Good Life


Christmas Luxury in Phuket, Thailand

Once you get into the swing of backpacking it becomes clear what a budget room is worth. $15 to $20 is pretty standard in most of the area. $25 is a usually a rip-off unless it includes cable TV, a balcony and a free breakfast. The idea of a room costing $350 a night in such a part of the world is hard to put into perspective. But that’s what our room in Phuket was quoted at online.

We were staying at Westin Siray Bay, recently opened in April of 2010 and we were paying absolutely nothing. We wondered who was crazy enough to actually pay the high price tag in the land of cheap rooms and found that almost everybody was paying with points. We met honeymooners and other backpackers like ourselves taking advantage of the starwoods program. The Art of Nonconformity rates the Starwoods point system (and also the Starwoods Amex card) as the best points system out there, and many travelers in the know love to cash in during the holidays when most other rewards programs will black out the dates.

never-ending umbrellas at Patong

The Siray Bay Beach looks nice enough from far away but it’s a bay after all and the sand is imported – its not a natural white sandy beach. We learned quickly though that it still beats the throngs of people in Patong beach where we hung out Christmas day. Once you get done with the beaches in Patong there are plenty of bars with drinky girls hanging out promising you’ll have a good time. We found Patong worth seeing but definitely not worth staying.

The strange thing about the Westin is the price difference for food. Phuket Town is 8 minutes away. We had lunch on Christmas eve for 50 cents each. Our Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner cost us $50 a person. But it did come complete with Carolers and Chocolate Santas, so there is something to be said for that. 🙂

In the end, Phuket seemed a little vanilla to us. It was just another island in Thailand – and one with very easy access making it completely overrun by short-holiday tourists. But we loved our Balcony and luxurious bathroom and it felt like a little holiday from our holiday. And we certainly needed to rest up before heading to the next island…

Phuket, it is generally agreed, is a tourist shithole – best served for anthropological studies of fat German men who wear Speedos.
-Rolf Potts


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elise
    Jan 25, 2011 @ 05:30:20

    One of my favorite quotes so far 😉


  2. Sophie
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 19:49:05

    Phuket was a shithole. Holz and I disliked it immensely, especially after Phi Phi! Patong was just old German/Italian/French men wearing speedos with tans to rival Magda from ‘There’s Something About Mary’ only there on holiday to have sex with young Thai girls/boys and parade around with them like a prize. They’re not fooling anyone!


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