Travel – Winter Getaway to Phuket and Koh Phi Phi Island, Thailand
The best way to escape the cold is to plan a hot getaway. My 1 month trip to Asia extended to a 3 month trip after hearing news about the unbearable weather condition in Toronto. This time, we took it to Phuket, Thailand, where we could soak up the sun and relax in our bikinis.
We stayed at Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort for a couple of nights then to Avista Hideaway Resort and Spa for the rest of our trip. Le Meridien offers a wide range of leisure activities and a nice private beach. The gym offers yoga and boxing classes to help you keep fit and healthy. The building is inspired by traditional Thai designs with handcrafted Teak-wood furniture and traditional artworks. If you ask me, it feels more like a 5-star luxury retirement home.
Avista Resort and Spa was a nice hideaway in the mountains with stunning views overlooking Patong Beach. The building reminded me of the ancient Greek architecture with a contemporary & futuristic twist. Our Jacuzzi suite featured a private out-door Jacuzzi on the terrace where we stargazed in bubbles. No doubt about having our own privacy in the resort as we failed to escape the labyrinth every single time we refused to request for a golf cart.
Muay Thai, MMA, and fitness training
Get trained by the professional fighters; prepare to get your ass kicked. If you are a first-timer and only want to try out, I suggest you to go on your last day to avoid aching for the rest of your trip.
Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Kayaking
Book a dive tour to see the deep-sea creatures around Racha Yai, Racha Noi, or Bungalow Bay. When you’re done, get a kayak out the boat and paddle your way into the bay. Don’t forget your snorkels! (Where were the whale sharks that they promised?)
The Phuket Wake Park located in the Kathu area is a nice place to practice wake-boarding with installed obstacles. Requesting for an instructor is unnecessary.
Better surfing spots in Phuket include Kata Beach, Kalim Beach, and Nai Harn Beach; however Kata Beach may be overcrowded at times since it’s a tourist attraction.
Chill & Relax
Relax on the beach, Phuket offers some of the world’s finest ones. While you’re at it, have a beer or coconut & treat yourself to a nice beach spa/massage, you’re on vacation! Avoid the touristy ones is my only advice. Don’t even bother going to Paradise Beach unless you like paying for an overcrowded beach filled with umbrellas and no place to tan.
Book a trip to Ko Phi Phi / Koh Phi Phi Island
Speed boat? Not so speedy…
We booked our Koh Phi Phi island trip with a local travel agency that we randomly walked into. A supposedly 20-min speedboat trip that they promised turned out to be an hour and a half of water-splashing all over us, and a bonus fever the next morning. But hey, we made it fun.
One of the must gos for first time tourists to Phi Phi is Maya Bay, where The Beach was filmed back in 1999. We tried to find the land of you-know-what but had no luck.
Rent a private long tail boat
A great way to get around Phi Phi is to get a private long tail boat. The boatman takes you around wherever you want. Stop anywhere when you see a lot of sea creatures. They’ve got you covered for snorkels.
Cliff jump… at your own risk…
Ever seen that guy on YouTube bust his face open while cliff jumping? That did not stop us. It was windy and the waves were big. We made sure to call our moms and tell them how much we loved them before jumping.
Sunset at Promthep Cape
Promthep Cape located at the southern west tip of Phuket is best known for its breathtaking view of sunset. To avoid the crowd and noise, try walking down all the way to the end of the cape like we did.
Touristy things NOT to do in Phuket…
Maya Bay was at my borderline after our Koh Phi Phi Island trip due to its over popularity, but thank God there were lots of other attractions on the island. Some other touristy activities you should probably avoid include Elephant Riding (elephant abuse), Tiger Petting (sign your own death warrant), and visiting the Monkey Beach (monkey rabies). Mind you photos with animals does not make you an animal lover. But hey, if taking cliché tourist pictures is your thing, by all means, enjoy. No judgement made here.
photos by Tanya
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