Phuket is a big place which caters to many different tastes. For the nearly two weeks we were there, we managed to carve out a stress-free, pleasant life for ourselves, away from the mass crowds and cheesy tourist scene. Just look at these smiles…
Our guesthouse, Sansuko Ville, was a great base, in a quiet Thai neighborhood, with lovely hospitality and perfect accommodations. We were near a nice little beach with a family-run, waterfront restaurant which we visited almost everyday. Chris and I even got to do a solid hike nearby (finally, a challenging workout) that had 360 degree views of the island. We really liked Sansuko.
A huge highlight of our time on Phuket was a planned visit from Chris’ sister, Maggie, and a surprise visit from Grandma, just in time for Christmas. The kids were over the moon and so were we. At last, Chris and I could get a break! He thanked the heavens, and Merle and I jumped for joy!
We had to pinch ourselves lots just make sure Grandma’s visit was really happening!
Phuket has a lot of attractions for kids, but most were too far away, beyond our budget, or just not our style. They did go to the aquarium with Grandma, and we also took a freaky speed boat ride to a nearby island called Koh Kai. The boat ride was so unsafe and island so overrun with tourists, that we found contentment scaling back our ambitions and just chillin’ close to Sansuko. Why not when it was awesome there. The owners, Steve and Bobbi (from Yorkshire, you Downton fans), made us feel so at home, a pleasant sensation after traveling straight for five months. All decked out for Christmas, Sansuko helped us get into the holiday mood a bit, even though the weather was definitely not frightful and there were no chimneys in sight. Mathilda got to decorate and undecorate their tree (as well as pilfer the candy canes), a pastime she resumed from last year. She also found a kindred spirit in their dog named “Tissue.” By the way, thank you, Ellen and Ron, for her very stylin’ tank top!
Bobbi included our family for both Christmas and New Years dinners which she lovingly prepared, and Steve was so fun and patient with the kids. Merle had never been called “darlin” before, especially by a man, so that was a cultural experience, in and of itself! The kids especially loved it when Steve would walk around with his squawking parrot on his shoulder. Their favorite was when he’d pull out his pet spider from behind the bar.
You might be happy to know that Merle and Mathilda officially got married while on Phuket by some friendly English expat kids on the beach. Behold the slideshow of their lovely ceremony.
We finished up our time in Phuket near a fabulous beach called Layan, which positioned us closer to the airport for our departure to Bali. Now this was the Phuket beach we were hoping for: fine white sand, no trash, few people, gentle surf, and most importantly, clear, clean, stinger-free water. Our two final days in Thailand were simply awesome, mostly passing the time watching the sun and clouds make patterns across the water and sky. If you spend the whole day at the beach, undoubtedly interesting things will happen, like a wedding or horses clopping by…
or even better, an elephant kicking a soccer ball!
The sun began to set and feeling the beauty of it all, Mathilda naturally got the urge to dance.
We had a wonderful time in southern Thailand. I am still thinking of all the friendly people there, the azure water, the ease of entertaining the kids at the beach and all the great meals. Can’t wait to come back someday!