TravelHer: My Visit To Phuket With An All-Girls Gang
It wasn’t for the first time that I was traveling abroad with an all-girls gang. But this was a group that I was travelling with for the first time. The planning started much in advanced. We actually went over a lot of destinations in the planning stage and finally settled down for Phuket in Thailand. This was my second visit to Thailand but first one to Phuket.
We were 11 ladies who traveled to Phuket via Bangkok. Right from meeting up at Terminal 2 of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj airport to seeing each other off at the same place on our return, every moment was memorable. The entire trip was well planned and organized by a friend who was traveling with us. When I travel with my family, I generally prefer to plan my own trip without the help of an agent. That allows me to go through the process of studying the place well and finding out things to do which will be of interest to me and my family. In bigger groups, it is better to get things organized by an agent.
We were 11 ladies who traveled to Phuket via Bangkok. Right from meeting up at Terminal 2 of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj airport to seeing each other off at the same place on our return, every moment was memorable.
We were in Phuket for four nights. We stayed at Banthai Baech Resort and Spa, which is very close to Patong beach. The beach was at a walking distance and an ideal place for early morning walks. On reaching the hotel we were welcomed with a nice juice as most of the hotels do. That evening we were booked on the Simon Cabaret show. This show was a treat to the eyes. The artists were extremely talented and the show was delighting. That night we feasted on some local Thai food at some local food joints. We had the Red Snapper, Pad Thai noodles, and Mango Sticky Rice.
On the second day, we had planned our visit to Phi Phi Island. For the first time in my life did I experience getting into deep waters for snorkeling. It was a scary but a lovely experience for me. Most of the time on the boat we were on the deck area clicking photographs. On the entire journey, all we spotted were beautiful hillocks, green water and very small untouched islands.
Thailand is famous for fruits and you find fruit vendors selling cut fruits everywhere in Thailand on the streets. Our hotel was in the prime market area and we found fruit and crepe vendors in abundance on the road. Getting mangoes in the month of November was a blessing for us. We had lots of fruits during our stay in Phuket. From this day onwards we started our window shopping. But we were yet far from our shopping spree.
On the second day, we had planned our visit to Phi Phi Island. For the first time in my life did I experience getting into deep waters for snorkeling. It was a scary but a lovely experience for me.
On day three, we did a half day city tour of Phuket. We mainly visited the Big Buddha on Nakkerd Hill and Karon Viewpoint on this tour. Karon viewpoint is a place on a high hill from where one can spot three beaches Karon, Kata, and Patong. It is a beautiful and mesmerizing sight. We also visited the cashew factory where we purchased cashews of different flavor. On our way back we stopped at the shop selling Indigo print dresses. Our shopping spree had thus begun.
On the same evening, we were scheduled to see the Siam Nirmit show. This show was inclusive of lavish Thai food which was a big buffet spread. This is a show which depicts the Thai traditions and gives a brief history of the country. Anyone who goes to Thailand must see this show. A troupe of about 150 performers put up this spectacular show. The sets and costumes are mind blowing. Later in the night we went to the walking street and explored the nightlife of Thailand. The economy of Thailand thrives on the nightlife is what I hear and hence wanted to see what exactly happens. On our way back to the hotel late in the night, we hogged on some road made crepes.
Day four was practically our last day in Phuket and was going to be action-packed one as the day was scheduled for to be spent at Krabi and four islands. We also wanted to shop and indulge in traditional Thai massage. The day began with our trip to Krabi. We had great fun on the boat, singing all the Bollywood numbers in the midst of the sea on the open deck of the boat and surrounded by people from different nationalities. Somewhere in the sea we were put on the speed boat and taken to Tup Island. We had a ball of a time playing in the water. We also photographed ourselves in the backdrop of a small hillock. From there we went to Chicken Island were some amongst us again did snorkeling. We then had lunch at Poda Island and then went to the Pranang Cave beach.Pranang Cave Beach is very beautiful and the seawater is very clean and clear. We then returned back to Phuket. Some of us then went for a message close to our hotel. It was a great experience and we now decided to do another round before leaving, the next day. After lots of shopping, we went to a place which was small, cosy and played good music. We danced to our heart’s content and made lovely memories.
The final morning was for last minute shopping of fruits etc., and a quick visit to the massage parlour, final packing and check out. We set out on our last minute things after a relaxed but a heavy breakfast. We were transferred to the airport to first take a flight to Bangkok and then to Mumbai from there.
An unforgettable trip with some best people. Looking forward to many more with this mad gang.
A Human Resource consultant and a Leadership Coach, Sonal Satelkar works mainly with women from different sectors. Her vision is to create Leaders Across Society. The views expressed are the author’s own.