Sawatdeekah

Sawatdeekah is hello, good bye, good morning, good evening in the Thai language.

Phuket, what can I say about this beautiful place?

I’ve always been to countries towards the west, and besides my last trip to India 5 years ago, this was my first venture into the Eastern side of the world!

As I sat on the plane going back to Kuwait from my Phuket vacation, I started thinking why is Thailand such a popular destination? What is it about the place that makes people travel from all over the world? (Not so many North Americans, but more British, European, and Russian people) Is it the food? Is it the people? Is it the beaches? Is it the shopping? Is it the crazy anything goes nightlife?

We just finished a 7 day vacation in the Phuket. We stayed in the Kata Beach area and I really enjoyed the place we stayed! Usually when The Husband and I book a vacation, we pick a huge resort by the beach. This time we picked something a bit different and chose a smaller place that had individual villas with pools and it was about a 10 minute walk to the beach. The area we stayed was pretty quiet compared to other tourist spots. I’m so happy we stayed where we did because it was beautiful and clean! We went to another area called Patong, and this place was packed, dirty, and crazy! So happy we didn’t stay there..

The food in Thailand is great! If you enjoy eating different flavors, spices, and chilies then you will enjoy the food in Thailand! My only complaint is that the different areas are surrounded by restaurants catered for tourists that you can’t really taste the “real” Thai food! Thankfully we found a few places and were able to enjoy the food and taste different things. Thai people love their food! Their passion revolves around their food! We went to a couple different open air markets and all these markets are all about the food! Different types of chicken, shrimp, fish, pork, etc. would be served. Another big thing was the desserts! They are ENDLESS! We went to a local market and we were given the chance to taste a few different types and I was in love! I am not a big dessert person, I always go for savory over sweet, but the things I tried were so good! More than anything, my favorite thing about Thailand was the fresh fruits! Every day we were able to try something new and delicious. Almost every day I was able to drink fresh coconut water and eat the flesh in the young coconut. For those of you who haven’t had that experience, please try it at least once! Having a drink of the cool water is just amazing when you are feeling so hot! We were able to have delicious fresh mangoes, rambutan, mangosteen, dragon fruit, pineapples, papayas, melons, and longan fruit. All these fruits were so tasty and I think it was my favorite part of Thailand!

The beaches in Phuket were nice, we only went to the beach a couple of times this time. I just didn’t feel they were as amazing as it has been described as. We couldn’t go to any of the islands because the water was too choppy and didn’t think it would be worth it. I am sure if we went to a more secluded area that wasn’t all run over by tourist it would have been nicer. But it was just nice to walk along the beach barefoot a couple times.

The shopping in Phuket cracks me up! You walk into any store and the first thing the person will ask you is “Hello my friend where are you from?” I didn’t understand why they needed to know that information.. It started getting to be irritating when you hear this day after day! Were they going to jack up the price depending on where we are from? The Husband kept saying we came from India (this was not a lie, we are technically from India!), and then they’ll just shut their mouth afterwards. Most of the stores you can bargain for everything, all the stores pretty much carry the same stuff but with a couple hundred Baht price difference! I didn’t understand that either, one knick-knack I saw in the mall for 300 Baht and then at one small shop 200 Baht and another store was having it for 100 Baht! All were the same product!

The massages were great! Every corner you turn there will be a massage shop and most of them the ladies are just sitting outside waiting for people. Every time you pass by they will say “Hellooo masssaaage” I didn’t do the traditional Thai massage, but I did the foot massage and foot scrub. This was great! I had the opportunity to do this on the day we landed and on the day we were leaving! I wish I could take one of the lady’s home with me because it felt so good! The Husband also did it, but I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures of him getting his sexy legs massaged! 😛  The price of a one hour leg massage was 300 Baht, which is not even 3 KD or less than $10!

The Thai people in general are really nice and friendly, I feel bad for them because I see how some of the tourists treat them and it’s just horrible! Many of them were saying how one set of people treat them really badly and are so rude to them, but they can’t do anything because they survive with the tourist money!

We got to know one taxi driver (We kept calling him to take us to different places) and he was telling us his story, all he cares about is working hard for his two kids! He’s a Masters in Environmental engineering, but works as a taxi driver because after the tsunami he lost his job. You can tell how much he cares for his family because he talks about them all the time and how proud he is of his two kids! We were able to meet his wife and son on one of our trips and it was nice to peak a bit into his life. This is one of my favorite things about traveling to a different country. I love to get to know the locals and understand their life, their struggles, know what their goals are, etc. I think learning about the culture and understanding how people live is one of the best things about traveling to a new country!

The nightlife in Phuket especially a place called Patong is crazy. We didn’t experience this because it’s really not our thing, but as we were driving back to the hotel one night we passed by the infamous “Bangla Road” and it was just ridiculous how packed and crazy it was! I guess many people just go there to have fun…

Another thing you see is the countless amounts of Mopeds and Motorcycles on the road! You can identify the tourists from the locals because most tourists are wearing helmets and the locals don’t. Driving in Phuket is very scary because of all the motorbikes weaving around the road and there are lots of curves along the road. Our taxi driver was saying how there’s so many accidents because of all the motorbikes. The day before we were leaving we saw many police check points where they were pulling people who were not wearing helmets.

All in all, our Phuket trip was nice and relaxing! It was great to get away for a bit from the stress of life and relax and unwind and just take a mental break. I have way too many pictures to post on this so sharing a few with y’all!

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