Kamala and Surin beach. This only embodied what Phuket can offer to people visiting the island. Most of the tourists are stopping over in this spot as they go to Patong Beach or to The Big Buddha which I will tell you more as we go on.

Laem Singh Beach

Laem Singh Beach’s Viewpoint

On the road to Chalong, you will pass by the redlight city district of the island, Patong but we decided to move forward and get back at night.

After almost an hour and a half drive, we finally reached The Great Buddha. It is also known as Phra Phutta Ming Monggol Akenakiri and declared as the Buddhist Treasure of Phuket. The Big Buddha was made of white jade marble slabs.

The Big Buddha

 

Big Buddha

The Big Buddha

It has a stunning view from the top of the hill. Just be extra careful with your style of clothing. The place is quite conservative and they don’t allow some revealing clothes especially to women. Don’t try to go here in a short skirt, beachwear or shirts with offensive text and images. It is still considered as a religious site and it needs to be respected.

If you forgot to bring more conservative clothes or you don’t have any, there’s an area at the entrance where they provide a batik fabric cloth or a sarong to cover yourself up. Don’t worry it’s free of charge. The Big Buddha is open to the public from 8:00 am-7: 30 pm without any cost.

Golden Buddha

There’s also this small golden buddha made of brass located right next to the Big Buddha. In this spot, people buy sheet metal usually made of tin for 100 THB each and write their wishes, touching messages and goals in life, asking for guidance from the Great Buddha. The money received from purchases is used for the Big Buddha’s maintenance.

Promthep Cape

Sunset at Promthep Cape, Phuket

After that, we went straight to Promthep Cape which is one of the most visited locations in Phuket. Tourists came here and wait for the breathtaking view of the sunset as the gentle cooling breezes waft in.

Patong Beach Phuket

 

Patong Beach

The night came in and we went back to Patong. Like what I’ve said, it’s the red-light city district of Phuket. My mind is telling me to go have a party but my body is telling me to go home and take some rest. Hahaha. Sign of aging. LOL. To be honest, I’m not a fan of partying, drinking and bar-hopping anymore. I don’t know, I just don’t feel the vibe anymore. Compare when I was younger or during college days. Hahaha. Adulting is real. 😊 We just took some photos and went home.

DAY 3

Phuket’s Old Town was the highlight of my last day. This town was made up of five major roads (Thalang, Rasada, Dibuk, Krabi, and Phang Nga). The place was known for its architecture, commerce, and the historical stories of settlement or way of living of ancient Thai people.

The best way to explore this place is to go on foot. So we parked our motorbikes somewhere and continue discovering this “Sino-Colonial” town. You will also notice different magnificent murals painted on the walls in some areas as you go along.

Phuket's Old Town

 

Mural Phuket Old Town

 

Bicycle in Phuket Old Town

 

Since it’s my last day, it’s also the perfect time to buy some souvenirs! Without hesitations, we went to two famous night markets, the Karon Market and Fun Friday Avenue Market at the Boat Avenue on the way to Phuket Laguna.

 

EXPENSES ($100 Challenge)

Things I did and bought

Amount and Price

Tin sheets for my wishes

 2 pieces (200 THB)

Cha Yen

8 times (500 THB)

– prices vary as I bought those in different areas in Phuket.

Spring rolls

1 plate (130 THB)

Pad Thai

1 plate (180 THB)

Calamari

1 plate (230 THB)

Ref magnets

3 pieces (100 THB)

Thai dress for mom

1 piece (150 THB)

Streetfoods, Drinks, and Snacks for 3 days

– Including (Milk Teas, Hot chocolates, etc.)

520 THB

Print Itinerary

3 pages (30 THB)
Breakfast at the airport

100 THB

 

TOTAL

$100 = 3,100 THB

= 2,140 THB

 

What I did with the remaining THB I’ve got? I went to Forex to have it change to USD so I have pocket money going back to Vietnam. That’s around 30 USD. 😊 In short, I’ve spent $70 for my trip excluding accommodation and my airfare.

 

Last Thoughts…

It was a BLAZING HOT and awesome experience!

By the way, to those who are planning to have a vacation on this island who happened to have sensitive skin. I would suggest you bring a sunscreen/sunblock or any sun-protection kinds of stuff. The weather in Phuket was freaking muggy so it might affect your experience and whole trip if you’re not used to this kind of weather. Also, don’t forget to drink a lot of water while exploring the island.

On the other hand, despite the weather, Phuket is something you would look forward to. Honestly, there’s still a lot of things I missed during this trip. Like their famous and relaxing Thai massage, authentic Thai dishes and more. I would definitely go back here to chillax and experience what I’ve missed.

 

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