Saturday, December 10, 2011

A few days on the beach on Phuket

On Monday we took an Air Asia flight down to Phuket. Normally Phuket would not have been our 1st choice of destination, but an hour and a half direct flight from Udon Thani (50km over the border in Thailand) made it easy.  And given that we decided and booked on Friday, left Monday, easy was important.

When we got there we had a feeling of hmmmm, might of made a mistake.  Phuket is one of Thailand’s most heavily visited areas.  We had made the decision to avoid Patong beach, with it’s go-go bars and bright lights and instead headed further to what the tourist information described as more relaxed Kata Beach.  The beach had umbrellas in rows 3-4 deep in places, the sea was full of swimmers, and it looked a (lot) unappealing.  Interestingly Club Med is built on this beach (just at the left of the photo) and the people paying $3000 per week share beach with everyone else…mmm no thanks

Then we walked 10 minutes over a hill and found a beach with 1/4 of the people & umbrellas and a beach with good waves.

Busy crowded main beach ------------------> Bliss 10 minutes away

So the pattern for our time there was walk 10 minutes further than the main Kata beach to Kata Noi beach.  Hire a lounger for 100 baht each (NZ$4) and sit, read, drank, eat Pad Thai for lunch at a beachside cafe and swim.  Then at the end of the day walk back to the hotel in the afternoon before going for dinner.  The beach was spotlessly clean and the water warm and crystal clear.  It was tough, but we managed.  So after being a bit dubious to start with, we ended finding a nice spot and really enjoying ourselves.  We would not hesitate to go back.
The odd thing about Kata was that we English speakers were in the minority.  We were completely outnumbered by Russians and Swedes.  Signs and menus were commonly in English, Russian and Swedish.

If heading to that part of the world the Two-chefs restaurant has fantastic food at reasonable prices.  And we had the best wine in months there – a South African Pinotage – from Spice Routes winery. 

IMG_2946x1And in celebration of a beach holiday Andrew broke out his redIMG_2951x1 ensembles.  How many shades of red can you count in this outfit .

Unable to top the full on red look, the next day he substituted a pink t-shirt for the red one, and stowed his cerise beach towel in his maroon man-bag =>

It was much hotter in Phuket where the day/night temperatures ranged from mid-30s to mid-20s than here in Vientiane where the cool season is upon us at mid-20s to mid-teens. Not quite cool enough to acclimatise us to the European winter temperatures coming up for us in 9 days time :-?

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