Little Monkey Thieves
“A mind that is stretched by new experiences
can never go back to it's old dimensions"
-Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
One of the best things about living in Hong Kong is that it is located right in the midst of desirable vacation spots. Seriously, the flights are only a few hours and most importantly they are affordable. So, needing a break from all the hustle and bustle of the city, I escaped to Phuket for a week!
I stayed at Bandara Villas right on the Panwa Beach. I chose this hotel so I could have a private pool that overlooks the beach...blessing me with PERFECT sunrises and sunsets shining straight into my villa. It was more secluded and romantic, and I loved that the beach wasn't taken over by hundreds of people. On top of that, it was only a quick taxi ride away from all the places I wanted to go.
Wherever I travel, I always make it a priority to visit a local night market if possible. It's always a fun way to dive a bit deeper into the culture by tasting the local foods and seeing new faces. Immediately my first dish at the market was phad thai. I looove thai food. I also love tropical fruit and the market was covered in rows and rows of the ripest fruits. Of course, I bought plenty to bring back to my villa. Lastly, it’s a given to have some authentic mango sticky rice. As full as I get, I always make room for my dessert.
The next day, we booked a day trip to visit Phi Phi Islands. We had to wake up extremely early to take a ferry out, but it was all so worth it. I had never seen such clear, turquoise blue waters before. Each time the boat anchored, we went snorkeling and since the waters were so clear you could literally be swimming in the midst of all these beautiful colored fish and see everything underwater so well! The day tour took us to visit three different islands and beaches. And yes, I took many of the cliche Maya Bay photos, standing in between the gap of the rocks. It was amazing to see the row of Thai boats lined along the beaches as well. I've always seen them in other people's photos, and they are just as beautiful in person.
Aside from the scenery, these islands are known for their monkeys! Lots of the other tourists were enjoying them, giving them food, and letting them climb on their shoulders, and snapping pictures, but our experience with the monkeys was not as smooth. We had set our backpack full of snacks down on the sand and went to take some beach photos when all of a sudden we hear other tourists freaking out saying, "the monkeys got your backpack!". We turned our heads back around and saw a monkey holding our backpack trying to figure out how to unzip it, I was suprised how clever these monkey's really were. We had no idea what to do to get the monkey to drop our backpack. The more we tried to grab for it, the monkey just hissed and it was terrifying! Then, a lady shouted "QUICK THROW SAND ON IT!!". Bless that lady's soul!!! Her idea worked like a charm and the moment we tossed some sand at the monkey, he dropped our backpack and scurried away.
Continuing down my list of things I wanted to do in Phuket, I went and visited the tiger kingdom to have a once in a lifetime experience with the tigers. Before I start, I do want to acknowledge that I am fully aware the tiger kingdom may not be happily accepted by some of you. For all my animal activist friends out there reading this, please, please know that I am not for animal abuse and I am by no means trying to promote people to go visit the tigers. For me, this was a chance to be around magnificent creatures. I am aware there are animal sanctuaries in Thailand that treat their exotic animals humanely with respect. Either way, I'm really glad I did because the tigers were amazing and I will never forget what it was like to be next to this strong, fierce, and playful species. I hope to shower with some Thai elephants one day in the future as well.
The last highlight of my Phuket trip I want to share with you all was my perfect sunset dinner at Baan Rim Pa in Patong. When you reserve at Baan Rim Pa, be sure to request for a balcony table with a view, it's what they are known for. Not only was the food delicious, but the sunset was what truly made the night. If you haven't picked it up already- I'm obsessed with sunsets. We booked dinner at the exact hour so I got to watch the colors gradually transform throughout the sky. This is surely my go-to restaurant if I'm ever in Phuket again, I highly recommend.
Plus, Patong Beach is where the well-known walking street is located so after having a wonderful sunset dinner you can go grab drinks and check out all the Thailand hype. From there you can hop on a tuk-tuk back to the villa or wherever you stay- enjoy the ride. :)