Unwinding in Phuket: A Conversation with Samantha King
Tell us about yourself! What do you do when you’re not traveling the world? Where do you live? What made you decide to go to Phuket?
Hi, I’m Sam, I work full time in financial industry which can be a little boring at times but it certainly presents some interesting challenges and it keeps food on the table and a roof over my head, which I am every grateful for. I also write a travel blog as a hobby.
Currently I’m based in Adelaide Australia but I was actually born in Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, my family moved to Australia in 2000 and we have been happily living in Adelaide since.
I recently went to Phuket which was mainly to be able to get away from my hectic work and social calendar.
How long did you go for? How did you spend your time?
I went over to Phuket for 10 days which is a pretty quick trip, perfect for us Aussies, but this was all the time I had free.
I mainly spent my time just relaxing by the pool with a cocktail, shopping at the local markets, taking a few small day trip tours and enjoying some restorative yoga with one of the many amazing yoga teachers.
What were your most memorable experiences? What were the biggest disappointments?
Given the short amount of time, the whole trip was very memorable. Just being able to relax and enjoy myself by the pool, eating my fill at the buffet, taking a short day trip to visit the famous Phi Phi Island and taking a tour of Phuket with the funniest driver in the craziest van! I didn’t really have any disappointments, except the quick trip I took to Patong to do some shopping. Patong makes me embarrassed to be Australian, the behaviour of the Aussies in Patong is disgraceful and the overall area isn’t very pleasant (Lady-boys, ping pong shows and animals put on show illegally).
What do you wish you knew before you went?
I wish I had done my research better on how to barter! I thought I was coming away with a great deal, but it turns out I was being ripped off in the markets. I only did my research after I went shopping and discovered my error the hard way.
Also, don’t try to cuddle the dogs, while they might look cute and cuddly, most of them are strays and will bite you!
I wish I had known that you should agree on a price before getting into a Tuk Tuk or taxi. Again I ended up paying far more than I should have because of my lack of research (silly silly!)
Any favorite restaurants/hotels/hostels/sites you’d like to recommend? Tell us what made them great!
My two absolute favourite hotels in Phuket are The Indigo Pearl Resort in Nai Yang, which is massive, you almost don’t have to leave it, and the Serenity Resort in Rawai, which is in a nice quiet area away from the party animals and ping pong shows.
Is there anything that women specifically should know before they travel to your destination?
I think Phuket/Thailand in general is a safe place to travel for women, but as always I would recommend doing your research before travelling, and of course use common sense and your gut feeling. If something doesn’t feel right, chances are it’s not right. Don’t walk down dark alleys at night alone. Use common sense. If you get in a Tuk Tuk or Taxi, get in the back and make sure you agree to a price before they start the car. If you can’t come to an agreement say thank you ad simply get out and move to the next one.