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Where I stayed
The best way to discover the island is on motorcycle. It is cheap and convenient. You just have to be sensible and ride carefully and must always wear helmet. From Chalong where I stayed, the first stop was Kata beach. This is where the dive shop is located. I wanted to settle everything at the dive shop before spending the whole day at the beach. Kata and Karon beaches are located next to each other and they are great beaches. Not as busy as Patong but not too quiet either. they have everything from beach chairs, jet skis to surfing areas. Unfortunately the red flag was up due to a very strong rip current, so no swimming :(
Next stop was Patong. You have probably heard a lot about this particular town. You either love it or hate it. In my case, I don't really hate it but it is definitely not my favourite place. It's very crowded and touristy. Everything from food to accommodation is also expensive. Even the road is kinda chaotic because in some parts of the town you drive on the right side instead of the left side. It was really confusing. The traffic police also like to pick up on tourist so make sure you wear your helmets and bring your driver's license all the time. Ironically, they just ignore the locals even if they drive like crazy and never wear helmets.
Locals recommended Tri Trang Beach because it is apparently quieter than Patong. Indeed it was. After about an hour swimming and just relaxing, it was time to find Freedom Beach. Unfortunately the road to the beach was closed. The only way to get there was to take a boat. So I skipped that and just spent the whole afternoon in Kata Beach.
For the sunset, the destination was Promthep Cape all the way to the south of the island. It was a nice viewing place but they were so many people there. Overall it was an awesome day of beach hopping! At the end of the day, I was at least 5 shades darker. Mostly because I was exposed to the sun when riding the motorcycle. Slept really well at night. Excited to dive the next day!