Last week Nathan had one of many holidays off of work. This time it was for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. We decided to take advantage of the extra time off of work and take a quick trip to Phuket, Thailand.
Phuket is one of the first trips a lot of expats first make to Thailand. I feel like it is somewhat a good introduction to the country. There are really cheap flights to Phuket, and the hotels are reasonably priced. I am really glad we went, but I don’t think it will be a spot we head back to again anytime soon. It was not quite the relaxing beach vacation I was hoping for. I think that is partly due to the part of the island that we stay in. We stayed in Patong. Which come to find out is definitely a major tourist destination. It is pretty crazy, all the time. We came to find out it is known as the “Sin City” of Thailand. There are lots of bars and such. I cannot even imagine what it must be like during the high season. This street had Tiki type bars as far as the eye could see. Since we were traveling with a 20 month old we did not partake of this particular scene in Patong.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Patong. It had great reviews on Trip Advisor. This turned out to be a great choice for us. We got upgraded to a larger room which was nice. Here is the view from our room:
It was a really nice family resort, and right across the street from the beach. Here are a couple of shots of the beach:
Now because there are no resorts on the beach at this location be prepared to be swarmed by local vendors trying to rent you umbrellas, sell you things, attack you with henna…all kinds of things.
The Holiday Inn had a great kids pool with slide and all kinds of fun, but the best part was the toddler pool. It was shallow enough for him to walk around in and had water squirts and a baby slide. B had a fabulous time. This is where we spent most of our water time.
The first morning we went down to the beach to check it out. B had such a good time, we went and got our swimsuits on and played even more. It was a great beach for him, it was flat and very shallow pretty far out. The surf was certainly calmer than it was this summer in Destin. He had a great time. It seems my little Strawberry Blonde caught the attention of many beach goers. I saw so many people taking pictures of him. It was kind of a flash back to working at Disney, and making caramel apples in the window of the shop I worked in. I got my picture taken a lot, by a certain group of tourists.
While at lunch that day, we spotted a few things I found interesting. First these high chairs that are everywhere are slightly terrifying, but luckily they have a pretty good belt
They have open air taxis
The city buses are semis with seats instead of a trailer:
We love Thai food at our house, and we were not disappointed here. These area just a couple of the delicious dishes we had.
Pad Thai Style noodles with Prawns.
Tom Yum Seafood Soup. (I actually prefer the Malaysian version of this soup, but it was tasty)
B eating bacon.
Coconut milk based soup with chicken.
One afternoon while B was “napping” with Daddy I got to go to the resort spa. I love a good spa, and I am seriously fortunate to have a husband that thinks that I deserve to go to the spa on occasion. So off I went to have a turmeric and honey body scrub and a Thai Massage. The spa at our resort was lovely and very peaceful. This is the second time I have had a spa treatment in Asia. It is different than the US. If you are at all modest this is probably not for you. In the US I feel like they try to make sure you feel like no one is looking at you naked, even though it is probably inevitable when turning over on the treatment table. They don’t even pretend in Asia. It does not bother me. After having a baby any sense of modesty I had around other women seriously flew out the window. If you have a body scrub, they will scrub you everywhere, butt and boobs included. Then after the scrub she got me off the table, naked and walked me over to screen that reveled an outdoor shower.
Then came the Thai massage. I have had a lot of lower back and hip discomfort since pregnancy. It has just become part of life. Stroller pushing, ergo baby wearing and bending over to pick up 20+ LB kid takes a toll. I have had several massages in the US in the last year and a half to try to relieve it. Usually a temporary fix, that will last a couple of hours. I had never had a Thai massage. Seriously you guys. I am 4 days out and have carried B in the Ergo several times and I am still discomfort free. This is unlike any massage I have ever had. It consists of deep muscle massage, pressure and stretching. It is almost like a massage combined with yoga. The massage therapist actually gets up on the table with you (you are draped in a sheet so don’t worry about all that modesty stuff I said earlier) and and basically uses her body weight in some instances to apply pressure to your back. I am not going to lie, at times you feel completely ridiculous, and other times it is straight up painful. This is not the I am going to fall asleep kind of massage. This is more like the lady with fingers of steal is going to stick them into the knot that she found in your shoulder and untie it forcibly. It is fabulous. They end with your scalp, which is heaven until they hit you in the head a couple of times, not hard, just startling, and really funny on the inside. While not the most enjoyable massage, during it is certainly the best results I have ever gotten with a massage. I am still feeling good. There is a place in the mall attached to our building that is supposed to be really good that does Thai massage. I will be going to see them once the old back starts aching again.
Now if you go to Thailand, you will be able to get a massage no problem. There are massage places everywhere. Some seem more reputable than others if you catch my meaning there.
Another “beauty treatment” you can get in Pagtong are fish pedicures. You basically stick your feet in large tanks of fish. The fish then eat the dead skin off of your feet. It is one of the weirdest things I have ever done. But my feet were very smooth after. It was like $3.00 for 10 minutes. I made Nathan do it to, lord knows his feet needed it. It is the only way I am ever going to get him a pedicure.
My feet in the tank.
Nathan’s feet in the tank.
Walking around Phuket is an experience. People are constantly asking you if you want to eat here, drink here, buy this, get a massage. Then there are the tailors. Oh my goodness. There is a tailor every third shop. They all wanted to make Nathan a suit or shirts or pants. Supposedly all in 12 hours. They are aggressive, very aggressive, I am convinced if they get you into the shop they would have you measured and a sales slip drawn up in about 30 seconds.
Once you get settle into the environment there it’s not so bad. You come to realize these are all just people, trying to make a living to support themselves and their families. We bought a few souvenirs, a couple of sarongs for me a pool toy and some Thai boxing shorts for B.
Thai Boxer B conquers the pool shark.
The Thai boxing is a big deal here. They have trucks that drive around with loud speakers announcing that night’s fight. The posters on the truck seem to change everyday.
The other thing we noticed while walking around are the telecom wires. This is not something you see in Malaysia, at least the parts of Malaysia we have been. It’s pretty crazy looking.
Also durian. Stinky.
Overall Thailand is beautiful, and the people are lovely. We had great service at our hotel. Best of all B had a good time. He was worn out by the end.
B and his hippo ready for bed.