This time we decided to do something spontaneous and adventurous. We looked up in the internet different things to do in Phuket and decided to drive around in a car and hit as many spots as possible. It would also let us experience the culture much better. So we went for it and it was very much worth it.
Actually, there was no plan, whatsoever. Just the idea. We had only booked our flight tickets and the hotel and boarded the plane.
Some time later here we are, enjoying the exotic nature of Phang Nga bay at sunset during our descent at Phuket International Airport.
Things to do in Phuket
Next morning we rented a car. It came with a free tourist map with points of interest highlighted – perfect for us who didn’t have a single kilometer planned. Ironically, the car was intended for right-wheel drive, so my driving skills faced quite a challenge.
From the map it appeared to be a lot to cover to go around the island in the crazy traffic. Though in the end the whole round trip took us no more than 150km and the craziness followed us only on city streets.
Driving in Phuket
Actually, the whole concept of driving here is one big challenge. It doesn’t matter on which side of the road you are driving – you need to use traditional chaotic Southeast Asia’s style. The one who has more courage has priority. Moped is family vehicle capable of carrying 3-4 people (including children). And if you hesitate – you won’t move far and won’t experience all the things to do in Phuket.
It was already around noon when we decided to stop for some activity. Despite the rainy season the heat was still around +33, so we needed a place with no direct sunlight. There were several waterfalls indicated on the map. So we decided to visit to one of them which, luckily, turned out to be the highest.
The waterfall is in the jungle, so a little hike was necessary to reach the place. The nature is wonderful and full of animal sounds, so despite the heat hiking has proven to be a great exercise. On the way we passed a series of mini-waterfalls, before reaching the goal, where many locals are staying for picnic and some “swimming”.
Finally, after the 20-minute hike up the hill (instead of promised 5 minutes) and a lot of energy in hot tropical jungle we finally made it to the waterfall.
It was the first time I saw a real and high waterfall so close and it was amazing. Especially when you come down to the water and get closer to the fall – a refreshing feeling you get from cold water splashes is incomparable in such heat. And the fact that it is located in the middle of the jungle gives it even better look.
Don’t let local animals eat you
While already in the car and on our way back to the main road we saw a buffalo randomly chilling in the middle of the forest. We almost didn’t spot him, but when we did we had a laugh at the size of the tree the buffalo was chained to – it was one of the weakest.
We quickly remembered, though, that these creatures are quite strong and can gain up to 60km/h speed. As he looked bigger than our car and not so satisfied with us laughing at him, we quickly continued our journey.
Back on the road, however, everything looked calm and sunny – yet again, no signs of a rainy season. No traces of crazy driving as well – just peaceful countryside and private houses sometimes appearing from the woods. A rare car would go over 40km/h.
The road finally got us to the seaside where traditional postcard views of private beaches and mountains in the background are attracting travelers to take a break. This was a very tempting opportunity and we, therefore, stopped to lie down and relax for a while.
Even though the beach was not in the popular resort, we were not alone. The place was full of mini crabs that are extremely fast. Taking a close up photo of them from the front is nearly impossible. I managed to snap a picture from the back instead. This, however, still took me some time and stealth skills.
Don’t let the rain spoil the plans
As we got back to the car and hit the road again the weather suddenly started to worsen. Luckily, we were close to the hotel, so we went for a well-deserved rest.
I’ve mentioned the rainy season already (that we haven’t encountered any). Well, it’s tricky in Thailand – the average number of rainy days is approximately the same as in Europe in autumn, but rains are much heavier and faster.
In our case the rain started as soon as we entered the room. We were lucky enough to miss this shower during our roadtrip, as it did not look friendly.
Nevertheless, the heavy rain stopped after an hour and completely perished after another one. In the end we still had plenty of time to enjoy the marvelous, yet a bit cloudy, sunset and the fresh and warm evening air.
Read on about the second day of our road trip around Phuket island in this post.