Thailand: Fabulous Phuket
Sitting pretty on the western side of the Gulf of Thailand lies an island awash with warm Andaman Seawater. Offshore, there are several stacks and columns of rock jutting up from the seabed, covered in exotic foliage.
You’d half expect to see a film crew shooting a Bond movie. However, you probably won’t. What you will see is gorgeous scenery, and you’ll feel the balmy climate throughout your stay as you revel in Phuket’s thoroughly relaxed atmosphere.
So, what else can you expect from this tropical paradise? A lot, actually. For the adrenaline junkies out there, there are several types of activity to partake in to get that all-important buzz. From quad biking to abseiling to mountain biking, Phuket’s got it covered.
However, if all on the agenda is to lie in the sun and generally move around at a snail’s pace, that’s fine too. Why not start with Kalim beach, on the western side of the island? It’s bordered on one side by mountainous terrain smothered with jungle vegetation. Then, all there is between you and the sea is a quiet stretch of sand so fine you’ll barely feel it between your toes.
Once you’re done being as chilled out as you can possibly be, then there’s a great place to eat just down the road from Kalim beach. It’s called Lim’s Restaurant & Nine Lounge and Bar, and it’s one of the best restaurants in Phuket. The decor inside the place is, at first glance, basic. The walls are smoothened, polished grey stone, to start with.
But, as you take in the funky, urban atmosphere, the smells of all the traditional Thai dishes, and the chic artwork prints that dominate the walls, you’ll begin to feel the groove. The menu at Lim’s is affordable and offers all you’d expect from a far-eastern island such as Phuket: peanut sauce, honeyed chicken, sea bass and chili paste, to name a few ingredients and dishes.
Ideally, after a night of shindiggery and exceptional food, you’ll want to head back to your hotel and refresh for the next day. If you haven’t decided on a place yet, there’s somewhere also in Kalim which, of all the hotels in Phuket, ranks pretty high: Thavron Beach and Village Spa.
Set in 25 acres of land, Thavron Spa hosts a selection of villas, bungalows, and suites each facing either the ocean, one of the many village gardens or pools. The choice is yours. Starting at about £70 a head, you’d be mad to turn this place down. The location is stunning, and the mixture of beautiful gardens and meandering pools within the grounds is exquisite. You’d be living among exotica at Thavron Spa, making it very difficult to leave behind.