Combine adventure with relaxation and you end up with Thailand. The main motivator to visit such an adventurous location was purely for the authenticity in food, culture and nature. So before we arrived, we did our research on the best places that provide a relaxing time as well as various island tours – Phuket was a high contender as elephants and monkeys were on the agenda.
Phuket is huge. We spent the whole 10 days here and still felt like we could have had more time to explore. We were thoroughly spoilt upon arriving at our first resort Mandarava Spa and Resort located at Karon beach. I can still smell the fresh lemongrass tea and feel that blow of humidity. It was 34 degrees and we were still in U.K airport attire. Safe to say, we did not anticipate such warm weather at 7am. The resort reminded me so much of the Maldives. Mandarava was in the middle of a jungle and the villas all had felt like they had been placed so thoughtfully. Modern and refreshing, the rooms were stunning and the shower was even better. We were treated to a Thai massage in their beautiful spa at the highest point overlooking the resort. It was unreal and was such a fabulous start to the trip. The staff were extremely friendly even with a slight language barrier and the Thai food was incredible with so many options. I honestly could not fault the experience there. Thailand weather was bipolar, something we had previously seen in the Maldives however we saw so many changes that we felt like we were there for over a month. The next resort was a must visit in Phuket. Located within the Northern part of Phuket at Pansea beach, Amanpuri is a beautiful resort offering a timeless luxury atmosphere. We stayed there for two nights allowing us to consume a different side of lavishness. It truly was indulgent with a complete private sandy beach and offering diverse dining options such as Mexican and Japanese. Plus the resort pool is insane.
I would recommend booking island tours especially Phi Phi Islands and Maya Bay (where the Beach was filmed) as well as the James Bond Island (the clue is in the name). It was an adventurous couple of days but so incredibly worth soaking up all the views and sights. Nonetheless, the highlight of my entire trip was not relaxing poolside but visiting the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary (and the rainbow sunsets). It was an unforgettable experience interacting and observing vulnerable and lovable Elephants. They were rescued from riding, trekking, logging as well as circus shows. It literally broke my heart listening to each elephant’s story and knowing these places still exist. It makes me extremely happy seeing the local Thai people care and love for these magnificent animals. There are still kind people out in the world. It important to understand this is happening around us.
Thailand is a place that hardly needs an introduction to its culture and temples. We were lucky to have so many Buddhist temples surrounding us including the famous Big Buddha in Phuket. I absolutely love visiting temples in other countries (believe it or not I am a very spiritual person). Also very closely is Monkey Hill where you can feed wild Monkey’s but be sure not to pet or touch them as they can be feisty! Phuket has both palm trees, sandy beaches as well as temples. It is an adventurous place offering so much culture and excitement to tourists. My thoughts on Phuket are very positive, hoping to return next year to further my Asia checklist. As it stands, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai are firmly on that list.
Carpe Diem Mermaids and Mermen,