Phuket, Thailand

Thailands' Southern Island ..


10/5/20233 min read

All of a sudden, it feels like I'm on holiday. I know that might seem to be an odd concept, considering I've been unemployed and unencumbered since May this year, but until now, I feel like I've been on a bit of a mission. I had places to go and things on the to-do list to tick off, and it's been a busy time - planning and executing my tour of what is now a tally of 15 countries. So now it's wind-down time. I booked one spot for 10 nights, and I didn't venture far from my stay (not that I was planning on it). It's rainy season in Thailand in October and unfortunately the rain was right on schedule. The first 3 days here were overcast and drizzly but it was still warm so I used the pool and got out for walks with my umbrella and had a pretty low-key start to my stay here. The forecast looked set to continue, but it seems the weather-man in Thailand went to the same school as the one in NZ - because the forecast was waaaaay off, and days 4-10 were HOT. It felt a heck of a lot hotter than the 32 degrees that was showing on my phone screen. So much so that even the deep pool water was warm.

I filled my days resting initially. The jetlag from changing to a time-zone with a 5 hour difference from Europe, plus all the flights and trains from previous days - had really kicked by butt. Then it was all about long daily walks, using the gym in my resort, and swimming in the pools and at the beach. The humidity added some serious volume to my hair unless I had it tied up, and the temps sat between 27 and 32 over the 10 days I had here. There are plenty of mosquitoes around at night - so bring the bug spray if you visit!

My room at Peach Hill Resort (SHA Plus) - Guest Reservations was spacious and comfortable, with a nice balcony and peeps of the ocean. 3 pools, and situated on a little hill, a short walking distance between Karon and Kata beaches. A perfect spot really! There's a free shuttle that runs to the beaches several times a day for the lazy people that can't walk up and down the hill just a couple of hundred metres from the beach, and the staff here were amazing. There's an on-site restaurant and a free buffet breakfast was included in my stay, but outside of breakfast, I think the food offerings in town were better.

It was over an hours drive from the one airport on the island, to my hotel, so I got to see many other parts of this beautiful island paradise as we drove in, and it honestly all looked good. I think wherever you landed here would make for a great stay. There's surf to be had if that's your thing, and looooads of nightlife on offer. The 'shopping' district near my stay was low on retail shops in favour of bars, restaurants, cannabis shops, massage and tattoo parlours, and tour operators. One day in the heat I walked several kilometres down to Karon beach, and around the 'shopping' district there and it was the same. So, unlike the island of Bali which has all the bars and restaurants, but has also become a bit of a retail mecca - this part of Phuket at least, was very quiet. The roads were quiet. The beaches were uncrowded, and from what I experienced at my resort - as well as others I could see - they're still trying to recover from the Covid fallout, with the tourist dollars that are only now just trickling through.

There's an incredible new hotel being built on the clifftop next to where I stayed (pic below) - the views will be amazing from the rooms! I know it's a bit further to travel here from NZ and Australia, compared to Bali - but for anyone who has 'done' Bali and is now finding it a bit too busy and kind of a 'been there, done that' thing, I think Thailand could be a great option. There are lots of tours and excursions for anyone wanting to fill their time with activities, the food is cheap and delicious, and with the uncrowded beaches, gentle waves, hot temps, and all the other things we seem to love about these tropical destinations (cheap massages, and plenty of places for a cold beer) - it seems like a pretty good spot to head to.

So that's a wrap on this round of my travels! Now to Bali for 19 days. I plan to start ramping up my exercise sessions, in preparation for settling In Australia and really getting stuck into a whole new level of fitness (excited about that!!) - and time for me for both reflection and some forward planning...

Winding down in Phuket ...