I cannot say enough good things about phuket. or Thailand for that matter. i feel like we did all the right things. and that is thanks to our tour guide and trip planner, candice sherman. her and rob basically did all the research and planning and we really just went along for the ride. we had just enough beach days and busy days and i left thailand feeling like we did it perfectly. and it did not go unappreciated, we love you for taking care of us cand - she knew exactly what we'd want to do and couldn't miss. so if you need suggestions.... go to cand. (or ask me, i have a spreadsheet i could send ya:)).
other than the tsunami that was the day after xmas 8 years ago (i would suggest seeing the movie Impossible AFTER going to thailand...if at all... it freaked me out so bad) phuket is perfect. and those Thai people! i cannot say enough good things about them either. the way they portrayed them in the movie is truly how they are. good hearted and kind. and funny. i never felt uneasy or threatened while we were there, the people wanted to help us and wanted to make our experience in thailand a good one. they are great people.
we went to thailand with zachs family. minus jess’s family (our babies) and we missed them terribly. it was not the same without them or jess and jon. we also missed mac mac, who had to spend his first christmas with grandma belnap... but he wont remember, and we had to have his parents with us... so sorry mac guy! maybe next year we will let you have your parents for xmas.;)
we also had matt (sloth) and cait with us. slothy is one of zachs very best friends and has been for years and years. and cait is his cute wife. we love caitlin to pieces. and they are the best to travel with... many trips to come, k guys?! they don’t have a choice so i dont know why there was a question mark there. it was honestly so much fun to have them there along with the fam. they fit right in.
jen, candice’s good friend (and all of ours) also joined our team. she is a blast. party all the time with jen jen. so fun.
and aunt steph. zach’s aunt. unfortunately she didn’t bring her bag of nail polish (we are talking hundreds of OPI nail polishes. pure heaven), but we love our stephy. game to do whatever. which is nice to have with a group of TWELVE.
Phuket was a beachtown. we hit a lot of beaches while there and hung out in the town at night. the town had a lot a lot of shopping and street food, massage parlors and people. it was such a fun town. we spent a lot of time walking up and down those streets. it's funny how they all sell basically the same thing, yet we were still buying stuff up until the day we left. it never got old. and the people are so cute! another thing i loved about them is they don't beg for their money (like many places do like when you get off cruises, etc), they work for it. phuket is a tourist-y area, but every person is at least selling something and have some pride in what they do. i appreciated that.
We were in Phuket for the first week of the trip. we did two days of excursions, which were absolutely amazing. and the rest were basically beach days (which i also looove).
I've kind of grouped the excursions together in pictures, but one day we did pha nang bay and the other day we did the phi phi islands.
The first excursion was probably my favorite day of the trip. we had the same tour guide for both days, and we loved him - Supe. He took us to all the right places at all the right times.
First, We went to a pretty little beach on a small island where we were basically the only people there. some snorkeled, some laid on the beach, some climbed a rope and swung on a swing-thing. it was very fun. We went to another area where we got on canoes and thai men canoed us through and between little islands. it was so beautiful and fun. i wasn't the most excited for this part, but it was one of my favorites. Then we went to an islands all on stilts. this is where they fed us the best thai lunch we'd had. i'm still thinking about the food. then we toured the island. it was pretty amazing. and incredibly unique. the children grow up there, go to school there, everything. it was fascinating. He took us to many other beautiful beaches and islands and places that were unreal. absolutely unreal. do this tour if you go.
Second, he took us to the "beaches" beach (The movie...that im pretty sure none of us had ever seen but was honestly probably the most gorgeous beach of them all... and that is saying something), showed us "james bond rock," took us to monkey beach, took us to a snorkeling spot, and a few other amazing beach and places. and another absolutely amazing lunch. on the same island that we had to take zach to when he decided to cherry drop off a swing into the ocean and hit his head on a rock. he had to get stitches at this place. it was just awful. tetnis shot - in. numbing shot - in. stitches - in. they don't waste one second of time. zach said he could feel every stitch, his hands were white, clenching onto the sides of the bed, and he could see blood dripping from his head into a bucket on the ground. this is where i walked out of the room because i was going to pass out and let nurse cait take over. she did much better taking care of my husband. they also stitched a bandage to his head, for whatever reason. it was weird.
niners game. i think this was around 4am. no keeping these boys away from their niners.
the city. we just fell in love with this little town. and here are acouple of things i want to remember about it...
- the boys all got tailored suits made. they picked out the fabric and went in for several fittings - and they turned out really really good. zach got a 3 piece, he’s always wanted one. and it turned out awesome. he looks so good in it. i’ll let you all see sometime;)
- the massages. i think some of us got a massage of some sort every day. pedicures, manicures, thai massages, oil massages, reflexology... everyday. and the best part FIVE BUCKS. not even kidding $5-$7 for every massage we got. and i got some of the best massages i’ve ever had. the first day there, after the never-ending flight, we went and got a thai massage and it seriously hit the spot. i dont think anyone could ever give a thai massage quite liek a thai lady (or lady boy in dave’s case). they are tiny ladie and they just walk all over your back and twist and pull you in ways you never thought were possible. it’s insane and so painful, but amazing all at the same time. anyways, after it’s over you feel like a whole new person. and after our flight to get there, nothing felt better than that.
- the beach was literally across the street form the main part of town. there was a warm breeze and it beaches make everything better.
- we rented scooters and rode all over town. it was a blast. at night, during the day, to and from our house up the road from the town. it was awesome and we got to see some really cool places that way. although...if you are not an experienced scooter rider - freaky. thai people drive like maniacs are they are all crammed on the road with no rules/laws holding them back.
- crepes.every.night. we found the best crepe guy in phuket and were loyal to him. he was quite the artist:) he even scraped fresh coconut for us. mm. coconut, nutella, banana. that was me.
- the little restaurant by our house was really yummy.best mango sticky rice all trip. and that is saying something. and yummy pad thai. mm.
- our secret beach. we found a secluded little beach one dat that we had to hike down to. it was so beautiful and, like i’ve said, unreal. i swear it has been in a movie... when we first found it we just jumped in the water like little kids and splashed around. it was exactly what we pictured thailand to look like and be. and the only way to get to this beach was by boat or by this little trail that we happened to stumble into. there is a little place to eat that was very delicious.
- best egg mcmuffin of my life. thailand mickey d’s knows how to do it. hot, fresh, delicious.
phuket, we loved you. i cant stop looking at these pictures (or the hundreds of others we took).
**pics are courtesy of zach, dave, jen, kels, rob, etc etc etc.