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JBR 24th June - 7th July

Bowral, Australia
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196 posts
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JBR 24th June - 7th July

Have just returned from two weeks in Karon beach staying at Karon Sea Sands, with my bf.

Flew out of Sydney with Singapore Air which was excellent. Arrived in Phuket at around 7pm and got through customs in about half hour and made my way through the touts to the meter taxi stand. Cost 600 baht from the airport to Karon beach and the driver was excellent and very friendly.

Once checked in went to check out Karon and find some food, came across Red Onion and had our first of many great meals. Loved it here and couldnt recommend it enough - excellent food and very cheap! sure, service isnt amazing but they are efficient and run a very busy restaurant extremely well.

Went out to Phi Phi with Phuket Sail tours and had a great day although I was really sad at the state of Phi Phi. Its a shell of what it used to be and was really disappointing - crawling with tourists and teaming with rubbish. The place really needs to be shut down for at least a year to try and rejuvenate it but of course thats not going to happen as long as money is being made!

Found this to be true about much of Phuket. I hardly recognised the island, having not been there for ten years, which I guess can be expected of any place but there is just no environmental awareness whatsoever. Resorts are going up around every corner but walks along the beach of an afternoon are spoiled by the amount of rubbish lying on the sand, which needs to be dodged. In another ten years there will be no Phuket to go to, which is so sad because it has so many unique qualities..

Went into Patong a few times as found it to be the best for shopping. Did alot of shopping along Rat-u-thit rd at the markets and got some good bargains. Didnt buy much in Jungceylon as found it to be the same as home. We did buy a mobile phone there though for around $20 (AUD) which was great as we could just top it up when we needed to and it was much cheaper to call home rather than using our own phones.

Walked along Patong beach once and came across a woman's sanitary pad amongst the rubbish so decided not to go back!

Went to Banzaan and bought Phuket lobsters then took them to Hemingways and had them cooked - delicious! Four phuket lobsters (came to roughly 600g) cost around 500 baht and then it is 40 baht per 100g to have them cooked.

Hired Panya Kamman for a half day tour and went to Big Buddha, shooting range, cashew nut factory, Wat Chalong temple and had one of the best lunches at a little restuarant just down the road from Big Buddha, best papaya salad that I had eaten.

Went to night markets which was pretty good, mostly for food. Ate the most amazing Moo Grob (crispy pork) at a stand which I was sure we would get sick from but didnt have a problem. Also ate plenty of shrimpcakes and sweets and ice tea.

We hired a bike which we would have been lost without. We were able to go down south to Promthep and Nai Harn and go to Kata beach whenever the beach was too rough at Karon, was an excellent and cheap way to get around. Would not recommend it though if you didnt know how to ride a motorbike or dont have an international drivers licence - we were stopped twice at police checkpoints to have our licences checked. We had to take a tuktuk and taxi on a couple of occasions and they are so overpriced, but didnt have any other problems, drivers went exactly where we asked them to.

We ate at some great restaurants including The Green Chilli, restaurant with no name and Lucky Tom's. Also had a great burger at Hard Rock - a disgrace I know but I wouldve paid anything for a burger by that point! Also had PLENTY of banana pancakes, they were amazing and will be sorely missed :-(

We took TravelBug and I didnt have any problems, even though I brushed ny teeth with tap water and wasnt overly picky about what I ate from food stands, however my bf was sick on and off throughout the trip, mostly after a day at Phuket Thai Cookery School, which we pinpointed it down to undercooked chicken which then sat at room temp for 30-45 minutes while we had to cook another dish. Guess if your going to get sick, your going to get sick but I think it helped when eating spicy foods as we didnt have any 'backlash' haha.

All in all a good holiday, another travel experience, but cant say that I would go back in a hurry. We just found it too overpopulated with tourists and were disgusted at the lack of care given to the environment to preserve it so money can be made for years to come. We also got very sick of the constant harrassment. Lots of people I saw just flat out ignored all the touts, but I felt guilty so would always smile and say 'no, thank you' but this got very annoying.

Thanks for all the advice and info leading up to the trip, will have to start planning the next holiday somewhere else in the world!

Nowra, Australia
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389 posts
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1. Re: JBR 24th June - 7th July

Good JBR...Sounds like you still had a good time.

We leave in 29 days for our 2nd visit to Karon Beach... cant wait to enjoy some warmth, cocktails by the pool and banana pancakes!!

cheers,

shazz

29 days and counting................

Italy
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39,484 posts
206 reviews
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2. Re: JBR 24th June - 7th July

Thanks, great report, I'm sorry but I had to laugh at your BF getting sick due to the cookery course, not a very good advertisement for the school.

Yes, the touts can be annoying but it's the same all over the world, it's part of travelling and you get used to it.

Geelong, Australia
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167 posts
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3. Re: JBR 24th June - 7th July

Thx for sharing

Our first trip to Bangkok/phuket was our honeymoon 1993, then we took our kids 2009 big change lots more of everything!!!

But can't wait to go back, wish l had found this thread 2 years ago lol this

sept/oct i'm taking an extra suitcase.

:)

Bowral, Australia
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196 posts
130 reviews
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4. Re: JBR 24th June - 7th July

haha yes I know its not a good advertisement - but I also had to laught that the one time he got very sick was from food he cooked himself!

Dont agree that touts are all over the world, have done lots of travelling and found Phuket to be the worst for them but I imagine Bali would be the same as would most of asia. I laughed when I got back to Syd and was waiting to collect luggage when a sign above the baggage area said "it is illegal for taxis and other airport transfer services to approach you to solicit a fare" - I thought ahhh its nice to be home!

We still had a great time and its all an experience :-)

Queensland...
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5. Re: JBR 24th June - 7th July

Interesting read krissylou, i appreciated your honesty. cheers. CJ

China
11 posts
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6. Re: JBR 24th June - 7th July

Great Report. Lots of information and very balanced.

Aussie
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1,520 posts
6 reviews
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7. Re: JBR 24th June - 7th July

Hi there , where is Baanzaan where u got the lobsters and where is Hemingways where you got them cooked? Do they sell other food there as well for those who don't eat seafood?

I must say Phuket is not my favourite place in Thailand and you should try places like Chiang Mai for something different

cheers

Karin

South Australia...
Destination Expert
for Phuket, Ko Lanta
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8. Re: JBR 24th June - 7th July

Had to laugh as well krissylou at your bf getting sick from the food he cooked. The touts can be very annyoing, we now tend to stay away from the busy places like the southern end of Patong beach, Otop etc haha, but have to say they were even worse in Bali.

Karin, Banzaan fresh food markets are behind Jungceylon shopping centre, the markets sells of kinds of cooked foods, fresh seafoods, meats, chicken etc etc.

Cathy

Aussie
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9. Re: JBR 24th June - 7th July

thanks Cathy.,

think we strolled in there last time but left pretty quickly cos of the smell lol

so where is this Hemmingways then?

cheers

Karin

Bowral, Australia
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196 posts
130 reviews
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10. Re: JBR 24th June - 7th July

As Cathy says, there is all sorts of food in Banzaan inc. all types of seafood, meat, fruit & veg, spices, curry pastes etc etc. We also bought some fruit while we were there which was pretty cheap.

Hemingways is in the same building as Banzaan, just outside the market on the side road, closest to Jungceylon, if that makes sense. There are signs outside the Banzaan so just have a look around. We also ordered a ried rice and a papaya salad which was good - although papaya salad was a little too spicy, just ask for it mild which I didnt :-/ Including drinks, rice, salad and bbq phuket lobsters was 240 baht.. so about 800 baht for everything, including the seafood bought from Banzaan. Not bad I reckon :-)