We got up bright and early, and took a short plane ride from Chiang Mai to Phuket, and a scenic drive from the airport to our hotel at Kamala Beach. (FYI - Apparently Kamala Beach was one of the beach's hit the worst from the 2004 Tsunami, but 11 years later, you couldn't tell).
We were staying at the Novotel Kamala Beach and the hotel was gorgeous - simple and sleek. Since we arrived so early, our room wasn't ready yet, but the hotel said if we were willing to wait to checkin at 3pm (instead of an early checkin like I requested) we would be upgraded to a suite for free.......ummmm let me think about that for 1 second: YES PLEASE! #pleaseandthankyou #ronswanson #thankyounovotel We were able to change into our bathing suits and then hit the pool to relax while we waited for our room. (Side note: while hanging out at the pool, a couple came up from the beach and the girl had just been stung by a jelly fish across her calf and it looked painful! Brought back bad memories from Hawaii and I was a bit reluctant to go snorkeling in the ocean after seeing that. I didn't want to go through that a second time!)
After hanging out at the pool for a bit, we decided to go explore Kamala Beach. We were able to walk along the beach into the town area. Along the way, there were little restaurants, bars, shops, Thai massages, and vendors. After checking out all the shops and buying a few things, we decided to grab a quick lunch on the beach. As you know, I had to stay with my Tom Yum soup since this became a daily occurrence on our trip to Thailand. Nate enjoyed some Pad Thai, and we enjoyed delicious mango sticky rice for dessert!
After enjoying a relaxing day, we headed back to the hotel so we could check in our room. It did not disappoint and totally worth waiting a little longer to check in! We had a light afternoon rain, but it made for pretty views. We took it easy our first night, ordering in room service and relaxing in our room since we had an early, and long day scuba diving the next day!
The next day, we were picked up at 7am to begin our scuba diving day! We headed over to the Phuket Marina after our van picked up a few other people. We chose to dive with Reef Encounters, and our day would consist of 3 dives with a dive master for just Nate and I. Our dive master was a big German fella with a sense of humor #rightupouralley We wouldn't know what our day would consist of until we got closer to the dive sites and could asses the water conditions - but we would be diving by the Phi Phi islands.
After leaving Phuket Marina, it was about a 2 hour boat ride out to our first two dive sites. Our dive boat was big and had many other dive groups on board (probably about 40 total). We all got to relax and chat with one another on the ride out, and enjoy a little breakfast buffet. At our table on the top deck, we had 3 Chinese photographers from Hong Kong around our age, doing some discover dives - they were all really nice. And I found some Japanese tourists that I got to practice my Japanese with :) Always fun traveling and meeting people!
Due to water conditions, we weren't able to dive at the Phi Phi islands, but we dove at two islands right next to them, Bida Nai and Bida Nok. Our first dive was at Bida Nok. Nate and I were a little rusty and needed to get our buoyancy down the first few minutes, but we figured it out ;) On this first dive we got to see a big school of fish, an eel, Nemo (#wefoundhim), and a scorpionfish.
After our first dive, the boat took us around to the second island, Bida Nai. For this dive, we went down about 75 feet (new record! Before this we had only been down about 60 ft) and had to hold on to the bottom, while we pulled ourselves around the tip of the island since there was a bit of a strong current. Once we got around this part, we were able to swim up the side of the island and see all the coral and sea life growing along the side. It was great, and our dive master took awesome photos (although in my opinion, he was encouraging us to get a little too close for comfort to the lion fish #poisonous - but you know, anything for a great photo ;) ) We got to see bright, beautiful coral (all types), a few lion fish, sea snails, more nemos, and a cuttle fish that we actually got to see change colors with it's surroundings (from light to dark) - pretty legit
After this dive, we headed to our third dive for the day - Koh Doc Mai - which literally means Flower Island. There are different stories of how the place got its name - some say it is because the island was once full of blossoming flowers, and others claim its name comes from the underwater beauty around its shores. I think I agree with the latter. Since it was about an hour or so to get over there, we got to enjoy a tasty buffet lunch (which we def needed after our first 2 dives)!
Also along the way, we got to see a pod of dolphins swim around our boat for a bit!
For our third dive, we headed down about 60 ft where there was an opening for a cave. This was my first time in a cave, and it was a bit eerie swimming in the dark into this cave. We had one flash light between the three of us, and it kept going out. You then would have to bang it against your hand and shake it to try and get it to turn back on. So during this time, you were chill'n or swim'n in pitch black, 60 ft below the surface.....
Something pretty cool about the cave, in side it had two little caverns that you could swim up into. At the top of each of these was an air bubble, where you could take out your mouth piece and actually breath and talk. We were still located 'under water' and under the surface about 7m (15 ft). So when you did talk, your voice sounded different. Wonder how old that air is down there.... #somethingtothinkabout After our flash light went out two or three times while we were in the little air bubble and cave, I was ready to head back out into the light #scardycat
On this dive, we got to see colorful coral again, and a seahorse!! It was super cool and never thought I'd get to see one of these little guys while diving. And right before we went up, Nate spotted a dreaded stone fish #alsoextremelypoisonous #cankillyou, which we of course had to pose for pictures with ;)
After the third dive, we headed back to Phuket. We got to enjoy an amazing sunset on the way. #lifeisgood We finally got back to our hotel around 8pm and enjoyed a quick beer with our dive master
After taking this dive trip - I realize how much easier it is to do boat dives instead of beach dives - which is what our scuba cert was. They have your tanks lined up and ready for you - all you have to do is put on your gear, and step off the side of the boat #easypeezy I need to dive like this more often :)
And I thoroughly enjoyed this day. Riding out to the outer islands of Phuket, and seeing the limestone islands popping out of the water - this was exactly what I pictured when I thought of beaches in Thailand #bucketlist #memories
We decided to take it easy on our last full day in Phuket. We hung out by the pool, and enjoyed the swim up pool bar #happyhour2for1
Anyone who knows Nate and I, knows we like to make friends while we're on vacation (Costa Rica, Cabo, Bora Bora, Cruise in the Caribbean - all of who we still keep up with on fb) - and Phuket was no exception. While at the swim up bar, we met another couple about our age, vacationing from Los Angelos (hey yo! Our part of Cali) - Melissa and Drew. Anyways, we ended up hanging out with them the majority of our last day.
After a few drinks at the swimup bar, we walked along the beach and had lunch at Bob's Bar (Bob Marley themed restaurant). And the answer is yes, I did have Tom Yum soup for lunch. All the tables also had little games on them, so we got to play a round or two of jenga before the food arrived. We then parted ways for a few hours and agreed to meet up around 7 to go to Patong Beach together by taxi.
Nate and I enjoyed a relaxing Thai massage on the beach - 1 hour for $8 - hard to beat and I wish we would have gotten massages EVERY DAY #nexttime
We enjoyed exploring Patong Beach on our last night in Phuket. It's a bit crazy but thoroughly entertaining. And lots of shows with... I'll give you a hint... it involves ping pong balls. #illleaveitatthat All four of us, also got to enjoy a tasty indian dinner before we checked out a club before calling it a night and heading back.
Thank you Phuket, for a wonderful end to our Thailand adventure. I can't wait until Nate and I can go back to Thailand and explore the beautiful country some more!
Follow in our Footsteps:
Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach (beautiful hotel located right on the beach - loved it)
118/16 Moo 3, Tambon Kamala, Amphur Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand
+66 76 303 700
Rumblefish Adventure (diving company)
98/79 Kata Road, The Beach Center | Karon, Mueang Phuket, Kata Beach, Karon, Phuket 83100, Thailand
+66 95 441 8665
Kamala Beach, Kamala, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand
+66 81 535 5392
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!