I don’t have too much to comment about Phuket. I’ve been here several times. The sole purpose of this trip (apart from my extreme fondness for the beach), is to mattress-run for Hyatt Diamond status, while hitting some IHG properties because of a lucrative promotion. So the idea behind this trip is to actually work on the beach while mattress-running, and not actually be exploring. I’ll review the properties I stayed at on separate posts.
Boy, are the taxis in Phuket expensive! My first hotel was not on Patong, so I didn’t have any options with regards to the minivans. I was pretty much left with a taxi. A 30 min journey cost me 500 THB. It doesn’t sound much, but it’s expensive by Southeast Asian standards. I don’t think I brought quite enough cash for this trip!
If you are traveling in Southeast Asia, do consider downloading the following app – Grab (this is actually my invite code, whereby I’ll get $8, and so will you, for your first ride). It is more commonly-used than Uber in Southeast Asia, and its price is competitive with Uber. In the case of Phuket, Uber doesn’t exist, but Grab does. Private cars and taxis can be hired via Grab, and you can pay for the ride via credit card. The only downside is, you don’t earn SPG points. On my way back to the Phuket International Airport, I was out of cash, so I used a Grab Car. The price was competitive with taxis, and I had the option of pre-booking the ride to show up at the hotel at a designated time to send me to the airport.
If you are a way better driver than I am, do rent a car, or if you have balls of steel, rent a motorbike. I suck at driving and am now a wimp, so …
The one big tip I learned from the Holiday Inn Mai Khao hotel manager is, where to eat in Phuket. He suggested Baan Rim Pa, which has several locations. I went to the Patong location, which is a short walk from Hyatt Place Patong. Pricey as it is, I do suggest going there, and making a reservation ahead of time.
Why Baan Rim Pa?
The food is excellent. I had a fried rice, and a duck curry. The duck was succulent, and the curry had a very well-developed flavor. The fried rice is just fried rice, but served as an excellent base to complement the duck curry. I’ve not tried the other dishes, but I’m guessing it should be excellent as well.
Baan Rim Pa Patong is perched atop a small hill that offers amazing views of Patong Beach. In particular, it is the perfect viewpoint for spectacular sunsets. I went at 5 pm on a whim without a reservation, and was told I could dine there if I promise to clear out within an hour. If you want a good table for dinner and the view, do make a reservation and ask for a good spot.
This dinner set me back by 35 USD, so be prepared to open your wallet.