I loved my stay at Point Yamu by COMO. As a hotel, it was pretty close to perfect – the food, design and service were all wonderful. However, if I could change anything about the hotel, all I would change would be the destination itself.
If you picked up Point Yamu and put it on an unspoilt and pristine island like Koh Kood, I honestly would have fallen utterly head over heels in love.
Instead, Point Yamu is located in Phuket. Yes, Phang Nga bay is a little way away from the central party areas of Phuket, but as a destination, the effects of excessive tourism are pretty blatantly obvious. None more so than when I went out on a boat trip to explore some of the smaller islands near the mainland.
True, the weather was not ideal. Unlike Timor-Leste which shines even when under a thick blanket of clouds, Phuket just looks gloomy and kinda depressing. Despite this, before the boat trip I still had high hopes for what was to come.
The first island we stopped at was by far the most beautiful stop of the day. We were unable to set foot on this particular island, but it was certainly a beautiful place to stop for a few minutes and appreciate the contrast of the green forest with the aqua ocean.
However, unfortunately, this was to be the best part of the day.
The second island we stopped at looked interesting enough, all rocky outcrops and cliff faces, but it was a major disappointment. The whole reason I went on the trip was to do some amazing snorkelling – but no such snorkelling exists in these waters. Yes, stormy weather doesn’t help water visibility, but this water has a bigger problem. Pollution is so disgustingly obvious here! I jumped in the water hoping to see something, anything, but I could not even see my own hands in front of my face.
I had foolishly brought my underwater camera with me and I did end up taking a few photos, but you can’t see anything but dirty water – so I am not even going to waste your time by posting them here.
After a few minutes I started to get grossed out from being immersed in such a polluted body of water and got out. From then on, I was pretty much over Phuket.
The last island we stopped at was nothing but a total tourist trap. A ridiculous amount of boats were lined up and hundreds of tourists were splashing around in the water. Litter and rubbish were everywhere, the water was murky and all I felt was boredom.
After experiencing the crystal clear waters of El Nido, Timor-Leste and the Maldives – there was just no way this was going to cut it.
Would I ever go back to Phuket?
For Point Yamu – yes. For Phuket itself – hell to the no!
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting to Phuket: The 2nd largest airport in Thailand, you can fly to Phuket directly from many major airport hubs or via either of the airports in Bangkok
Getting to Point Yamu: You can take a taxi or organise for a private transfer with the hotel
Point Yamu by COMO: One of Phukets most beautiful hotels, click here to learn more
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 lens
Remember: If you want crystal clear oceans – skip Phuket
Don’t forget to add me on Snapchat and Instagram – @wwellend – for more foolishness and travel adventures!
Disclosure: My stay at Point Yamu was subsidised by the COMO Hotels group, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are unbiased and in no way influenced by COMO Hotels.
20 thoughts on “A Shoddy Day in Phang Nga Bay”
Your honest perspective will not win you any accolades from Phuket and area tourism but it is definitely bang on regarding crowds. I shudder to think how dreadful high season must be. What we, as travellers, need to consider is what can be done to make visiting, and living in, these lovely areas better? Tourism is the main economy, ecotourism is not. May your next destination be fresh.
No, I probably won’t be getting any invites from the Thailand Tourism Board (whoops) but a girl has gotta be honest!
Okay, I’ll skip Phuket… 🙂
It is seriously not worth the trip 🙁
In all our journeys, Phuket has never figured for the sea. Perhaps from some of the capes the seas may look nice (Phromthep, Karon etc), but in the water it’s totally different. Even Redang in Malaysia is better!
Yeah, I can’t understand why it is so popular! Surely there are much more pleasant places to visit in Thailand!
Its just the resorts, they are taking up all the beaches soon and probably the main draw. Definitely many other parts of Thailand. We only go because of our timeshare!
Sorry that place sucked! Maybe they’ll refund you – ha!
The resort was amazing, just the location that was less than ideal!
Only been to Phuket once and that was enough. We were disappointed, although the hotel as quite good.
Yeah, it seems like the hotels and resorts are of a high quality, but I think excess tourism has really ruined the place 🙁
Love the photos, gorgeous!
Thank you for sharing, hopefully the country will realize how important the waters are – I remember how polluted the Rio Cuale (river) was in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, it took the younger generation to teach their elders about pollution and on our most recent trip there, we were delighted to see crystal clear water. It was so much nicer to see bird life instead of pop bottles, etc,
Absolutely! Hopefully a wave of eco-tourism and anti-pollution measures will eventually get to Phuket.
That would be wonderful…
How horrid, and how completely ludicrous that so many people should spend a “vacation” splashing about in water that requires an hour’s showering afterward.
I know! I really do not understand the appeal whatsoever!
That last photo was quite suffocating, even from my view point. I enjoyed your story either way. A great recount of a bad experience.
Suffocating is rather a good (apt) word for it. I did not enjoy it at all!
I hear you. And I feel lucky to have been in Phuket a couple decades ago, long before it became “Phukit”!!