Community Manager
Apr 2, 2012
Chiang Mai
I had become pissed off with the smoke pollution around Chiang Mai so decided to hop onto a plane and fly directly to Phuket where I hoped to get beach sand between my toes, eat fresh sea-food, splash in the surf and breathe safe, fresh air. Even if only for a few days.
Kata and Karon beaches beckoned.

This report will start off in sequence the become quite random and finish up in sequence.

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Off to CNX airport.

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Which was quite busy.

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A 2 hour direct flight to Phuket.

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I caught the 'Smart Bus 101' which is just to the left at exit of the domestic terminal.
100 baht only to many destinations from the airport to beyond Kata.
It's a good service and the drivers are friendly and safe.
(link added later)

A stroll along Karon beach.

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And check in to the Karon Princess Hotel, which I highly recommend.
(link added later)

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I would have paid extra for this bath tub!

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They seem to cater for Russian guests.

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It had to be fresh seafood that night.
Already I was noticing the expenses here; about three times more than in Chiang Mai.

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I like the local taxis.
I was going to take one for the one km ride to collect a motorbike but I was informed the 200 baht price was fixed by authorities higher up!
So a nice stroll along the esplanade.

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That enormous sports stadium at Kata beach is dead and is now being used as a car park.
Prime land for a wealthy and 'attached' investor.


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The bike shop I use is a 'no name' business.
They offer fuss-free service and have near new bikes as well as older ones.
Just a copy of my passport was adequate and no deposit.
It is just up the hill about 50 metres from Kata Villa.

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My weapon of choice was a near new Honda Click 125i.

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(part 2 coming)
Then to a hidden gem named 'Blankets and Pillow'.
Just mind the last few metres of their dirt driveway, especially if riding a gearless scooter!
(7.828167, 98.292798)

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Then on to Promthep Cape.
(7.763425, 98.305432)





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View from the cape.


And on to Rawai beach for a snack.

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The little Honda back at Kata Beach.
What a great little bike.
That engine is very strong and smooth and handled the hills of coastal Phuket quite willingly.
Their 160i must be quite an engine.

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A new mosque between Karon and Patong.

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The remarkable architecture of the Royal Paradise Hotel in Patong.

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Tip of Kata Beach.


Kata sunset.

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And indulge here at the delightful 'Sweet Talk'.

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I tried Borsch for the first time and enjoyed it.

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Then around to the Rawai and Kamala areas.

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Although many projects and businesses have gone bust, there are some bold new ventures taking place.

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This one, for example, on the esplanade at Karon has died.


And it appears progress has halted on this major development.


At the delightful Surin Beach.

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Cutie entertaining herself whilst Mum makes food.


Happily, this Temple is being restored.


At Kamala Beach.
Dream, dream, dream.
These pics are all from an old 'phone.
It has obvious weaknesses on zoom, so I'll dig out my trusty Nikon A900 for future work.

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Back towards Karon, with a stop at the trendy 'Cafe Phuket Viewpoint'.


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A village mosque.


Back to Kata beach for a final dip.

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The Karon roundabout, one of the meeting places for the airport bus service.

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Monks' area in Phuket airport (which was very busy).
Actually, the Patong area was thriving when I was there and Kata/Karon were both only lightly attended.


And after all the 'social distancing' requirements at both airports, we were bundled like sardines into this bus upon arrival at CNX airport!


So that little indulgence worked wonders.
Its another, albeit expensive, world down there and only two hours away.
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Refreshing to see Phuket through your eyes during this changing era.

Like you, last time I ventured there I flew in/out, renting a local motorcycle for a week. So much easier than flogging myself and my motorcycle the four long days to get there and back. And far less expensive for the budget conscious traveler.

Thanks for sharing - I'll put Phuket back on my hit list unless it becomes overflowing once again with what they want/need, the tourist hordes.

Dr. G
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine, and Adventure Motorcycle University
Moto-Journalist, author, script consultant, and motorcycle wastrel
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
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