Our final full day at Phuket was spent island hopping and swimming with the fishes. The weather was reasonably gloomy all through the morning, which left us with little hope of sun. Obviously Phuket weather is unpredictable - I remember hopping from one foot to the other while crossing makeshift bridges because of how hot the sun was under my feet.
As much as I dislike tours (I prefer getting lost by myself in the entirety of a place), we decided that the best way to venture out was to find a tour that offered us enough time to go all "free-and-easy", had value for money and allowed us to see more than what we had planned. We didn't really have much planned, so, we booked an island-hopping tour to two separate islands - Coral Island and Raya Island, inclusive of a lunch through our hotel.
After a couple of stops at various hotels' fetching everyone else who had signed up for the same tour, we made it to the pitstop where we were treated to a performance, and a short briefing about how the itinerary was going to be like. We were divided into various groups to follow specific guides and boats before we walked toward the beach.
Thankfully both my sister and I had experience with PFDs and life-jacket safety. You can't expect too much from such tours; so most of their life-jackets were more or less in so-so condition. Safety first!
We made it to Coral Island first. That was when I realised how tourist-driven Phuket is. I could hardly see the beach because of the throngs of people everywhere. If you thought Sentosa was crowded on a weekend, think three times of that. Had another briefing about lockers and all of that, and we had about an hour to roam around; though neither of us wanted to walk anywhere. Deck chairs cost money to rent, but we sneakily sat down anyway and spent the time people-watching.
I mean we couldn't do much because of the amount of people everywhere, and water-sports were a no-go especially with the time limit we had. Nevertheless, the beach was covered in soft, white sand (none of those rough, reclaimed beach shindigs) and the water was ridiculously clear.
I managed to take
one photo that had no one's arm or leg in it by a stroke of luck, and then it was back to the boat and off to lunch.
Lunch was buffet style, overlooking the sea. We had to climb this rickety floating bridge which almost gave me a heart attack. At that point, I wished that the sea would just swallow me up. Walking that bridge was exhausting! The temptation was high of course; to grab all there was at the buffet and stuff ourselves silly, but we refrained seeing as we were going into the water later on.
Raya Island was more cove than island in my opinion.
It was tucked away in between two cliff slash mountain things with nothing more than a couple of beach chairs and shelters, and a stall or two selling drinks. My sister and I found ourselves a nice viewing spot on a pile of boulders and we camped there for the time being before being dropped off in the middle of nowhere to snorkel.
Sadly, what we mostly saw were dead or dull coral.
Regardless, snorkeling (without the mouthpiece) for the first time was a good experience. I personally have a slight fear of fishes eating my toes.....but I was quite alright for that short period of time. I must say, it was a definite workout for my legs having to trackwater to keep myself afloat.
It was back to the boat (again) and back to dry land. A coach dropped our soaking wet selves at our hotel where we showered and headed out for our last dinner at Patong Beach.
If you're up for a chill holiday, I'd recommend a free and easy couple of days in Phuket for sure. Regretfully, it's turning into a very tourist-driven area which usually means it'll no longer be an untouched sanctuary for long.
Full vlog here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rULn6c_2_IM&t=220s Don't forget to subscribe! :)