When I think of Thailand, I think of a place that very cultured travellers like to visit, with vast jungles and temples round every corner. I have never visited a place like it and so this summer, after our first year at uni, myself and James decided to go!
A late night flight from Manchester Airport to Dubai awaited us on Friday evening, then a two hour layover and a further 7 hours onto Phuket International. We finally arrived at our hotel late the next day, the journey had taken us 24 hours to complete, but, I was immediately sure it was worth it as soon as I saw the beauty of the hotel we were staying in. It’s Called The Nai Harn Hotel, in the southern park of Phuket.
After a good nights sleep, we woke to a beautiful breakfast overlooking the beach. We were both not up for a day out today because of the epic day of travelling we had yesterday, so we headed up to the pool to chill out and spend the day reading and probably sleeping! It’s monsoon season in Thailand in July, so each morning it would absolutely p*ss it down for half an hour, then be bright and beautiful for the rest of the day! I wore a gorgeous bikini from Hunza G.
Dinner the first night was at the Rock Salt restaurant in the hotel and we were trying to be cultured, so we tried some Thai food and washed it down with some gorgeous whispering angel rosé, (I promise I didn’t choose the hotel because it has 10 bottles of rosé on the menu)! I wore a lovely dress from H&M and shoes from Gianvito Rossi.
Day 2 we wanted to get out and about, we spent the morning by the pool and then got in a taxi to visit the Big Buddha temple. Along the way you drive past the poor elephants tied up for people to ride on the side of the road and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. It’s the one thing that I hated about the country. Nevertheless, the temple was absolutely breathtaking. How they made that massive structure on the side of a hill, I’ll never know, but it was beautiful. There are plenty of stalls to buy souvenirs, as well as a monkey or two. My dress is by Pitusa.
A spa experience was on the agenda for the 3rd day because a massage was included in our room. It was interesting to say the least, but I find massages are more embarrassing and painful than relaxing, probably because of the mesh pants we had to wear!
The next two days we spent by the pool and at the beach. The sea was so hot, I honestly thought I was in a bath and despite being full of jelly fish, I spent hours in the water getting beaten up by the massive waves. Rock Salt was our restaurant of choice again, as the weather had rained off the rooftop bar for 2 nights in a row. I wore a dress by Self Portrait.
The next morning we visited Old Phuket Town which was absolutely brilliant. The town is so lovely and we found an amazing café that did pizza (being cultured lasted long) and we visited all the lovely stalls and markets. We came across a secondary school that was just finishing lessons, all the students were hoping on the back of each others mopeds to ride home. It was so lovely and in the grounds was the most amazing temple! The whole town was a mix of scruffy and run down areas and then around the corner there were amazing gold temples and statues. I guess that’s what the whole of Thailand is like! A huge downpour started and we decided it was time to head back.
Phi Phi islands was somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit, so we had booked a boat tour to take us there. From the Phuket port, we were taken on a very choppy speedboat to Phi Phi and allowed to walk on the beach, swim in the sea and take photographs for around 40 minutes, before they shipped us back on the boat again. It was disappointing the time we got to spend there, but the amount of tourists that were arriving was making it difficult to even walk round. We then visited Monkey island and motored past the monkeys perched on the side of the cliff edge, being thrown huge chunks of pineapple.
Snorkelling was next up and I’ve never seen so many amazing fish in my whole life. We were given fruit to hold which brought all the fish up round our faces, I was trying not to have a panic attack the whole time and basically clung onto James for dear life. The rest of the day was then spent jumping off the boat, hanging out in the sea and on different islands and then a very choppy, painful and soaking wet ride back to Phuket. It was one of the best days so far!
That evening we finally got to eat at the rooftop bar because the weather was glorious all evening. I wore my favourite playsuit and we sat and ate sushi, drank bottles of rosé and had a lovely time together. It was my favourite evening.
One of our final days was spent visiting an elephant sanctuary. This is something I always wanted to do if I ever visited Thailand. We were picked up in a truck and driven 2 hours into the forest, I’ve never been so relieved to see the sight of an elephant because we were nearly passing out in the heat. Firstly, we spent time meeting all the 11 elephants they had there and feeding them bananas.
After a an hour or too, we were brought inside to chop up all kinds of fruit and mix together ‘medicine’ for the older elephants. Then came more feeding, with plenty of picture opportunities. One of the baby elephants must have known what was coming next because he immediately ran and jumped in the mud pool, much to the keepers horror! We got in our bikinis and headed in with him, being careful not to be trodden on by the un-spacially aware adult elephants. An hour was spent being covered in mud, rubbing down the elephants and chasing the baby round – who still wasn’t listening to anything he was told! We then headed to the showers to brush off all the mud.
After we’d dried off, it was time to head back in the boiling hot van again. It was the best day of the holiday and I highly recommend visiting an elephant sanctuary if you’re ever in Thailand. That evening we spent at the lovely Italian restaurant next door to our hotel. It served one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had in my life and we spent the evening drinking and playing a few games of pool (obviously I won). I wore a top by h&m and Levis shorts.
The final day we spent by the pool and getting our last few rays of sunshine before we had to head home early the next morning. Phuket was one of the best places I’ve ever visited in my life and I would highly recommend going! Thailand forever has a place in my heart and I can’t wait to visit again in the future.