I’ll admit, I was a bit hesitant to write this post. I didn’t want to come off negative or snobby, but I’ve decided to just come out with it: I really disliked Phuket, particularly Patong!! ????
As someone that’s usually very open-minded and optimistic when it comes to traveling to new places, I was really disappointed with myself when, after only 1 day there, I was questioning if Phuket would grow on me- especially since I was supposed to live in Patong for a whole month! So, I gave it a week longer, but this only ended up confirming my gut feeling. Here’s why…
- It was completely taken over by tourists– everything from the attractions, activities, nightlife, shopping malls, etc. This made all the prices steeper, the beaches and streets dirtier, and the overall charm lacking completely.
- I often felt unsafe– While on Bangla Road, the center of nightlife in Patong, I both witnessed and heard about numerous physical fights between tourists and locals for NO good reason. Plus, when the tourists went to the police, they were laughed at and weren’t even able to file a police report. The police are VERY corrupt here.
- Authenticity was ruined by tourist traps– I felt like it was nearly impossible to have an authentic or cultural Thai experience here (whether it came to food, activities, scenery, etc.). Even when following TripAdvisor, the top restaurants paled in comparison to those I ate at in Koh Samui and Bangkok, and the activities were no different than any other beach destination in the world ( i.e. jet skiing, kayaking, etc.) I really only like spending my travel funds on unique destinations that have different experiences to offer, and this was something I couldn’t seem to find in Phuket.
- The town is centered around partying– This is usually something I wouldn’t complain about because I always love having some drinks and a fun night out. However, Patong’s style of partying is the kind that makes you feel like you need a shower after. There were go-go dancers at every bar (that look miserable shifting their weight from side to side), “ping pong show” hecklers hollering at you as you walk from bar to bar (if you don’t know what this is, look it up????????), and Thai prostitutes EVERYWHERE mingling with foreigners so old, they could be their fathers. You can find these kind of places pretty much anywhere in Thailand, but in Patong it was particularly overwhelming.
- The “scenery” of Patong is run-down and dirty– When arriving here, I realized how incredibly spoiled I was by Koh Samui and Bangkok. The latter were so visually stimulating everywhere you went, and Patong was quite the opposite. Not only was it dirty, there was nothing new or beautiful about it, not even the beach. This was really disappointing simply because Thailand has SO MANY stunning destinations, so I felt as if I was wasting my time and money there.
- Phuket is only a relaxing, “scenic” experience if you stay at an expensive hotel– A nice hotel here offers you an escape from the madness and even access to nice private beaches in some cases (I can speak of this from my own experience since I spent my last weekend in a hotel.) However, these types of travel destinations aren’t for me- I like places where there’s so much to do and see outside of the hotel that you spend very little time in the room!!
There’s my super detailed list of why Phuket wasn’t for me. I don’t usually like to rant, I just don’t want anyone else to waste their travel funds like I did if these are also qualities that peeve you.
If you take my advice, I recommend skipping Phuket on your next trip to Thailand since there’s so many other beautiful and unique places to visit!
THAT ALL BEING SAID….I’ve decided to spend the next 3 weeks in Krabi, Thailand instead!!! I arrived yesterday and I’m already so in love with this quaint little beach town. There’s so much nature to explore here and I CAN’T WAIT to hop around the surrounding islands!
In the end, I feel really thankful for my experience in Phuket or else I would of never ended up here! Everything happens for a reason!! ????
The view in my new Krabi home: limestone cliffs!
Ao Nang beach ????
“Beach Road” along the sand
My first Krabi sunset ????