Phuket: I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

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phang nga bay from plane

Phuket: I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

I have been looking forward to seeing Thailand’s Andaman coast for years now. It is one of the most exotic and picturesque places in the world. While the large island of Phuket can be a little overcrowded and certainly not the most beautiful of the islands it is a great jumping off point for the rest of the coast.

nai harn sunset

I ended up in Phuket because I was not looking forward to another long bus ride after just having spent a 12 hour day on the bus a few days before from Sihanoukville to Bangkok. The cheapest flight I could find was from Bangkok to Phuket and it was a little less than $50. Well worth the extra $20 to save about 10 hours.

Second Time in Bangkok

I’m not much of a city person. I’ve always known this about myself, but having spent a lot of time in cities in the past few months I have realized that I am just overwhelmed by a crazy city like Bangkok. This time around I didn’t have any illusions about the fact that I would change my mind and have a great time doing all the touristy things and enjoying the nightlife. It’s just not for me.

I did, however, take advantage of all the wonderful modern amenities available in Bangkok. It feels like I’ve been so far from civilization for the past month or so in Laos and Cambodia that it was nice to be able to get whatever I needed. I decided I was going to get a 2nd backpack so I could carry some more stuff that I might accumulate. Space was just too tight in my small backpack half filled with camera and computer gear. So I went in search of a small daypack.

There are a few huge shopping malls in Bangkok and most of them are very upscale. My best bet was going to be Siam Paragon which has a few sporting goods and baggage stores I could choose from. This place was incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mall like it. It was a far cry from the convenience store on Koh Rong Samloem. I ended up getting a nice North Face backpack that turns out is a perfect size. Check out some of the cars I saw in Siam Paragon. There are some rich people in Bangkok.

lamborghini

aston martins in siam paragon

Later that night I went back to Siam Paragon to see “In the Heart of the Sea” in the Imax theater. I read the book a couple years ago and soon after heard the movie was being produced. They actually delayed it since it was supposed to come out last year, but I’m happy I got to see it here in English with Thai subtitles in a very nice and almost empty theater.

The next day I got on the bus to the airport for my afternoon flight to Phuket. The scenery from the plane was incredible. I couldn’t wait to land and get out to see it all.

phang nga bay from plane

Nai Harn Beach, Phuket

Most of Phuket is extremely touristy and the beaches are packed with Russians. I had heard to avoid Patong beach and instead head to the southern point of the island to Nai Harn Beach which is less crowded and even has clearer water and better scenery.

Nai Harn Bay, Phuket

After a much longer van ride than anticipated down to Nai Harn Beach I wasn’t sure I was in the right place. It was still very touristy and there were still tons of Russians. In fact all the menus at Restaurants have Thai, English and Russian. A few of them didn’t even have English. The bungalow where I was staying was about a 10 minute walk from Nai Harn on Ao Sane Beach. I’m happy I made the walk because this place was beautiful and much more peaceful. I was even able to find a place to get away from people bickering in Russian and wearing speedos.

I stayed on Ao Sane a few days mainly because I was still tired of traveling and needed a little rest. This is where I spent my Christmas. Aside from a few Christmas decorations and some Christmas music it didn’t feel like Christmas at all. I spent the day at the beach, did some snorkeling and then had a nice seafood dinner.

Ao Sane beach, Phuket

full moon

Full moon rising over Nai Harn Bay.

 

Brooks

Brooks

I am traveling the world focusing on adventure and photography.

4 Comments

  • Mom

    I’m super happy you had yourself a beachy little Christmas!! I know it didn’t make up for not being with your family, but what a spectacular setting for your R & R!! The photos are gorgeous!! They belong in a book or on the pages of a nice travel mag or as advertising cars.

    January 13, 2016 at 9:33 am
  • Cara

    Oh nice!!! This might be my favorite post!!!! Cara :)

    January 13, 2016 at 2:21 pm
  • Peg Aikman

    Hey Brooks…good to hear where you were on Christmas day. Sounds idyllic. As someone that travels ad nauseaum I am extremely impressed with your ability to get around on local transportation!! It actuallt validates what I tell clients in that it is trying at best to get from point a to point b. Cheers to you for managing so well and really with just a few hiccups!!

    Word of caution – and i know we spoke of this before. I know you were talking about going to Indonesia but i want to reinforce use extreme caution please. As we talked before i knew there were ‘cells’ in Jakarta and they have taken some action today. Also keep away from any Indonesian airlines; may be more expensive however well worth the extra bucks to us Thai or Singapore if your going to Bali!!!! Which will be completely different than what you have seen thus far:)

    Travel safe and have (continue to) a blast!!!!

    Ante Peg

    January 14, 2016 at 8:36 am
  • Lara Hanlon

    An unforgettable Christmas! Gorgeous photos!

    January 15, 2016 at 3:39 pm

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