I think a lot of times people have this idea that they need to ‘getaway’, or that by going away they’ll find an answer to all of the problems in their lives. I too have done that- thinking, all I need to do is getaway and clear my mind. This time was different- I didn’t go away with the hopes that there would be this ‘aha’ moment or this epiphany that would bring me clarity. This time I knew I would really need to do the work which I’ll talk about in another blog, but I say that to say this – stop going on vacations with the hopes that there will be some self-discovery miracle, it doesn’t happen.
Planning this Girls Trip
…literally us, everyday.
Flight – from New York – Phuket,Thailand
We paid $700 each. This was STUPID. When we first were looking for flights we found it for around $450, and slept on it. We were like ‘eh it probably won’t go up, its been consistently $450‘, yeah we were wrong. December is a popular month to go on vacation/holiday so the hotels/flights/everything in Thailand is more expensive. We flew Cathay Pacific Airways
To book my flights I always use Kayak because I can set up an alert on the flight I’m booking, and also my favorite feature is the ‘Explore’ option. You can put in your budget, the amount of days, and your home airport, and then it will give you prices of where you could go all around the world at the lowest price. That was how I planned my trip to Barcelona.
You can choose your meals after you book the flight, I suggest you do that so you don’t have to eat whatever two nasty meals are there to choose from. On my flight we had 3 meals & snacks- which weren’t peanuts, they were a cup of noodles, so they really keep you fed.
Prepare your body for this flight. Don’t drink alcohol at least two days before the flight. Drink a lot of water before hand. Get some ginger to encourage the release of toxins in your body- and it will also help with motion sickness. Bring toothpaste & a toothbrush in your carry-on with face wash, its a long flight and you don’t want to be crusty. Your feet will swell- try compression socks, and make sure you get up every couple of hours and do some laps around the plane. Buy some vitamin C ! A lot of people get sick after being on the plane for such a long period of time.
Download podcasts, movies, bring books, bring a journal, etc. This really helped me so I wouldn’t get bored.
All in all, the flight is not that bad.
We stayed at The KEE Resort & Spa for the first 5 days, this was the best for the location. We didn’t have to get a taxi or anything, it’s literally a half a block away from Bangla Rd, which is complete MAYHEM. At most hotels/resorts in Thailand, your room key is also your energy card, now what that means is- when you leave your room, the energy in there gets cut off, so you can’t charge your phone and leave, and whatever other scenarios you can think of. So bring a charging case. Also make sure you have a charger adapter to charge your phone, they don’t have American outlets- I would suggest getting a universal adapter, so you can use the same one every time you travel. This hotel was great though, it was like $100-$150/night, I’m not sure of the exact amount. We booked our second hotel the day we checked out of the resort, through booking.com. I use booking.com for hotels because usually it doesn’t require that you pay until you get there- which I like so I can inspect the place once I get there, and if I don’t like it I’m under no obligation to stay. I booked the Baycliff Residence in Patong Beach which was like an AirBnb. This place we got for a really good rate, it was like $95 a night, and we stayed for 5 nights. It was a two bedroom, two bathroom, Jacuzzi on the balcony, kitchen, living room, etc. I had no complaints. I like how we stayed at a resort first & then an AirBnB because we got to know people and got familiar with the area.
This is probably the most annoyingest thing. They want to negotiating for everything here, which I can’t stand, like please just give me a set price without trying to rip me off. They will rip you off, so just stick to how much you want to pay and say that. Once you get into a taxi the first time- check in the backseat pocket thing to see if their is the rate chart for how much it is for distance. For example, 100 kilometers might be 800 baht, but they will tell you 1000 baht. Check that sheet, and take a picture of it. To go anywhere, tuk tuks & taxi’s start off at 200 Baht which is $6 USD. Let me tell you how annoying a taxi can be ——>
Leaving the Airport we got a taxi van to go to our hotel which was an hour away. In our van was a bunch of other people who also were going to hotels that were nearby ours. About 30 minutes in the taxi stops the car. Now, I’m half sleep with crust in my eyes wondering what the hell is going on. A lady slides the door open like a raging bull and is like okay get out with a smile on her face. I’m sitting here looking at my sister like “wtf is going on”- but you know when you’re half sleep, and your brain is half sleep too, so you just go with the flow, yeah so I damn near fell out the van, like okay. Then I’m like nah are they finna rob us, I felt like I was in some kind of sick movie. No, we were just at a Tour Guide place, somewhere we never agreed to going. The whole group got out of the car and went into this place, and they sat us all down at different desks to book excursions. Once my brain woke up, I was just looking at this lady like dawg, you must be crazy. I just got off a 21 hour flight and you’re really trying to run my pockets at 11:00 PM. So I was just like no thank you, I booked all my excursions (lying), but that was the only way I could spare her. She said ” okay get back in the van”. Son, I almost lost it. So now we’re in the van waiting for the whole group, mind you , they might want to book some excursions- so we would have to wait, thank God, no one wanted to book excursions, and we left. Moral of the story, they do this a lot-so before you get in, tell them I am not going to any Tour places, no tailor shops, no nothing.
Planning was the most difficult thing, and I probably would not plan anything next time. I legit made a 14 day itinerary that did not serve us at all- if I could give any advice when planning is to really do your research as to where you are going and what you definitely want to do while you’re there. Make sure you communicate with your group the top 3 things you must do. Make a list of activities, opposed to a day-by-day schedule, because that jet lag is real, and most-likely you wont be immediately ready to do everything.
Things to Do (click on them for links)
- Patong Beach- its nice to relax, they have parasailing and jetskiis for like $50 USD.
- Bangla Road– this is the mayhem, this is the fun part. Go here. The best clubs are Seduction & Illuzion. They play Hip-Hop, R&B, and Pop. Illuzion is really big, and when we went Tyga was performing so that was cool.
- Similan Islands ( its an 8 island tour, definitely worth it, the views are crazy, bring sun screen- the speedboat ride is a little bit more than an hour)
- Phi Phi Islands- duh, its so beautiful.
- Kathu Phuket Shooting Range– I don’t remember how much this was, but definitely one of our best days! they don’t have you fill out paper work or anything- it was cheap and you get to choose from a lot of different guns, and the girls that work there are so much fun!
- Tiger Kingdom Phuket – you really get to chill with the tigers, and the people will take a lot of pictures of you. I really felt like I was on ANTM with 200 frames- they were really getting their Nigel Barker on.
- Kapong Nature Tour Tubing– this was the definitely my favorite day! With this tour you can ride & bathe elephants and after that you do tubing, which was the best !!
- Bangla Boxing – we were supposed to go, and didn’t, and I really wish I did 😦
- Ping Pong Show – you just have to see it, its on Bangla Rd. I’m not even gonna tell yall what I see because I can’t even believe I seen it, and I almost want to forget it, but at the same time I’m happy I experienced it.
- Massages– they have massage spots every 13 steps you walk, try it out.
Things I Wish I Knew Before Hand
- GET BUG SPRAY.- I did see people post about how bug spray was a necessity but I was being stubborn, and didn’t buy any, because I hate the smell. Bug spray is very necessary for every time you step outside. I don’t know what kind of super-mosquitos they got, but they are BITE-TING.
- Those waterproof bag things you put your phone in, are not reliable, especially against salt water. So don’t be cheap, just get a life proof case. After day 4, my phone fell victim to the ocean, and I had no phone 🙂
- There’s no wifi/service anywhere but restaurants and the hotel.
- Bring the travel size packs of tissue- a lot of places don’t have tissue in their bathrooms.
- Bring a lot of snacks- you may not like their food. I thought I could buy protein bars and stuff while I’m there, they don’t have protein bars, only thing American they really had were pringles. Oh and shop at 7Eleven, so you don’t get ripped off.
- Bring the travel raincoat thing- you know what I’m talking about, get one of those. When it rains, honey, it rains. We left the club one night and basically had to go swimming back to the hotel with one umbrella- stay prepared.
- They only have bullsh*t liquor. There was nothing top shelf.
- Bring Advil, and lots of it. For some reason all of our teeth were hurting days after the flight. I did my research and because of the air pressure on the plane it creates like air pockets of pressure or something in your teeth.
- Make sure your neck pillow ain’t cheap. That lil beany bag neck pillow aint gon’ work, I had to buy an elite neck pillow for $43, and it broke my heart to do that, but I was so thankful for that neck pillow.
- Dress in layers on your flight, you never know if its going to be freezing cold, or hot. They have small blankets, but I am always very cold, so I brought my own throw blanket (very dramatic) but everyone was tuggin on my blanky with they cold ass.
- Don’t drink their water.
- People don’t stand in lines here for the bathroom, I noticed that I got cut on about two occasions, and I was ready to throw my elbows.
- When going to the temples, make sure you are covered. (elbows & knees)
- Last but not least, learn how to say thank you in Thai. For women you say “Kob Khun Kha”, and for men it’s “Kob Khun Krup”. I am big on gratitude and respect, so it was important for me to learn that early on.
It ain’t thattttt cheap unless you’re really gonna be on some scavenger sh*t for the lowest price for everything. I spent about $1500, but that’s really good because we were there for 2 weeks, and that includes what I spent for hotel, food, excursions, souvenirs, etc.
Remind yourself of why you came here, whatever the reason. If you came here to learn- learn. If you came here to see-see. Be present. Put your phone down. You don’t need to take all of the pictures in the world, you’re not a photographer, Instagram is not paying you. Be in the moment. The best thing that happened to me was dropping my phone in the water on the fourth day. I really spoke to the people there, learned their views on things, met amazing people from all over the world, and didn’t miss one detail.