- Accommodation: Deng’s Guesthouse, Kamala Beach – I found Deng’s guesthouse online while I was searching for a place to stay that was relatively close to the airport for Jul, but still near a nice beach. They operate a small hotel and a guesthouse, the latter being the cheaper option, so we sprung for a 4 person room with private bathroom and A/C for 1,800 baht/night (they put in extra beds at my request). It was a little more than we wanted to spend, but it was located right on the beach so we could enjoy our only night in Phuket.
- Restaurants: There are tons of outdoor restaurants along Kamala Beach. I can’t remember the names of the ones we ate at, but they’re basically all the same with very similar menus. If you go off the beach and onto the main street near the pedestrian bridge there seemed to be some nicer restaurants, but we didn’t have a chance to explore the area.
From Phi Phi we took a 1.5 hour ferry to Phuket. Once we got to Phuket we took a very expensive taxi ride to our guesthouse. It cost almost $20 USD to get from the pier on the eastern coast of the island to our guesthouse on Kamala Beach. However, Phuket is a pretty large island and it ended up taking us about 45 minutes to get there, which makes the $20 more reasonable.
The daughter of the owners of the guesthouse was very helpful in booking a taxi for Jul to the airport in the morning. The taxi cost 700 baht, which is a little more expensive because she had to leave at 5am. It took her about 20-30 minutes to get to airport in the early morning. The girl also helped us book 3 ferry tickets from Phuket to Ao Nang for the next day (600 baht/ticket, included pick-up from guesthouse and transfer to pier). The ferry was in the afternoon so we had the morning to walk around Kamala Beach and eat breakfast.
I had such low expectations of Phuket that I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it was. Yes, there are areas that are sleazy and totally over-developed and it definitely lacks the charm of the smaller Thai islands, but the beaches are still beautiful. Just avoid Patong and Karon if you don’t want to be near the trashy parts. Kamala Beach was crowded with restaurants and stalls lining the entire beach, but it’s still beautiful and very family oriented so you don’t get the wild party animals.
The next day Jul returned to Scotland and Rosie, Brit and I took a 2 hour ferry from Phuket to Ao Nang. We sat outside on the deck and took in the beauty of our surroundings. Our itinerary for the week was definitely not the most efficient route as it would have made more sense to start in Koh Lanta, then go to Ao Nang, and then do Phi Phi and Phuket. Jul’s flight out of Phuket mid-week complicated things a bit, but in the end it was totally fine and we still got to spend the most amount of time in the best places.