Sawadee ka Thailand,
You are enigmatic. You have shown me so many sides of yourself, I am still figuring you out. You are a dynamic and vibrant nation that entices all walks of life. You provide the yin and yang of travel. You are calm, relaxed and peaceful, yet fierce and energetic, like a firecracker, but you show us how easily one complements the other.
Bangkok, you hit me like a big slap in the face, you are so frenetic, a sensory overload. Phuket you are the middle ground, where the yin and yang come together. Patong is your beating heart, scattered with laneway bars and beach huts, a great spot for raucous fun on warm balmy nights. But, for most of it, Phuket you are calm and serene.
An island of small villages and palm-fringed beaches, lined with small beach bars, market stalls and every star of accommodation, it is no wonder you’re are a melting pot of travellers and long-term dwellers. Roads twist and turn around your mountainous landscape, each hill I climb at the base lies stunning beaches, private enclaves and buzzing townships, full of friendly faces and eager tuk-tuk drivers..
I miss the seductive aromas of the street food stalls, Pad Thai, Som Yum, I want to eat it all! I must one day thank the hotel concierge in Phuket who suggested that a Thai cooking class would be fun. After lots of practice, I fancy myself a Thai Food MasterChef and will often share my creations with family and friends.
Phuket, you are my perfect Thailand holiday where I can do as little or as much as I want. You are my launchpad for day trips to the smaller islands, Phi Phi, Krabi and others. But, at times when I have been looking for a little solitude, I have travelled directly to the islands. My favourite is Koh Samui for its pristine waters and serenity.
Although not an island I find solitude in Khao Lak too. The yin to your yang. Just north of Phuket Airport, it’s the same by taxi as the southern beaches of Phuket, but quiet. The perfect place to flop, drop and relax with a cocktail and a good book and set to a lush green backdrop of hills that sweep down to large stretches of coastline and white sand beaches that go on for miles.
Oh, Thailand how I long for your sun-drenched beaches, warm ocean waters, cocktails by the pool and relaxing Thai massages. I miss that I can party all night but also relax and unwind, nothing is out of reach. You show me a world much different to the one I know at home, as well as rich in culture, amazing food and warm friendly smiles.
khàawp-Khun, thank you, Thailand for sharing your amazing beauty.