Hello Everyone. This is Sarah’s cousin Jen from the West Coast (San Francisco). Sarah and Dave asked if wanted to be a guest blogger, so here goes, hope I don’t make a mess out of their masterpiece.
After our wonderful stay in Chiang Mai, the eight of us flew to Phuket on the Andaman Sea where our four-bedroom Villa, with distant views of the ocean and big buddha, sat high on a hill. It seemed like everyone was super excited to spend a week all together in a big, clean house with AC, kitchen, large living room, infinity pool and with “almost” all of the other comforts of home. What’s with the beds in South East Asia?!?! Soooooooooooooooo hard.
When I told some friends and family that I would be going to Phuket, many asked, if that was where the Tsunami occurred. And the answer is yes, we went to the very same area, Kata Beach, which was hit very bad. That very large and terribly destructive Tsunami hit Phuket and Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004 killing over 200,000 people. There is a good movie out now on DVD called, The Impossible, which highlights one Australian family’s experience on Phuket at the time the Tsunami struck.
Upon our Phuket arrival, the first thing we did was to go shopping since we had a full kitchen at the Villa. Our driver took us to a very expensive supermarket so we just bought the basics-whiskey, wine, beer, cheese and crackers, stuff for a BBQ and a couple of breakfasts. Shopping International supermarkets is both funny and frustrating. For example, I went to scout out eggs and thought I was loosing my mind trying to find them in the cold cases when they eventually turned up on the warm, dry shelves. Duh! After shopping, we piled into the van and arrived at the Villa.
After getting acquainted with the Villa, we made ourselves at home and enjoyed the beautiful infinity pool. Thailand was extremely hot, sweat poured out of most, so the daily retreat back to the Villa to swim was a joy for all. We decided to check out Kata Beach, so we made the trek down the very large hill and headed to the beach. That evening we had burgers and Mac-n-Cheese and enjoyed hanging out together at the Villa.
During our long walk to the beach, we had scoped out a few eateries and found a place called, The Red Chair, which quickly became our go-to-place for cheap, delicious Thai food. We couldn’t get enough of the Red Chair. Some of us even splurged and ordered at least two dishes at a time! It was that good. My mouth is watering just thinking of their Panang Curry. Other favorites included their Pad Thai, Fried Spring Rolls, Green Curry and Cashew Chicken.
The next morning, we hired the Villa Chef to cook us breakfast, it wasn’t anything super fancy, but turned out to be a nice treat. After breakfast, we hiked down the big hill to the beach. The Andaman Sea is beautiful, but the water was super warm and didn’t provide the relief we’d all hoped for to escape the relentless Thailand heat. I rented a boogie board and most of us tested it out and had a great time boogie boarding and playing in the huge waves. Others hung out on the sand in lounge chairs and enjoyed festive coconut cocktails and such. Super fun day!
That evening, we hung out at the Villa and ate, swam, danced and played cards. It was so nice to have a consistent place to stay where we could just hang out and do whatever anyone felt like doing.
The next day we hung out at the Villa enjoying the pool. That evening, we went to the local night market in Phuket Town. The market was split into two areas, food and souvenir shopping. The food stalls were very interesting and offered many different selections. Those that wanted to souvenir shop found some really fun things to buy. We all got a kick out of Karen and Phil’s squawking rooster. And Abby and Jon found some great beach towels.
After another fun night playing card games and drinking whiskey shots, we decided to plan for a boat trip through the Andaman Islands the next day. We woke up early and headed to the boat ramp for our day out at sea. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea. The boat trip turned out to be one of those factory-type-of-tours where they herd everyone around from island to island. But we made the best of it and still enjoyed seeing the beautiful islands and being entertained by Ms. Jennifer (not me), our Lady-Boy Sea host. Paul and myself had a VERY close call and actually showed up late to one of the island boat ramps to find everyone had already boarded the boat and shipped out! Luckily we had already made friends with Ms. Lady-Boy, so she graciously made the captain go back for us! Our punishment from Ms. Jennifer, a bum paddling for me and a big, wet kiss on the lips for Paul! She-He (I dunno) tricked Paul and got him good, the entire boat cracked up. Totally worth it. Ha!
After the boat trip, I’m pretty sure we headed to the Red Chair or swam in the Villa infinity pool or vice-versa. Our days consisted of sleeping in, swimming, eating, drinking-rinse and repeat! And most of us got foot massages while Jonathan and Paul had full body massages. Paul even dared the fish spa, where tons of small little fish nibble on your feet to remove dead skin. Ewwwwww!
And naturally, during our stay at the Villa, someone got sick. And that person was yours truly. Ugg, I’m not sure what the heck it was, but it hit me hard. I mean hard. The worst of it lasted a full 24 hours-severe stomach pains, diarrhea, hot then cold, cold then hot and brutal body pains. Luckily, I snapped out of it fully in a matter of two days. I am fortunate it happened at the Villa and that Paul was near to tend to my yuckiness! We missed out on the party night in Patong to see the famous “Ping-Pong” show, but the others went and had a good time.
Our last night was spent eating at our beloved Red Chair eatery, swimming in the lovely infinity pool and sharing libations. I think it is safe to say, everyone enjoyed their time at the Villa and would do it all over again in a heart beat. Cheers!