ISLAND SERIES 2 - EXOTICS
Second part of island series go on with exotic ones! Let's dive deep into the crystal waters of Phuket & Singapore 😉
There is a lot more to Phuket than simply beaches, hotels and eating out. Let me show you why.
Unlike many Thai provincial capitals, Phuket Town shines with personality and nowhere more so than its Old Town. In this historically rich part of town, you'll find shrines, temples, 'shophouses', quaint cafés, museums and even a mini ex-red light district. The economic hub of the island, rich in natural resources such as rubber trees and wildlife, started to grow with the discovery of large deposits of the precious mineral tin in the 16th century. Trade and development began with the Portuguese, Dutch, and soon the English followed. You'll also see influences from the middle east, China, Europe, and India. Chinese, who making up the majority of the workforce in the tin mines and on the rubber tree plantations, built their shophouses in the Sino- Portuguese style. The wealthiest families built their mansions in the grand colonial style. Despite Thailand never having been colonized, Phuket Old Town’s architecture is very similar to Malaysia’s Penang and the old parts of Singapore just out of inspiration.
Promthep Cape at the very south of Phuket island seems to be an irresistible spot for a good old sunset photo. It is the most South Western point of Phuket. It is one of the most well-known areas of Phuket and provides an amazing view of the Andaman Sea.
Of the many temples found on in Phuket, the Wat Chalong Temple is the largest and most revered. The temple complex was built in its current location in 1837. Wat Chalong has a long history of being associated with healing. Two former abbots of the temple were known for their knowledge of herbal medicine and their work of healing of local people.
Big Buddha Statue is set upon the top of the tallest hill in Sakayamuni overlooking great panoramic views of Phang Nga Bay and Andaman Sea.
Phuket is known for having some of the best beach island getaways. With multiple islands, each more beautiful than the next, there’s no better way to discover this incredible part of the Thailand than by doing some island hopping.
Facing the Andaman Sea in the southwest of Thailand, Patong's sandy, crescent beach is lined with cafes, restaurants and bars. The famously raucous nightlife scene features beer bars, go-go bars, nightclubs, massage parlors and cabarets that overflow into Bangla Road. Once a small fishing village filled with traditional Thai houses and huts, Patong became to be referred as “Little Sweden” when the transformed tourist destination was discovered by Scandinavians. It was one of the areas of Phuket that were most affected by the tsunami on 26th of December 2004 but Patong has fully recovered since then. However, the fine white sand and beautiful azure blue water is far from the most beautiful beach in Phuket. Wanna know the others? Read along.
Kata Beach is a 1.5-km strip of golden sand and is considered one of the most popular beaches in Phuket due to its combination of beauty, facilities and activities. Hundreds of people come each day to soak up the sun and swim in the sea. Late in the year as the waters turn calm, Kata Bay fills up with beautiful yachts which arrive from all over the region to compete in December's King's Cup Regatta, one of Asia's premier sailing events.
You can start with Khai islands; Nok, Nai and Nui Island. Khai Nok Island has a beautiful white beach with crystal clear turquoise water. Plenty of tropical fish are swimming around in the shallow water waiting to be fed, great for the kids. Khai Nai Island is the biggest island and has a beautiful white beach with crystal clear emerald green water good for swimming and snorkeling. Khai Nui Island is the smallest island and hosts colourful coral reefs providing excellent snorkelling opportunities.
Phang Nga Bay’s iconic point of attraction is the James Bond Island, or Koh Ta-Pu (Nail Island) as the locals know it. Its name comes from its feature as a backdrop for the James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun. Coral Island is known for its multi-coloured coral reefs that are home to exotic tropical fish. The island features two main beaches, Long Beach and Banana Beach. Banana Beach is within reach of a 15 minute walk from the eastern end of Long Beach leading through a jungle.
No trip to Phuket is complete without an excursion to the spectacular Phi Phi islands. There are six; two of which are the main attractions. Phi Phi Lee is famous for Maya Bay, where they filmed Leonardo di Caprio’s movie, 'The Beach'. It is home to Phaya Naak, or Viking Cave with prehistoric cave paintings where they also collect the edible birds-nest for birds nest soup. Phi Phi Don contains the center of activity for accommodation, restaurants, nightlife, and beach activities. There are plenty of things to do if you decide to stay; from shark watching to diving the King Cruiser shipwreck and watching the sunset at the summit with a worthy hike. Monkey Beach is located on the west coast of Phi Phi Don. It is simply a stunning 150m-long strip of white powdery sand fringed by emerald water, home to a colony of wild monkeys.
Singapore may not be the first island when it comes to ringing a bell for summer holiday but it sure is a good, hot alternative during your winter time, especially if you want to explore a bit more than just the beach. The island is more than just a destination; it’s where foodies, explorers, collectors, action seekers visit. It's a unique proof of man made attractions competing with natural beauty or history. The secret should be the beautiful blend of Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, Arab and English cultures with Singaporean twist.
Founded as a trading post for the British Empire, Singapore is a truly modern metropolis. It became independent from the British in 1965 and is now one of the world’s leading economic centers in shipping and banking. The “Lion City” is also filled with delightful culinary experiences, state-of-the-art accommodations and exciting nightlife.
Singapore‘s tropical climate means it’s like summer all year round, with temperatures ranging from 26–34 degrees. The high humidity also means a lot of perspiration but also swings from blistering sunshine to torrential downpours in a matter of minutes.
The city's heart beats at Marina Bay, where the spectacular vertical gardens of Supertree Grove nestle alongside the Marina Bay Sands resort, home to one of the world's best rooftop bars. Expensive with respect to South-eastern standards, Singapore offers other options for entertainment such as Sentosa Island, Singapore Zoo and Botanic Garden. The incredible shopping malls, classy boutiques, departmental stores on Orchard Road, the exotic elements of Chinatown and Little India and the world-class nightlife span across the spotless land of Singapore.
Check out my blog post for an exclusive look at Singapore 😉