Off-The-Beaten Path in Phuket: It's Possible!

Off-The-Beaten Path in Phuket: It's Possible!

The term ‘off-the-beaten-path’ is not one that's typically associated with PhuketExisting as one of Thailand’s most popular destinations, droves of tourists arrive on the island each and every day.

Even during the monsoon season (from June to October), you’ll find that the beaches are full of couples sunbathing, children playing, and local businesses advertising everything from para sailing to massages.  Similarly, Bangla Road (Phuket’s infamous Walking Street) is open for business 7 days per week, 365 days per year and it never fails to impress even the most seasoned backpackers when it comes to putting on a good party.

In a sense, Phuket’s sheer popularity is part of its allure.  Visitors know what to expect when visiting Thailand’s “Pearl of the Andaman”.  With its beautiful beaches, thick mountain jungles, and incredible restaurant and bar scene, there’s not much that Phuket can’t deliver on.  

Still, at some point nearly every traveler craves the novelty of an authentic travel experience.  The ones that feel so far away from the crowds and endless barrage of tourist traps.  The ones that provide an opportunity to truly connect with a different culture.  The ones that are so memorable that you will never be able to forget the magic that you experienced on that day in that country. 

While achieving this type of experience can sometimes seem impossible in Phuket, there is a solution, and it lies at the newly opened Lub d Hostel in Patong.

Aside all of the other awesome features the hostel offers (such as Muay Thai boxing lessons, a co-working space, and an open-air restaurant and bar), Lub d Patong has joined forces with Backpacker by STA to offer its guests and visitors one of the best travel desks in all of Phuket.  Backpacker by STA partners with a host of trip providers, and focuses on ethical, sustainable travel experiences that empower and support local communities.  On the flipside, they provide travelers with the opportunity to experience a side of Phuket and its surrounding areas that one may never be able to experience or discover on their own.

 

Here are just a few of the incredible adventures that they offer:

Scuba Diving (or Snorkeling) at Racha Noi, Racha Yai, Shark Island or Koh Phi Phi

The islands surrounding Phuket offer absolutely prisitine conditions for scuba diving and snorkeling.  Warm water, good visibility, an abundance of ocean life, and affordable prices make the location one of the best destinations for diving in the world.

When booking through Backpacker by STA at the Lub d Hostel in Patong, your full-day dive trip will begin with a morning pick-up from the hostel.  Following pick-up, you'll be transported to the south side of the island where you'll board a fully equipped dive boat and be introduced to your Dive Master, Dive Instructor (if it's your first time), or Snorkeling Instructor.  Following a short briefing, you'll set sail on a 90-minute to two-hour journey to your dive site.  Breakfast and lunch are provided so no need to worry about bringing food or drinks.  

Once under the water, you'll be amazed by the sea life that unfolds in front of you. Coral and fish are abundant and there's also a good chance that you'll be able to spot sea turtles, rays, eels, and small reef sharks.  If you're diving and have a gopro, you may even be able to score a turtle selfie (keeping at a respectful distance of course)!  One of the sites near Racha Noi / Racha Yai also incorporates a wreck, and if you're a certified diver it is usually possible to swim through it.  The same site also boasts a sunken scooter, which makes for another great photo op.

If diving isn't for you, the boat also caters to snorklelers and you'll be suprised by just how much you can see from the surface.  If you're interested in learning to dive, but have never done it before, you can sign up for a Discover Scuba Diving experience, or enroll in an actual open water certification course that can be completed over the course of several days.

Cost: 3,700 Baht (about $105 per person, includes breakfast, lunch, and gear)

Bookings: Visit the Backpacker by STA Travel Desk at Lub d Patong

 

Phang Nga Hong Starlight Canoe Trip

This trip is one of those experiences that will go down in the books as one of your all-time best travel memories.

After being picked up from the Lub d Hostel in Patong, you'll be transported via boat to the nearby Phang Nga Islands where you'll be paired with a local guide.  You and your fellow group members will then board sea kayaks and set off to explore the area's vast number of sea cave systems and hidden lagoons.  

From the outside, the surrounding islands look impassable, and the tiny crevices in the rocks seem as though they would be impossible to squeeze through.   However, as soon as you lie down and cross your arms over your chest, your guide will prove you otherwise as he or she skillfully navigates your boat and you suddenly slip underneath them.  Once inside, these tiny passages open up into dramatic cave systems and that eventually lead to hidden lagoons.

After an adventure-filled day, you'll enjoy an incredible seafood buffet on the boat and then return to your kayak for a final 'under the stars' experience that is too special to put into words... you'll just have to experience it for yourself!

Note: Pack a dry bag for this trip with a change of clothes and a towel!

Cost: 3,950 Baht (About $110 per person, includes lunch and dinner)

Bookings: Visit the Backpacker by STA Travel Desk at Lub d Patong

 

An Evening at the Simon Cabaret Show

While this experience can't exactly be classified as off-the-beaten path, it is a lot of fun and provides an evening of laughs and entertainment.  

Renowned for its dramatic costumes and set designs, Simon Cabaret will have you doubled over in laughter as they showcase a variety of international songs transposed against interactive humor and good old fashioned fun.  Clap along and sing when you know the words!  After the show you can even get your photo taken with your favorite personalities to commemorate the evening.

Cost: 1,000 Baht (About $28 per person, includes transportation)

Bookings: Visit the Backpacker by STA Travel Desk at Lub d Patong.

 

Travel Tip shared by Jenna Becker for Travel Dudes.

This article was written in collaboration with Lub d Hostel.  Travel Dudes maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site.

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