I had wanted to go to Thailand for decades. Finally we planned a week long vacation there from Abu Dhabi. When I went to confirm the flights at the last minute I realized there was a mistake. I believe the flights would only go to Bangkok. I was somehow able to make a last minute change for a price and we did arrive in Phuket.
It was nothing like I anticipated. The beaches were ok, but not spectacular and the vibe was not as expected. That said it was a great time. The food was delicious, people were kind and it was a fun place to ride a scooter around. I loved eating spicy curry soups everyday. Lodging was nice and inexpensive, people were friendly and it was easy to get around. I visited some Bhuddist sites with big temples and we spent a half day touring a cultural place that featured Thai boxing, rubber harvesting, preparation of foods, elephant shows/rides and monkeys doing various activities. I was volunteered to be part of the elephant act. During that they actually put peanuts on me and the elephant had to find it with their trunk. A bit unnerving.
We were able to get cheap massages daily. One night we went to Patong where nightlife is reputedly wild, but it didn’t seem that way to me. It just seemed like people were doing a job to make a living. Rather mechanical. On another day we took a boat out to Phi Phi Island. Unbelievable scenery but also unbelievably crowded. Truly not that enjoyable.
On this trip what I enjoyed most was the easy day to day life. Sleeping in, eating good food, getting massages and the occasional scooter bike adventure.