First off make sure at the airport qhen leaving walk out and turn right and go to the metered taxi stand , you'll get hassled by everyone here offering everything and anything so just focus on the taxi stand and keep moving ( thanks TA)
We stayed at L'esprit Nia yang , it's clean and nice but give it a year or so when it's more established and they build a bridge over the swamp.
I loved Nia yang , Its quite and the food choices are awesome , fresh cheap seafood everywhere, nice bars that ate friendly , a beach great for sunbaking and cooling off . Loved it but would stay closer to the beach next time.
Next stop was racha/ raya island at the Rayaburi resort , the boat ride was hell , juggling luggage , cramped boat , rough seas , got drenched , crappy jetty. Def not worth it !!!! We only went for the snorkeling and tried all the diff bays and the snorkeling was very average ( guess we are spoilt with Fiji and home near the great barrier reef)
The resort was nice abs the restaraunr served good meals , the beach was beautiful ( but coraly) loved drinking wine ( bring ur own) by the sea at sunset , upon leaving the same boat ride from hell . Untill they get there own boat and a jetty I wouldn't stay on the island , better snorkeling south end of karon anyway. And the poor day trippers , crowded coral beach , jellyfish , herded around Like cattle , average lunch,, stay
We then went to patong , stayed at ibis and it's clean and central enough. The shopping in paying is ok in the street stalls if u can barter , great food , sabai sabai was good so was toms seafood and mk's at jungy . Bars I liked was rock city and Nicky's handlebar bar ,,Bangla rd was fun and the ping ping was a great laugh but birds n fish ???? I didn't read that on TA ?? Still shocking but an experience to tell the grandiose Oneday ;) ,,,went to old Phuket town markets and they were good and cheap but same same , food was good though .. And finally did the starlight sea canoe with John grays and it was excellent very proffessional and great food and guides , not crowded and worth the pricetag ,
Loved Nai yang but shhhh please don't let everyone overcrowd the place :)
Patong worth a visit and not a scary place at all just don't get fall Down
Drunk ,,,the taxis are ruthless negotiate before you get in and ask the driver questions so u know he speaks English and really knows where he is going,,