Historical buildings and Walking Street in the Old Town of Phuket

Although Phuket Old Town is located in the heart of Phuket City, the district deserves its own article. First of all we got to know our coconut-granny there, who has interesting stories in store. Secondly there is a walking street with streetfood on the weekend. Oh and thirdly it is beautiful there even during the week.

From our accomodation or better dosshouse, right across from Phuket Hospital we walked. It is only three kilometres and there are even sidewalks. That was new for us. 

The townscape of Phuket Old Town

Phuket Old-Town can be recognized by the well-known and lovingly maintained houses. They are characterized by the Portuguese architectural style and give this quarter its unique character. Old buildings have been restored and now serve as museums or residential buildings.

In the streets there are beautiful hostels, exquisite gastronomy and of course our coconut granny, which we met later. There are also old chinese houses that fit exactly into the cityscape.

In the streets of the old town you can even find real handicraft, like the old printing houses or studios. Phuket Old Town is full of history and worth a visit if you want to see something different from Phuket. During the week there is not much going on and the city invites you to stay.

Food and shopping in Old Town

Already in the streets in front of Old Town the shopping possibilities line up and at every corner one gets a snack or a shake. Not only the shops are nice, but also the offered products. A lot of value is placed on handmade products. Batik clothes, self-carved soaps, decorated coconut shells for example. Everything without aggressive advertising. This does not take place in Phuket Old Town at all, even the Tuk Tuk drivers and mototaxis are very reserved.

The further you go towards the middle of the district, the higher the prices will be. The restaurants are a bit too expensive for us backpackers The places looked very nice and had been completely renovated just like the other houses in Old Town. We enjoyed spending a few relaxing hours here.

There is no comparison to this on weekends, especially on Sundays. Then Thalang Road is closed off and a big market is opened. Also known as the Walking Street.

Wat Mongkol Nimit

The Buddhist temple in Phuket Old Town Wat Mongkol Nimit, like many temples in Southeast Asia, is located right next to a school. Those who visit it in the afternoon after school, experience the most lively and chaotic moments of the day. A great entertainment program with lots of laughing and curious children.

Wat Mongkol Nimit
Wat Mongkol Nimit

The temple itself was nothing special, but we liked the atmosphere there very much. We found the interaction of monks, parents and children inspiring.

The best coconut in Phuket Old Town

After visiting the temple we decided to walk back to the city. The way was not unknown to us, but we became aware of a funny stand at the roadside. A decorated coconut with sunglasses. When the owner stood in front of us with a laugh, we knew: Here we want to have a coconut.

It was the first time that we got a spoon for it and I felt a bit stupid, that I always disassembled the coconut completely, although it is great to spoon. It was served to us by an older lady whom we lovely call our coconut granny. She speaks perfect English and could even impress with a few German and Russian sentences. A really well-read and very intelligent woman, whose stories and wisdom we liked to hear. To this day we take her advice to heart:

“Stay healthy. Drink coconut every day”

Our coconut granny from Phuket

Coconut is one of the healthiest foods in the world and is full of vitamins and natural electrolytes. We still love coconuts and can’ t even imagine being in countries where there are no coconuts.

On the day of leaving Phuket City we made our way to her again, because the local bus departs from the Ranong Road, which is located in Phuket Old Town. We enjoyed not only one last tasty coconut, but also the extra service of stopping the bus for us at the road. With our heavy luggage a real blessing, but also a new impression of how it works here in Thailand. Just wait for the bus and get on. Provided one you can read Thai, otherwise you better walk to the bus station.

The Sirikit Park and the B Cat Cafe

Sirikit Park is just around the corner and was built in honour of the Queen. We walked to the post office – sending a package from Thailand to Germany is an own story – and took the chance to rest there for a few minutes and let the famous dragon with the fin work its magic on us.

Just a few meters further on we discovered the next highlight. The B Cat Cafe is one of the special places in Phuket Old Town. Besides cake and coffee there is also Thai food, which is all secondary. Because in the B Cat Cafe live like the name already says in about 30 cats.  Since we wanted to go to the post office early, the cat house was unfortunately still closed and was just being cleaned. But we were able to watch the cats behind the window looking after a water jet.

That entertained us so well for a while that we wanted to go back later. At that time we didn’t know that our package would keep us busy a little longer.

All cat lovers are therefore advised to visit us after 11:00 a.m., except on Mondays when there is a rest day at the B Cat Cafe in Phuket Town. You can also find an interesting article about the cat house on Phuket.com.

That was it now in Phuket. Despite our sparse accommodation we had a great time with beautiful experiences. Now we go with the local bus to the pier and from there with the longtail boat to our first island Ko Yao Noi. I hope you are there again.

Dream beach in the flight lane

Phuket has a bad reputation if you are looking for a quiet, family-friendly beach location. You know the Patong Beach and the Karon Beach, the Naiyang Beach is almost unknown. For us the beautiful and quiet beach at Phuket Airport was the perfect start of our trip around the world. Therefore we extended the booked three nights for two more nights.

Fortunately we are late with our blog and are writing this article now. We were now three months in Thailand and one month in Cambodia. So we have a comparison concerning accommodation, food and prices. After many beaches, islands and accommodations we still like to think back to Naiyang Beach. Many things like the friendliness of the people, the cheap and good food and the spotlessly clean accommodation we appreciate all the more today.

Swimming in the flight lane

Plane at Phuket Airport, Naiyang Beach - Image Credit: IamDoctorEgg / Shutterstock.com
Plane at Phuket Airport, Naiyang Beach – Image Credit: IamDoctorEgg / Shutterstock.com

Naiyang Beach is located at Phuket Airport and you can see the planes arriving. Nevertheless it took us three days to notice the proximity of the airport at all, because the waves swallow the aircraft noise without any problems. In our 10 minutes walk away accommodation the airplanes were not to be heard.

To go swimming directly in the flight path is of course a bit louder, but the big planes give you the extra bathing kick. We didn’t try it out and preferred to lie around the corner, where it was quieter and also shadier. You burn very fast in the sun and we wanted to do without sun cream.

Beautiful bathing beach, lonely for Phuket

Naiyang Beach is beautiful, very clean and surprisingly empty. The turquoise blue water has a pleasant bathing temperature. You can walk out on the slightly coarser sand and swim perfectly at Naiyang Beach. A few sections of the beach you have for yourself. The front part of the beach is directly on the flight path to Phuket Airport. Despite aircraft noise there is often more going on than a bit further, where the waves are the only background noise. There we spent some time alone at a nice shady place. Only in the back area, where there are also a couple of nice beach restaurants and a handful of resorts, there is a bit more going on.

Keks at Naiyang Beach in Phuket
Keks at Naiyang Beach in Phuket

Clean and family friendly beach

Naiyang Beach belongs to the Sirinat National Park and there are regular cleaning activities, which collect washed-up flotsam and rubbsih. We were very happy to participate. If you want to find out more, you can find current activities in the Green Nai Yang Group on Facebook.

The beach is family-friendly and there is no party mile like at Patong Beach. However, there are a some of peaceful beach dogs who sometimes don’t want to be disturbed during their siesta.

Beeing lonely at Naiyang Beach

Cooking kitchen and breakfast soup

The restaurants at the beach were a bit too expensive for us backpackers, for two dishes and two water you can quickly get rid of 10-15 €. We preferred to walk a few hundred meters the Thep Krasat Tri-Nai Yang Road into the Muslim small village Ban Wong Li, there everything costs half and tastes more delicious. Pleasant side effect: one supports small kitchens and local families instead of large resorts or investment groups. Something we have worked out in our travel codex in the meantime.??

The Khao Tom Soup in vegan execution without meat, fish or egg costs only sensational 10 Baht (approx. 30 cent). With some mango sticky rice, for 5 Baht for dessert, the breakfast lasts the whole day. Once we each had two soups, but then we really reached the filling limit of our stomachs.

Water and all possibilities for spicing are on the table, as we are used to from good street kitchens. By the way, the breakfast offer is valid for early risers from 5:30 and ends for late risers only in the late morning. Those who want to be sure rather go there before 10:00 o’clock.

When the soup is sold out, it is quiet in Ban Wong Li. At noon, the whole Ban Wong Li is resting. From afternoon until late in the evening one finds there good street kitchens with Pad Thai and fried rice, both without fish and egg for 50 Baht (approx. 1.50 Euro). Roti with banana, the typical Thai pancake you can enjoy for 40 Baht. At the fruit stands you can get an arm full of bananas, 1 pound of dragon fruit, 1 pound of Charon and a mango for 100 Baht. More about Thai fruits soon here in the blog.

In Ban Wong Li we washed our laundry for the first time. We don’t have much with us, as you’ll soon see on our packing list. The laundry self-service cost 20 Baht, the liquid laundry detergent 10 Baht so almost one Euro together. We could hang the laundry in our accommodation at the Baan Rom Pruk. Comfortable accommodation with very friendly hosts. We recommend the Baan Rom Pruk to you also gladly. In our article Start in Thailand you can find pictures and information about the bungalow.

The first pictures and videos

At Naiyang Beach we tested most of the equipment for the first time. We had received many of the technical equipment at very short notice. Especially the Sony Alpha 7 S II with the motorzoom and the GoPro Fusion 360 degree camera we were curious about. You can already see the first pictures. The videos are coming soon.

With the tripod and the high-quality photo equipment on the beach is once again a new experience. It’s something different if you take a few photos with your mobile phone as a holidaymaker or if you are on the road with a big backpack of equipment. So that we could nevertheless splash around in a relaxed manner, we have our anti-theft device with us. More about this soon in the article Travel Security.

The market on the way to Naiyang beach

When we came from the beach on Wednesday, the road was unusually busy. A few hundred meters away from the beach we realized why so many cars and motorcycles are on the way. It’s a market time. The market at Naiyang Beach is not huge and the vegetarian and vegan possibilities are very limited there, but at least we could buy cheap fruits. For the kilo of yellow mangoes 80 Baht was of course a dream for us. We eat pineapple, mango and coconut almost daily. A dream!

The on Wednesdays and Fridays in the evening, on all other days there is only one stand with some fruit. For a larger selection you have to go to Ban Wong Li.

Fruits at Naiyang Beach Market
Fruits at Naiyang Beach Market

à Da müssen wir überlegen wie wir das machen mit den Öffnungszeiten

The drive to Phuket City

It was also our hostess who brought us to Phuket City for 500 Baht. That’s fair. At the airport you pay between 600 and 800 Baht. She took us directly to our next accommodation and was shocked at what we booked for accommodation in Phuket City. You will see in the next article. Be curious and follow us.

Our world trip begins

We are Jana and Alf. Since today we are backpackers and globetrotters. Here on our travel blog we would like to share our experiences. In this article you will learn a lot about the motives, the preparations and the time until the start of our world trip.

Two years ago during a trip to Vietnam with friends I had the wish to travel. One year later I sold my house and my company and dared to minimize my life to my backpack stuff.

Goodbye DCN
Goodbye DCN – Image Credit: Alf Drollinger, DCN GmbH

For 20 years I was self-employed and managing director of DCN GmbH, a web agency, and therefore did not often have the opportunity to spend time in faraway countries. It was not easy for me to say goodbye to the company, as I had to part with my colleagues at the same time, who are also good friends for me. DCN has been like a family to me in recent years.

My disease

At that time I was already seriously ill, but I didn’t notice much of it yet. I had been in pain for months, but I thought of burnout and side effects from sitting around and staring at flickering screens. Then everything got worse.

Lyme disease and antibiosis do not suit me well – Image Credit: I’ve repressed it

The diagnosis neuro-borreliosis became my new fetlock after a blood test. I had just got rid of all the others. In a later article I will tell you more about Lyme disease and living with it while traveling.

Getting to know each other

But somehow everything had its reason, because on the way back from my healing trips to Hamburg I met Jana. She was my seat neighbor in the Flixbus and found me with my two backpacks interesting.

Kennenlernen in Hamburg
Get to know in Hamburg- Image Credit: Self-timer

After talking for a while and noticing that we were both vegans, we didn’t want to part again in Karlsruhe. Just a few weeks later I moved into her flat in Rastatt.

Because of her job training and my disease the travel plans moved into the background. Together we went to Hamburg, Amsterdam and Italy to satisfy our desire to travel. But the desire to travel remained and had already caught Jana.

So we didn’t stop planning and thinking about when the right time would be to start out in the world. After training and after my therapy? But life had other plans with us. Jana could not continue her education for other reasons. So we quit her flat and filled another backpack.

The preparations for the world trip

It simply makes sense to own little if you have to carry it all the time on your back. After the sale of the house and the company was clear, I handed everything over in a house flea market into good hands and got a few more euros for the travel cash together. The most joyful thing for me was the shredding of no longer needed files.

Jana made it similar later and gave many things away to friends.

Dropping a ballast feels good and once you’ve started, you can feel how it all gets easier.

However, there are many items of equipment that you need as a world traveller and most of them are for our work as travel bloggers. Also here we will write some articles for you, which deal with our packing list and the travel equipment. We’ve read a lot of articles ourselves.

The second part of the preparations went much faster. The actual travel planning was limited to where we would start. Since I was weakened by my illness, my favourite means of transport, the bicycle, unfortunately failed. Also on foot no start was possible in December from Germany, although we often thought about it and also indulged again and again in travel reports and our route into distant countries.

So there was still bus and train or just a flight. Even though we would have liked to do without the plane and are even a little ashamed of it, we had no better idea. The Trans-Siberian Railway was on the test bench for a long time but today I am glad that Jana was so vehemently against it. I would not have survived this tour well.

The last official visits were to the Karlsruhe District Office and the Thai Consulate in Stuttgart. An international driving license is necessary in most countries in order to drive a scooter or car. The visa for Thailand is meaningful starting from 30 days and we wanted to stay longer. Also here another extra article, because our experiences in the consulate are interesting and funny at the same time.

The topic of health insurance and deregistration from Germany is still more complicated. I made a tactical mistake, which caused a lot of trouble even three months later. I should have immediately unsubscribed and cancelled the insurances. Why this is so and how it works is however also a separate history, which we would like to explain in a whole article series

The goodbye before our world trip

A very difficult and long chapter was the goodbye of friends, family and of course the dogs. Some tears were shed and the uncertainty was shown in many questions: When will you be back? Where will you sleep? What if you have no more money? And if no one understands you?

The official goodbye party never took place, but some friends came and said goodbye in the small apartment in Ittersbach. That was really nice and we hope that one or the other promise to come and visit us will be kept at some point

From Cologne to Phuket

We didn’t want to fly. Firstly, we find it ecologically unacceptable to simply jet around the world on a plane and secondly, we quickly fly over great places we would have liked to see. Because we wanted to go to a country where the climate was good for me, this way was unavoidable. Exactly at the right time we found the right flight with Skyscanner. In December for 200 Euro per person from Cologne to Phuket. This is unique and unbeatable. Booked.

On 9.12.2017 my parents drove us to Karlsruhe, where we came to Cologne with the Flixbus, how else could it be? From there our Eurowings machine went to Phuket in a snow flurry. During the 10-hour direct flight there was also the missing desire to travel, which should not be lost to us for months.

Start of our world trip
Start of our world trip

At this point many thanks to my parents, the best parents in the world. Not just for this one shuttle service. You have supported our plans from the beginning and encouraged us to take this big step. I love you, Keks you too.

What’s next

In the next article we tell you about our first days in Southeast Asia and the impressions we both had. Jana is in Asia for the first time (not counting the birth and the first two years), I am in Thailand for the first time. There are already some new impressions. We look forward to you travelling with us and especially to your comments.

Jana und Alf