Although I was sad to leave Chiang Mai and my sweetheart of an elephant, Boonpuk, it was time to hit Thailand’s famous beaches. So off we went to Phuket!
* We stayed at the JW Marriott Resort, which was simply amazing! The grounds are blow-your-mind gorgeous! The resort is located right on the ocean and has three pools, several restaurants, and an amazing spa with outdoor rooms. We shared a two-bedroom unit with a kitchen, so we could cook meals at “home.”. Unfortunately, the ocean is too rough for swimming, so we spent many hours at the pool.
* The hotel was pretty isolated, so we took a taxi one day to Patong Beach, which is the closest one where you can swim in the ocean. The beach guys will set you up with chairs and umbrellas for about $3, and you can also rent boogie boards, windsurfing boards, etc. While I was enjoying the ocean breeze, I indulged in a 45-minute foot massage with fresh, cold aloe. It was dreamy and only $7.
* Just by luck, we happened to go down a little street and came across an incredible ceramic shop called Siam Ceramic Handmade. It was filled with beautiful hand-painted ceramics, and I bought a few coffee mugs to bring home as souvenirs. We spent about a hour there with the family that owned it. They shared their photos and stories about the tsunami. Wow! (And not a good wow.) They lost three stores in eight minutes when the tsunami struck! The amount of destruction, death, and cleanup they endured is beyond comprehension.
* Fantasea Show—One night we went out for dinner and a show. The performance was absolutely beautiful and featured elephants, tigers, lots of dancers, incredible costumes, music, and gorgeous set design. If you want to go to a traditional Thai dinner show, this is the one! It’s great for both kids and adults!
Finally, you can take the girl away from Ped, but you can’t take Ped away from the girl:
Tomorrow, our final destination: Bangkok!