It’s Christmas Eve morning in Thailand. Rachel and I are sitting in a small open-sided restaurant by Chalong Pier, eating omelettes with chilli sauce and waiting for our noon speedboat transfer to the island of Koh Racha, about twelve nautical miles south of Phuket.
Since Monday, Rachel and I have been all about a) planes b) sleep and c) food.We have eaten meals at very odd hours, but all have been delicious so far, from the Asian Vegetarian supper (bindi aloo curry) and breakfast (puris) on the Virgin flight, to the very late lunch (at 8pm) of huge plates of steamed greens, mushrooms, fried tofu and rice at Chep Lap Kok (14 minutes from sitting to check and indigestion) last night. Photo at top.
There was fried rice for supper on the Air Asia flight, and black coffee and pineapple at 7am in the airport hotel this morning.
I am now very much looking forward to meals at regular times, and lots of delicious Thai food.
The jet lag hasn’t kicked in yet: I think we were both running on such a huge sleep deficit when we left England on Monday evening that we slept for eight hours on the Virgin flight to Hong Kong, and another couple on the connecting Air Asia flight down here. And, even though we arrived at midnight Tuesday (4pm GMT) on Phuket, we were still able to go out like lights in the small, clean airport hotel and grab another five hours. (Which is all excellent as it’s now a full thirty-two hours since I left my London flat for Heathrow.)
We are spending our first three nights at The Racha, a modernist boutique hotel on a very, very small island which I found and booked through Mr & Mrs Smith. It was the first time I’ve used them as an anonymous customer (rather than writing about them).
We needed to talk to a consultant several times to make our booking, as the duration of stay we wanted wasn’t showing on the website, and it was an absolute pleasure all the way. (Huge thanks to Jasmine.)
Then it’s on to review two properties. Firstly to Sri Panwa, a 52 room all-villa property perched on the hillside on the Panwa peninsula on the south east point of Phuket for two nights, and secondly to beautiful the Paresa resort for three nights further up on the west coast of the island, where we will celebrate the New Year.
And after that? Who knows…we have left seven days empty to see where we feel like going at the time.
I do know that after the first ten days of flopping/yoga/beach/pool we are thinking hiking, cycling, sailing, kayaking, exploring, and seeing what is out there beyond the rather lovely walls of our resorts.
We’ll finish the Thai part of our trip on the island of Koh Yao Noi, first taking a series of Thai cookery classes in a private home I found on Google, and then spending two nights at the Six Senses Yao Noi, spa-ing it up before flying to Hong Kong for three nights en route to London.
It’s quite some trip – and I am very excited for the travelling part to end, and the flopping on a sun lounger with a giant pile of books part to start.