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Travel Diary – Phuket Part 1

We’ve been back from our Phuket holiday for a week already and we have so many wonderful memories and photographs from our 8 night holiday.

I’ll split my diary up into sections since we packed so much in. I think it’s too much for one Blog Post.

Day One (Tuesday) – This was going to be a big tiring day since our flight wasn’t until 5 minutes to midnight and Brisbane Airport is a 3 and a half our drive away. First stop was dropping Minnie off to her doggy accommodation for 10 days. She seemed really happy to be back to the Pet Resort and ready to make some new friends. We continued up the Coast, stopping at Robina Shopping Centre to spend some of Alice’s birthday gift cards. After that we dropped in to my dear Uncle John and Aunt Sheila in Brisbane. They are so very special to me and I hope they know just how much we love them. Uncle John reminds me so much of my Dad who I only knew for 18 years before he died suddenly. I hold Uncle John so close to my heart as he’s the closest thing I have to my Dad.

We then caught up with my beautiful cousin Cate for dinner and she took us to a fabulous Thai restaurant to get our taste buds ready for our adventure.

Checking in at Brisbane Airport was super easy and we had about 3 hour wait for our flight. We flew Singapore Airlines and the first flight was around 8 hours to Singapore where we had a 4 hour stopover before our next flight. The plane was comfortable and the girls were excited to have their own screen to choose from hundreds of movies, tv shows and music. We were well looked after by the air hostesses. We all tried to get a bit of sleep and arrived at Singapore around 5.30am (Singapore time). There’s so much to see and do at Singapore Airport with gardens at each Terminal. We caught the sky train between terminals and visited the Sunflower Garden, Orchid Garden and Butterfly Garden. The new Jewel space is now open but the huge inside waterfall doesn’t start running until 8am so the girls did a quick trip back there before boarding our next flight to see it running. It was so beautiful.

Day Two (Wednesday) – The flight from Singapore to Phuket is only 1 hour 45 minutes and when we finally arrived hot and tired, we were surprised that our booked transfer wasn’t there to collect us. There had been a mixup with the flight times changing but they sorted it out very quickly and we were taken by mini bus to our hotel with a family who had travelled from Kalgoorlie, WA. It took around an hour to get to our hotel and there was so much to look at along the way. Lots of traffic, shops etc. I’d forgotten how good it felt to travel to another country and experience all the sights and smells. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

We stayed at the Horizon Karon Beach Resort and Spa which was a nice hotel and were greeted with cool towels and sweet lemongrass drinks. Our room wasn’t quite ready so we went for a walk to have a look at the beach which was only a couple of minutes walk away. The water was warm and it looked so pretty. There were sunbeds, umbrellas, massage stations etc on the beach. We walked around a few streets to get our bearings and look at what types of shops and restaurants were close by.

After we settled in to our room, we went to the pool for a couple of hours. There were two pools in our section of the hotel with a waterfall separating them and a swim up bar which the girls were excited to try out. We had buffet breakfasts and dinners included in our package so we didn’t have to worry about food much.

Day Three (Thursday) in Phuket was a rest day, we spent the morning in the pool and then booked the free hotel shuttle bus into Patong (the main tourist area around 20 minutes away) to check it out. We had 3 hours to explore before the shuttle bus back to our hotel. We walked along the beach and were surprised at just how busy the place is. There’s so much going on and so many people – a far cry from Tabulam! We walked down the famous Bangla Road which I’m sure is a completely different area at night time but maybe not suitable for girls Alice and Lucy’s age. By daylight it was fun looking at all the shops and bars etc. We found a big shopping centre and wandered around in the cool air conditioning for a while.

Day Four (Friday) we had booked to go to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in Paklok. It is claimed to be the first and only ethical elephant sanctuary in Phuket which was why I chose to visit this one. There are plenty of others to visit but this one stood out to me as having the least interaction with the elephants and viewing them as much in their natural environment as possible. The sanctuary have 9 rescued elephants who had led a hard life in the tourism or logging industry prior to their rescue. They now live in the jungle owned by the sanctuary and are looked after 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by their Mahout, care as well as veterinarians. We watched a video of what horrors these poor animals had been through in their previous lives, with one being chained to a tree outside a temple all day every day and only fed when visitors gave donations. She was brought to the attention of the sanctuary by tourists and her rescue was put in place. You can still see the scars on her ankles from where she had been chained. She now wanders happily and has put on weight from eating regularly. Others had marks on their backs from riding saddles and some were blind. It was beautiful to get up close to these incredible animals and hear their heartbreaking stories. We were allowed to feed them watermelon, bananas and cucumber and then we walked through the jungle viewing them as they went about their daily activities. They do have enclosures where they sleep but during the day are free to wander as they please. We had a delicious vegetarian lunch at the sanctuary before heading back to our hotel.  I made a little video of our morning spent with these beauties here

Friday afternoon in Karon there is a night market held at Karon Temple which is about 10 minutes away from our hotel. We decided to catch a taxi as the walk would take about half an hour and it was too hot. We wandered around taking in all the sights of the street food vendors and clothing stalls. The girls bought some clothes and we ate some banana and Nutella pancakes which were awesome! We stopped at a fruit stall and ordered fruit shakes each – they’re so good, just like a Boost Juice but much fresher and cheaper. The best thing in hot, humid Thailand.

More adventures will continue in the next Blog Post.

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