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Phuket

April 15, 2014

 

 

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Better late than never……I thought it was about time I logged in our latest trip away to Phuket.  We’ve been back for about 3 weeks now and the kids at school for two.  We had a two-week end of term school holiday in mid March, so we headed off to Phuket on the 16th for seven nights at Dewa Nai Yang Resort.  We were recommended this resort by Craig’s sister Sarah, and she was right on the money (thanks for the tip Sarah).  We hired a car for a few days and drove around the Island to see the busier resort areas like Patong Beach, we left feeling very grateful we didn’t have to brave those crowds each day.  We couldn’t even find anywhere to park the car let alone find a patch of sand in the over-crowded beach.  Nai Yang beach, where we stayed, was only five minutes drive from the Airport, we were just across the road from the beach and were able ride bicycles into the ‘town’ each evening to eat at one of the beachside restaurants.  The kids were delighted that the resort had two pools to choose from and spent most of their time trying to decide which one to swim in next.

We managed two-day trips out to visit outlying Islands, and filled our non swimming time with an elephant safari, go-cart driving, Gibbon sanctuary and of course a spot of outlet mall shopping (have to do it when we can because the shops are pretty limited in Brunei).

Our first day trip was to the Phi Phi Islands, we went on a big boat with about 20 other people (ours were the only kids) and spent the day beach hopping and snorkeling.  Angus had his first experience snorkeling, of course he loved it, but struggled a bit with the snorkel part so ditched that and just used the goggles.  He could not believe all the fish down there!  Renee got quite brave and decided she was not going to miss out on all the fun too, so jumped into the water from the boat as well (sensibly wearing a life jacket).  The beaches were absolutely divine, but a bit overcrowded for our tastes.  There were several boat tours all visiting the same places, and often hundreds of people were crammed into small swimming spots.

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A friend recommended we visit the Tigers while in Phuket but we left feeling a bit sour about the experience to be honest.  The brochure claimed that the tigers were not drugged, but after seeing them just lying around, barely moving, we were left questioning how honest they were being.  We were also a bit disappointed that it wasn’t about the tigers at all, we didn’t learn anything about them, what they like to eat, how they behave, how they are looked after – nothing.  The whole ticket price was simply about getting your photo taken with the tiger.  As soon as we put down our camera the keepers tried to move us along, when we really wanted to stay for a few moments longer playing with them.  I would not recommend this to anyone visiting Phuket!

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Our mode of transport to dinner each evening was on borrowed bicycles from the resort.  No helmets, which gave me the worries, but there was very little traffic to contend with thankfully.  Renee was too small for any of the bikes so she got to hang onto Daddy, great fun!

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On our way to visit the Gibbon Sanctuary we found an elephant safari, and the kids were keen as.  Angus nearly had to be removed going downhill into the stream and screamed his head off in terror, but he survived and quickly forgot to be scared after realising it was quite fun.  You can’t tell from the photo’s but my knuckles were white by the end of the trip, I was hanging on so tightly.  I don’t think I’ll be doing that again in a hurry.  No photo’s of the Gibbons unfortunately, as they are in a proper rehabilitation facility where they are reintroducing them back into the rain forest, so no photo’s allowed as this further humanised the poor creatures.  We loved the sanctuary and left after ‘adopting’ two wee Gibbons that we will continue to financially support in the coming years.  All of the Gibbons have been rescued from being pets or being used in the tourist trade (in bars where you can have your photo taken with one), and many of them are mentally or physically damaged.  It takes several years to rehabilitate them to the point that they can be released back into the wild (if at all) and they receive no government funding to do this.  So sad but such a wonderful thing to see happening.

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Angus and Craig tried their hand at paddle boarding and of course we had to hire another kayak, hours of fun while Renee and I had massages on the beach.

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Go cart driving.

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Our last day trip was another boat ride out to see more fantastic Islands, and we had lunch on a floating water village.  There was a short sea canoe ride out through some caves (thankfully paddled by a keen local) where we yet again had to fight our way through masses of tourists.  The scenery was spectacular though which made up for all the crowds.

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So that was our holiday away.  We had another week at home before school started back, but it was nice just to take it easy and not have much going on for that week.

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One Comment
  1. margaret permalink

    Great pics Lizzie! Looks a fabulous place. NZ will seem pretty tame after this!

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