Summer 2018 you have me chasing you all around the globe it seems.
Physically and spiritually.
It’s because I’m falling in love with your season and changing with your warm tones.
My soul is loving every aspect of it!
As you may have already seen from my Instagram, after discovering the wonder and beauty that makes up the colorful fabric of India, our team jetted off to Thailand (aka the motherland). Yes, that’s right! My ethnicity is Thai, but my nationality is American; and it’s been far too long since I’ve returned…about 5 years.
So ‘Sawadee Kha’ to you as I practice a little bit of my native tongue on here and as we journey through this exotic country together.
(Bonus: you won’t have to hear my thick American accent through the text)
See below for insider tips, must-see’s and a bit of lingo to keep in your back pocket. First stop, Phuket (Poo-ket…’h’ is silent)!
Babes, 5 years away does something to a girl’s heart like mine.
As our plane flew over the glistening, turquoise hues from the Andaman Sea, I saw pops of lush green formations, some higher and some lower than others, all peaking through the fluffy clouds…my eyes grew a little bigger and heart skipped a little faster. We were coming into island time and I began to realize summer was going to be one for the books – not only because of the nostalgic, picturesque introduction, but the group of people I was with. I looked at them and my heart just smiled and knew.
This may very well be my favorite chapter yet.
You’d feel the same way, too if you knew them the way I do.
This was the part of our trip where time has been allotted for rest and relaxation and let me say…we surely got in a lot of that. Of course, it was naturally mixed in with many cases of laughter, splashes of fun and dishes full of fine cuisine…it was exactly the ingredients our restless souls needed.
Allow me to share the fun tips in case you’d like to enjoy some of the same when you travel here, too!
Travel Tips for Phuket, Thailand:
- Hire a private driver (over a taxi) from a trusted company or the hotel you’re staying in.
- Exchange your currency to Thai Baht.It’s currently about 30 baht for $1 US dollar. *Suggested tip is about 10% of your restaurant bill unless it is already inclusive.
- Visit one of the local fruit markets. Why? Have you had some of the local fruits from Thailand? Because oh. my. word. it is beyond scrumptious and insta-friendly. Better yet, it excludes all the GMOs.We ventured into the one closest to our resort near Laguna area. Definitely, try the mangosteens (my favorite / you shouldn’t have to pay more than 40 baht in season between May – August). Sip on fresh young Thai coconuts because their the tastiest and as we know coconuts are beyond good for our health…in love with the coco. If you’re feeling brave, go for the durian. Warning it has a potent stench that may turn most people away, but if you can get past it the taste can be surprisingly pleasant.
- Challenge: enjoy fine, inexpensive and authentic cuisine outside your hotel, too!
- We fell in love with the first one we tried: Tawai Thai. I’d say it’s imperative to order Som-Tum aka papaya salad with fresh shrimp along with sticky rice. Taste the fresh greens: Morning Glory dish. #TBH anything is delicious from their menu. Can’t forget the mango and (sweet) sticky rice topped with homemade coconut syrup. Yup, my mouth is watering, too.
- Kru Wit Raft Restaurant: the only floating restaurant with fresh, live seafood cooked to order on the island. Okay, so here the experience is everything. The moment you arrive at Laem Hin Pier there is a complimentary long-tailed wooden speedboat that takes you over in just 2 minutes. The ambiance and phenomenon is too good not to miss (me pictured in the red dress was when we had dinner here)! Their seafood sauce (if you love spicy) goes well with any seafood dish even shrimp sashimi.
- Chom Chan or One Chan Restaurant: housed in a contemporary and charming residential structure with delectable dishes to delight the palate. Hands down winning dish:Crab Curry with rice vermicelli.
- Banyan Tree Phuket’s Saffron. (Make reservations) Also, everything and any dish is sure to surpass your expectation. A bit costlier than the above options, but the presentation and ambiance is well worth it. We enjoyed our last dinner here along with a fun and thrilling traditional Thai entertainment. Hint: drums, fire and sound from the Ranat Ek similar to a xylophone.
- Travel to nearby islands whether by tour or charter a private boat.
- James Bond Island: incredibly lovely and quaint. No need to spend any more than an hour taking in the iconic destination. 🙂 Inevitably, filled with tons of tourist, but you will be able to capture a solo shot!
- Phi Phi Islands: Maya Bay is specifically where ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed. The color of the water here is simply matchless.
- Experience the night markets.
- The weekend-only Naka Market with its many local great food options.
- Sunday Lardyai: situated in the heart of Old Phuket Town highlighted with vibrant, alternating colors reflected on the many townhouses that line this street. It’s family-oriented and a hub for coffee shops, restaurants, fabrics, souvenirs, clothes…you name it.
- Some essential phrases: always end with ‘kha’ if you’re female + ‘kub’ if you’re male.
- Sawadee kha/kub: Hello or Goodbye (include gesturing both of your hands together and a slight bow with your head).
- Khop khun kha/kub: Thank you.
- Koh tote kha/kub: Sorry/Excuse me.
- Suh bye dee my kha/kub: How are you?
- My pett kha/kub: Not spicy.
- Pett nit noi kha/kub: A little spicy.
- Ah-roy kha/kub: Delicious!
*If you’d like to learn more definitely practice with locals, don’t be afraid because I guarantee they will truly love and adore it. Other option is you can always reach out to me! 🙂
My loves I hope the above serves you well as it did for my team and I.
We’d like to say, ‘same, same but different’ are the experiences to be had. Regardless of anyone’s awesome tips/advice, each is a guide and an invite we’ve been gifted with to add our own flare and discover new happenings in addition to what’s been stated above or read about in magazines. Therefore, please do share yours with me! I’d love to learn from you!
Photography: courtesy of my sweet Chelsae Anne.
Off to the next city! Spoiler alert: involves rescued elephants. <3
And yes, my heart is melting on repeat.
Mwah, ciao for now!
xo, your #ThaiTida