Red Light Retreat: Phuket, Thailand

Disclaimer, I landed in this beautiful place called Phuket, one of the southern provinces of Thailand, to attend a yoga retreat. The place is just too beautiful that we ended up exploring the area in between yoga sessions. There’s a lot to see and I’ll probably go back to visit the other islands!

Long post ahead of you!

Where to stay?

Most backpacker hostels are situated a few minutes away from the beach. Since this trip was organized by my company, we got to stay in one of the main hotels in the area. Banthai Beach Resort has a good service and the breakfast buffet was awesome. It was literally a few steps away from good restaurants, the Patong Beach and The Red Light district in Bangla Road. As soon as you step out of the hotel’s gate, a lot of TukTuk (Taxi) drivers will offer you different tours.

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What to do in Phuket:

  • If the beach is too much for you, swim in the hotel’s pool. Try the sauna or the bubble bath!

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  • But the Patong beach is just too pretty to miss out! You can even have a massage by the beach or try kite parasailing (not sure if that’s what it is called but the idea is you ride in a parachute and a speed boat will pull you so you’ll fly) or drink the day away. I was excited to see that there were small waves, however it wasn’t big enough for surfing. Locals said, they do have waves in some months like June, especially if there’s a storm coming. So for surfers out there, this might be a good place to visit!

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  • Go Shopping! If you’re into the comfy big cotton genie pants (which i like to wear when I travel) and tank tops and shirts with different elephant designs, this is the area! I bought pants worth Php 300 and shirts worth Php 130. You can also get souvenirs like wallets and bracelets. Just note though, their bracelets have disturbing captions. haha! Go figure.

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  • Plus there’s a RipCurl outlet store! I bought a surf board leash for only Php 800 (50% off)!!

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  • Ride the tuktuk and go visit the other islands. We got a tuktuk for 100THB each person. We didn’t have enough time for island hopping, so we opted to visit the elephants instead. I wanted to ride one when we were on our way but when I saw a baby elephant tied up, I changed my mind. They looked sad so I just took a photo of the people riding them and stayed in the taxi. We skipped the monkey and tiger zoo.

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  • And of course, the nightlife. Don’t miss out on it! We went to Bangla Road (Red Light District) and to my surprise.. No, I wasn’t able to watch a pingpong show (I’m in a yoga retreat, it will be really weird to do that during the trip) but maybe I’ll have that in my bucket list. For party people, this is your home.

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What to eat:

Sorry, I wasn’t able to take a photo of some of the drinks and food. I was hungry!

  • Satay

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  • Thai Iced Tea (not those you can find in convenience stores. It’s color orange. You can find it in Thai restaurants.
  • Pancake Crepe for breakfast or snacks!! Yes, it’s a pancake and a crepe haha!

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  • Pad Thai
  • Italian food!! They have a lot of authentic Italian restaurants in the area (maybe because of the France-Thailand war and some already migrated in the country?) Anyway, we were able to talk to one of the Italian owners. (I got to practice my Italian as well. Yay!)

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Travel Tips:

  • There are a lot of money changers and ATM in the area. Better to ask around first before changing your money in the first money changer you see. Peso is relatively not popular here.
  • Bargain!! You can bargain for as low as 50% off but if you’re going to do this, you better buy the item or they’ll get angry at you.
  • Some tourists rent tuktuks, play loud music, and dance inside while the taxi is moving. It’s apparently normal.
  • Manny Pacquiao is relatively popular here. They promote a lot of boxing gigs.

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  • For emergency purposes, try to check and make sure you know the Tsunami Evacuation Route. You never know!

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  • Lastly, beware of drunk people crossing. They even have a road sign for it!

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But going back to the purpose of this trip. I was, after all, here for a yoga retreat. I won’t forget the two things that resonated with me during our yoga classes and one key takeaway I realized after practicing yoga for a few years already.

When you feel pain, relax. 

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Don’t look back, always move forward.

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I hated the breathing exercises. I found it hard to focus. So after this trip, I started to focus on my breathing. Until now, I’m learning to  “come back to my breathe”.

This one was definitely a good experience and I will come back for more!

Thank you to the All Stars Family!

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P.S

My excuse for this trip? It’s thailand, yoga, and travel. Why the hell not?

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