On the eve of my journey to Thailand, I was told that Phuket and the Phi Phi Islands offer the perfect mix of serene solitude and underwater adrenaline rush.
That is how I ended up choosing Phuket over the rest of Thailand. Later, while present there physically, I realised that Phuket has both beauty and incredible verve – from island hopping to underwater diving to high-energy regattas. No wonder it is called the ‘Pearl of the Andaman’.
The place offers the ideal undisturbed serenity for the lotus-eaters, who want to melt into the stunning tropical sunsets and the warm blue sea. For the romantic, Phuket’s vibrant nightlife on Pa Tong beach is forever eager to add that zing!
Born in such beautiful surroundings, people are soft-spoken, friendly, ever smiling, warm and hospitable.
For the modern traveller who is eager to explore and experiment, Phuket is the right place that offers a variety of activities. The adventurous can go elephant trekking, white water rafting, swim under a waterfall, go on an ATV ride, or try flying through the air, suspended from a wire on the Flying Fox or play golf on emerald green golf courses.
All these are possible and more! I chose to spend my time mostly in the blue sea with its matchless beauty.
I opted for the famous James Bond Island Tour with a delicious Thai and seafood lunch.
The gourmet fare proves to be as tantalising as the exclusive sea kayaking through the caves and spectacular islands.
It is a famous landmark in Phang Nga Bay that found its way onto the International tourist map after being featured in a James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun.
A distinctive feature of this famous bay is the number of sheer limestone cliffs that vertically jut out of the emerald-green water.
Phi Phi Islands is just one hour away from Phuket. I had the perfect adrenaline rush as the speedboat cut through the sea, foaming and splashing as I held onto the edge of the boat.
Phi Phi is considered to be the ultimate in tropical islands, with imposing limestone cliffs rising from serene blue waters.
Danny Boyle’s The Beach was filmed here, catapulting these islands to international fame. I made it a point to see the ‘paradise’ location in Maya Bay in Ko Phi Phi Lee.
Now I know why people fall for this place: it is the perfect spot for a day trip to soak up the sun.
Swimming, snorkelling and relaxing on the beach at Khai Nok Island is a day well spent in paradise. The island boasts of abundant shallow reefs teeming with local fish, clear waters and a white sandy beach. Phi Phi and Tachai Islands are great places for snorkelling with crystal clear waters.
I had a great time in the underwater – it is a different and wonderful world! I marvelled at the lovely colours of the various sea creatures, especially small fish.
Coming from the palette of the creator, the dazzling colours and designs are just mind-boggling!!
For those who have not snorkelled before, one can opt for guided snorkelling with experts and experience the amazing underwater world.
For some time at least you will feel you’re part of an underwater expedition team documenting the wonder of underwater marvels.
Getting there: There are direct flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore to Phuket.
Visa: Thailand visa on arrival – The fee is waived off till October 2019. If one applies for visa from here before leaving India, the fee is Rs 2,500+ commission
Things to do: Phuket is a unique holiday island blessed with great natural beauty and a wealth of things to see and do
Getting around: Can create your own tour itinerary. Hotels too arrange private minivans for hire.