The most amazing and beautiful spot I found is a place during a free tour we took around Phuket Island called Chalong. This is a subdistrict in the southern portion of Phuket Province, Thailand. People from all over the world come there to practice Muay Thai Boxing. Thousands of professionals and beginners stay there for some time to improve their skills.
I had a chance to see the practice in action at one of the biggest Thai Boxing schools, Phuket Top Team MMA. I’m sensitive and I don’t like watching people get hurt, but I have to tell you that what I saw was really memorable.
Of course, I didn’t see a physical fight, but I did see students being taught from their mentors about mental discipline. Instead of teaching them how to physically fight someone, they taught them how to fight inner weaknesses – working on the interior as well as the exterior.
I found it very interesting that some people exhaust a body to find harmony in their souls.
The Wat Chalong is one of the Buddhism Temples located few minutes away from the training village. Wat Chalong has several different temples inside, a lot of important buddhist statues, a very nice park and a market where you can buy hand-made souvenirs. The temples were beautiful with magnificent colours of red and gold.
Red is related to life force and preservation. In Buddhism, meditating on red color transforms the delusion of attachment into the wisdom of discernment. Gold symbolizes rootedness and renunciation. Earth is the element that accompanies the color yellow. Yellow transforms pride into wisdom of sameness when visualized in meditation.
Even though the place is full of tourists you have to respect the religion and follow the rules. You cannot have a bad thought on your mind, never turn your back on Buddha, no shoes are allowed inside the temple and ladies have to cover their legs.
If you are interested in learning more about the harmony of life, you definitely have to visit this place.
And don’t forget to buy a souvenir! It will protect you from bad energy!
Quick Advice – You can rent a motor scooter for like $20/day for easy traveling around the Island but you have to be very careful driving around. Another way is to take a cab called Tuk Tuk for like $15.
Thailand is famous for its gorgeous beaches. One of my top favorite islands is Phi Phi Island located very close to the Maya Bay. Because this island is the location where the movie “Beach” with Leonardo Di Caprio was shot, be prepared to find hundreds of tourists and boats on the 200 meter beach line.
Maya Bay looks like a treasure Island. I was hypnotized by the crystal clear water which had a mix of blue and turquoise, soft white sand and the view on the huge rocks in the middle of the sea covered in greens and Palm Trees.
I actually had a feeling that for a second, I was in a movie. All that was missing was Leo… 😉
Cruising for 7.1 km through the Andaman Sea we got to the Phi Phi. It’s a very cute and clean Island with nice villas. This place is known for their entertainment because there are many restaurants, bars, spa salons and other fun things to do. But the island didn’t seem very noisy or busy, instead very calm and relaxed.
Another gorgeous beach is Pansea. It’s a secret private beach located behind the rocks of Surin beach. It’s a perfect place to find serenity because there are no people around. I’ve never seen anything so quiet and gorgeous.
There are two ways to find it.
- You can be a guest at Amanpuri hotel. It’s a private VIP hotel with its own beach, luxury villas, spa and restaurants. During sunset, the staff bring tables on the sand so you can enjoy a dinner with a glass of wine overlooking the stunning view of the sun slowly touching the horizon and melting in the blue water.
- If you are a wanderer like me, just climb around the rocks connecting Surin and Pansea beach. You will see exactly the same view except you’re seated on the sand. And don’t forget to bring a bottle of wine! You can exit the beach through the Amanpuri hotel. The staff there is very nice. They let you walk around, take pictures and enjoy your time.
- Visitors of Thailand are very diverse. In some parts of the country, especially in Phuket, most tourists are Russians. But we found another beach with the European community. Maybe that’s why I liked it a lot. The Surin Beach, of course, has clear water with many waves but they are not big or dangerous. It was so much fun for me to stay in the water and play frisbee with my brother. I felt like a 12 year old kid again. Also if you have a swim goggles you can go snorkeling. Just be wary of the suns reflections because you can get sunburnt very easily.
There is a street food market along the beach. Thai’s make all kinds of food such as meet, shellfish, crepes, ice cream, fresh tropical fruit and even insects. I wouldn’t experiment with the last one though…. In general, you have to be careful about food in Thailand, a lot of people get food poisoning and the vacation turns into a disaster.
During the day I ate mostly fresh fruit and drank coconut water. Because it’s very hot your body doesn’t want anything else. My dinners were usually Tom Yum and Tom Kha soups, very spicy.
The best dessert is freshly made ice cream with chopped fruit. They make it in front of you and you don’t feel guilty for eating unhealthy because it’s just frozen milk.
Another cool beach which is good to visit is Kata. There’s a rad reggae restaurant/bar on the beach called Ska Bar & Kata Seafood. Awesome place with chill music, rasta waitresses, delicious drinks and table games. I was surprised to see the restaurant with that kind of design in Asia but it works perfectly with palm trees and an ocean view.
I would like to just say few words about Patong Beach though. The Bangla Road is a party street with tons of bars. But it’s also the heart of sex industry in Phuket. That means in almost every bar, you’ll see “girls” (most of them are guys of course) dancing on the poles, others selling themselves and the rest talking to customers hoping to earn some extra money.
Sounds disturbing, but there’s history behind that industry of transgender prostitution. Most of the Thai families are very poor and there’s not enough work to support their living. That’s why parents send their kids on the street to make money and since it was “easy” for girls to earn some cash, boy, at first, dress as girls and then later go through plastic surgery. Plastic surgeries were sponsored by agencies and special schools. That is where it, basically, takes the roots.
On Bangla Road you can find some good and fun bars. We became regulars at one of them: Heroes bar.
Other than the typical interests, I don’t recommend spending a lot of time on that street because there are definitely better places to go. One of them is Two Chefs Patong. This restaurant hosts talented singers and guitar players every night. Food is great as well as service. Another one is the Jungceylon shopping mall, Banzaan fresh market and the Main Street which has a bunch of stores, restaurants and bars.
I had the best feelings about Thailand at the end of my trip. The culture, people, religion, nature and life principles took a big part of my heart. I had time to observe and think of what’s important to me. There are countless number of islands that I didn’t even know existed. I hope to be back very soon and continue my adventure around Asia!