Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Phuket

What can I say about Phuket except that it’s heavenly? Really, I can’t say enough about how lush and beautiful it was. Unlike in Bangkok, we didn’t do much exploring. Instead, we spent much of our time camped out at Le Meridien, enjoying the extensive pools, the secluded beach and the beautiful spa (thanks to Dad and Judy who surprised me with a luxurious spa package that included a scrub, massage and facial! ETA: Thanks to my brothers and sister-in-law too as they were in on the present too; the hotel wasn't entirely clear on the whole card thing!).

While the boys preferred the pools, Doug and I definitely preferred the beach. The beach was totally secluded as the resort covers the entire cove between two hills on either side. The water was crystal clear, with varying shades of blue stretching before us each morning. And, despite the fact that it was the end of rainy season, we had perfect weather. The only real rain we experienced was as we checked out on Saturday at lunch. Breakfast buffets, pizza by the beach (the Tom Yum Gong pizza was to die for), visits by a baby elephant each day, and drinks at sunset while the boys watched a movie at the kids club did a lot to extend our bliss as well.

The only dent - coming under fire on the beach by a rogue fireworks operator who sent one sideways rather than up in the air.

We did manage to tear ourselves away from the resort for a few adventures. The first was an elephant trek, which left us feeling a bit dirty. Not because we actually got dirty, but because we felt bad for the poor elephants. One of the drivers (Doug and Quin’s) hit his elephant somewhat frequently, and the drivers basically extorted us for tips at the halfway point of the trek.

The rest of our excursions were a lot more fun though. One night, we headed into Patong Beach. There, we visited the market, then stopped at one of the local bars for a drink. As Berkley said, the Monkey Bar was the best bar. We let the boys have two (TWO!) Fanta sodas (there are an amazing variety of Fanta flavors out here, and the boys are on a mission to try all of them), and the bartender pulled out endless rounds of games and puzzles to entertain us all. And it’s amazing how much one’s parenting improves after a beer or two. Patong Beach at sunset was beautiful, and the hole in the wall Thai restaurant was delicious (dinner and drinks for 4 for about $21!).

On Friday, we went out to swim in a pool at the bottom of the Bang Pae Waterfall and see the gibbons at the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project. The whole trip helped wash away some of the dirty feeling left by the elephant trek as the work being done by the Gibbon Project is really amazing.

All in all, I highly recommend Phuket to anyone who’s looking to enjoy a tropical beach vacation, enjoying some R&R and/or experience Thailand. You should check it out - I know we definitely plan to return to do so!

4 comments:

  1. Just got caught up on your recent posts and travel experiences. I continue to read with awe-- perhaps now that you have "settled" some you think it just part of the everyday that you get up and go to the market or ride on an elephant (philosophical differences aside). Seems to me you will all remember this forever and look back proudly on the trip and all the life learning it provided.

    Sending you love as always,

    Lara (Jeff, Max, Nate & Sam, too!)

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  2. Sounds like an adventure of a lifetime for you all- again! Around every turn there is something we just are amazed at. Seeing the smiling faces makes missing you easier to take. Glad you enjoyed your "surprise" and will have to tell you about the "adventure" I had arranging it!

    "See" you soon we hope.

    Love you all, Dad and Judy

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  3. What amazingly beautiful pictures-so I am sure if there-it is that much more beautiful. I am so happy that you are all getting to experience such a great adventure! And all in all-it sounds like the high points thus far are outwaying the low ones!! Love, Baba

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  4. After seeing all the reports of the monssons in Thialand - so good to see the beautiful weather you are enjoying in Phuket. I would love to see the Gibbons and agree the elephant ride not so good (reminds me of the elephant rides at the zoos and circus when we were younger which were awful)

    Our love to all
    Aunt Trish & Uncle Frank

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