When my husband and I first started debating on where we would vacation in our off-season, he was the one who originally came up with the idea of Thailand. When he first suggested it, I was mildly hesitant. It was a long way away, and I virtually knew nothing about the place, but after some research, it became clear to me that this somewhat hidden gem of a country had a tremendous amount to offer. ‘The Beach’ with Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t remotely do it justice, and once you can get past the 23-hour flight, the outcome is well worth it.
Phuket, Thailand is where we ended up staying, and I can say with one-hundred percent certainty, that it is the most beautiful and intriguing place I have ever had the privilege of visiting. The culture, food, people and scenery is truly something of another world. Most importantly, the Thai people are not the least bit pretentious, we found them to be incredibly helpful and kind to tourists, which is rather uncommon in some parts of the world. The language barrier was perhaps the most difficult challenge for us, but fortunately at our hotel most of the people spoke enough English for us to get by.
Here is where we stayed and what we saw for a week in ‘Magnificent Thailand.’
Where to Stay:
The photos speak for themselves on what the Sri Panwa Resort had to offer. Sri Panwa is located above Cape Panwa and provides surreal views of the Southwestern tip of Phuket.
We selected a one-bedroom pool villa that overlooked the Western ridge and Andaman Sea. On the property there are six restaurants to choose from ranging from Thai, Chinese, Japanese, sushi, BBQ, Italian, and American traditions. The sushi ended up becoming our favorite, and I lost track of how many times we ate there. One of the bars, Baba Nest has been voted one of the top bars in the world for the views it provides at sunset — book in advance if you want to secure a ‘seat.’ Even though our room had it’s own pool, the ‘public’ pools were easily worth multiple trips — the Habita was perhaps the most impressive along with the private beach.
What to Do
We selected multiple excursions through our hotel that was a simple process, and relatively easy to book. The first was an all-day speed boat trip from 7:15 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. that left from the Royal Phuket Marina then took you around various sites and attractions via boat. The first stop was to begin canoeing trips through several water caves that gave you an incredible vantage point to take in some of the country’s most famous natural-made structures and landscapes. We toured the infamous James Bond Island, as well as a small fishing village of Ko Panyi in Phang Aga Bay where the village locals made you a buffet of traditional Thai food. Our second excursion was a five-hour trip via van (scheduled through the hotel) to tour Big Buddha, Old Town Phuket, various overlooks, elephant trekking, and the Chalong Temple with each stop revealing another layer of the Thai culture.
Blake and I have already agreed we would love to visit this country again, there are still some things left to go see. As far as the travel goes, it is a significant commitment. We selected Delta Airlines from Charlotte to Detroit, Detroit to Seoul (South Korea) then onto Phuket (Thailand) with the last leg being operated by Korean Air, which is still a part of Delta. The whole trip on the way out takes about 23 hours, so we had to account for two days of the trip just being travel, but the country that awaits makes it well worth it. Until next time Thailand…