Ah, Phuket. When one thinks of Phuket, images of beaches and resorts and tourists come to mind. I just googled “Phuket” and the photos are beautiful and blue! My experience in Phuket was a little bit not like that.
When we arrived on land, thousands of taxi drivers approached us trying to look for business (similar to Penang). We just chose the guy who seemed to speak the best English. My family and I hadn’t done too much research on what we should do in Phuket, so we ended up just going along with whatever our taxi driver suggested. Not the safest way of organizing a day of sightseeing! Anyway, get ready for a retelling of the most random day ever.
NOPPARAT ELEPHANT CAMP
Elephant trekking is pretty popular as a tourist attraction in Phuket. However, I would not recommend the place we visited. (I don’t even have much info on it, but I know it’s close to Patong! This is what I get for blindly going in some random dude’s car.) We bought our tickets for the ride and were told to wait 20 minutes before our assigned time. The problem was, there was no assigned time, and everything was chaotic and disorganized and there was a huge lack of communication between the staff members on the ground and the staff members on the little raised hut above the ground (where people could actually get on the elephants), so anyway we just pushed and wormed our way through and finally we got ourselves on an elephant!
The short ride was pretty fun; it was pretty bumpy and our elephant was afraid of a nearby bulldozer so she kept walking into the trees. We also saw elephants pee and poo and flirt with each other (splash each other with water).
(When we arrived home from our trip to Asia, a photo popped up on my Instagram feed of a model visiting an ETHICAL elephant camp in Phuket … and I truly cannot say for certain whether or not the camp we visited was ethical! I feel very badly about it.)
GEMS GALLERY PHUKET // TripAdvisor
Our next stop was the world’s largest jewellery store: Gems Gallery Phuket. The best part of this stop was a little train ride (similar to something you might find at Disneyworld), which taught us about the geography and science of how gems are made, as well as the importance of jewellery in different cultures, religions, and royal families.
Then we went into the “factory,” which was really a small workshop where we saw people working on various products. They were all so hardworking with their microscopes and little tweezers! The jewellery is so detailed and intricate and the jewellery makers have to be so careful and focussed; I would surely go blind if I ever had a job like that.
The last part of the stop was entering the store. I had no interest in buying any jewellery, but there were sharks and fish in tanks and I found that very exciting! (We weren’t allowed to take photos in the store, but just imagine the little fishies swimming around with jewellery!)
THEP-PRASIT HONEY FARM // website
Why in the world did we visit a honey farm?! My parents bought some food items and we looked at the beehives and some funnily-shaped bee houses.
Lunch was definitely the best part of the day for me. I have no idea where we ate or what the restaurant was called, but here is a photo of the sign for those of you who can read Thai!
We basically ate on the beach, with a beautiful view of the water and the cloudy skies.
The ~authentic~ Thai food was delicious! I wasn’t really able to eat the curry and the tom yum soup was unquestionably much too spicy for my taste buds, but the Pad Thai was soooo tasty! I washed it all down with a deliciously sweet iced coffee.
WAT CHALONG / website
Our final stop was Wat Chalong, a temple. It was raining pretty hard and so I really didn’t want to take off my shoes to enter the temple. We took some photos of the temple’s exterior but I have no idea what the inside looks like. In fact, I don’t really know anything about Wat Chalong! I’m a terrible tourist.
I had a great time in Phuket, but if you ever go, I hope you have a better time than I did!