If you are planning to visit Phuket (and this is your first time), you are going to have the time of your life.
If you haven't planned yet, you must!
Unspoiled beaches, beautiful turquoise water, local cuisine for the gourmets, Eco friendly cruises along the mangrove jungle, kayaking, birdwatching, feeding the monkeys, and a lot more activities and sightseeing to keep you entertained; the perfect spot for the elders, adults and kids alike.
This article is a first-hand guide to things you can do in Phuket for a wholesome experience:
Cruising the Phang Nga Bay Through the Back Door in a Longtail Boat
Although it is the most popular tourist spots of Phuket, people rarely get to experience this real gem. The most common trip is a long ride to the deep water channel. It's good, but not great! On the other hand, if you take a boat ride through the back door, you will have a whole new experience than what is often commercialized or advertised. It's a rare and exhilarating sight altogether. You will traverse between the mountains, cruising on the shallow rivers; big boats and yacht can't pull this off! Moreover, you'll also see the mangrove jungle along the way.
If you fancy birdwatching, carry your binoculars, you don't want to miss the rare brown-winged kingfishers and the mangrove pittas. The river here is shallow, so, if you want you can sleep overnight in the beach. What's more? – sea caves, limestone karst formations, abundant flora & fauna.
Meet the Villagers and The Sea Gypsies
No trip is complete without getting to the know the locals, in this case, the sea gypsies of Phuket. However, there is more to this trip. You are more likely to cruise along the dense mangrove forest. Here, you will meet the villagers, who are always eager to welcome new visitors; plus, you will have the chance to feed a few monkeys; they are friendly too. It is suggested to take a trip to the working fish farms, which are operated for generations by Thai sea gypsies. This spot also offers numerous sheltered islands and shallow waters for swimming and kayaking. For a unique experience, you will cruise along the Phuket coastline to the Ao Yon Bay, which houses the largest pearl farm in Phuket. This trip will also take you to some of the most spectacular deserted islands, beaches and natural gardens.
Day trips to Maphrao Bay
Explore the local ecosystems of Maphrao Bay with its lagoons and mangrove rivers. As you pass along the Taphao Island, you will have the chance to enjoy forest walks, see age-old trees, walk along the flats, spot hornbills, explore old building as well as the oldest lighthouses of Thailand. You will have the opportunity to cruise through the ‘Forgotten Waterway of The Thai Chin Canal’. Then, there are more water activities in the Kho Rang – a private island, live pearl demonstration, jewelry shops, gold selling points and a lot more.
Visiting Phuket is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, only if you know the right way to do it. It is not so easy to find the real experience as most companies provide the tourist version. However, there are some family-run tour service providers, who can take you to the real deal. If you want the most bang for your buck, this is the right way to visit Thailand!
Travel tip shared by RiverRovers