What I loved the most:-
1. The Resort - We stayed at the J M Marriott Resort in Phuket which was outstanding (check it out). Sean had arranged a time share apartment that was really great for our needs with a toddler in tow and it really was home from home with everything we needed and set in the lushest of gardens. A stones throw from the beach and lots of pools to choose from which was good because it was HOT!!
2. The Massages - Sean and Nadine had a morning at the Spa but I just flopped onto a mat in a tent made from Saris and enjoyed unbelievable one hour massages for less than a R 150. If I could have fit one of those little Thai ladies into my suitcase she would have been living in my spare room - massage oil at the ready!
3. The Pools - Thai Chi in the pool - a wonderful way to start your day and Happy Hour at dusk - Singapore Slings are wonderful way to end it!
4. The Food - Fragrant, Fresh and with a touch of spice, Thai food is a favourite of mine and I enjoyed every mouthful and there were lots of them!
5. Excursions - We went on two trips - both private tours so we were the only ones and could tailor make it length wise which is important when you have a baby in tour who may not want to spend an hour looking at Buddha! We went to Old Phuket which had all the ingredients of a thriving third world city - new buildings dotted amongst crumbling ones, masses of motor scooters weaving in and our of the traffic and some interesting curio shops with very enthusiastic owners! I loved the downtown afternoon tea enjoyed in a little tea shop with Formica furniture and glutinous blue treats! Seriously it was delicious!
6. Island hopping - When on an island, its mandatory that you explore other islands and we were taken to James Bond Island - swarming with tourists where we literally rubbed shoulders with Americans, Russians, Germans and Japanese! This is where the beauty of being able to say, Miss MoneyPenny take me somewhere else." Then we headed for Koh Panyee - a floating Muslim Village - which gave us a real inside into island life. The village is also famous for a documentary made about its soccer team - see here. We enjoyed the most delicious food - a banquet really! Back in the boat, it was a breezy ride back to land and to visit the Golden Buddha where different varieties of the Americans, Russians, Germans and Japanese tourists were and I wondered where they were going to display their photograph taken with Golden Buddha!
7. The Gardens - I spend a lot of time enjoying the gardens at the resort - mainly because I got lost every day but it was a lovely space to get lost in and I particularly loved the Lotus flower lake!
I also loved our novelty towel animals that awaited us most days in the apartment, Coconut Ice lollies, swimming with Katherine, smiling, peace loving Thai people and eavesdropping on tourists while reading my book (so much competing and one upmanship).
What I didn't like - THE HEAT was a bit much at times! Patong Beach - we visited at sunset and left as the night life was starting. It was like Blackpool on steroids and the sign below sums it up!
Would I go back - I don't think so. It was a lovely experience that I am glad of - but I think there are nicer places that offer the same sort of holiday that are much more interesting. i think once you have been once you have seen what you want to see - you cant beat it for relaxation and great Thai food but I like holidays where you can explore and learn and I have done that.
Next? Who knows.......?