It’s official. After living 12 months on my island in the sun, our year in Phuket came to an end Thursday when Morgan and I left on a flight to Chiang Mai.
And while I’m excited to be exploring northern Thailand, I’ve also been reminiscing about my days in Phuket. The possibilities of what to do and where to go and what to eat on the island are endless, but here is a list of the 10 things that made my year truly unforgettable.
10. Living in a Holiday Destination
Phuket is fantastic not just for the beaches and cheap massages, but also because people love to visit for those very reasons! Over the course of our year on the island, Morgan’s parents visited (*see earlier post, Tex and Lulu Come to Thailand), Morgan’s brother and his girlfriend visited, my good friend Maddy visited (*see earlier post, Arrivals and Departures) and my Abuela and Abuelo visited (*see Mis Abuelos: 77-Year-Old Globetrotters).
9. Riding a Motorbike
To be completely honest, the thought of learning to ride a motorbike in the province with the highest road wreck mortality rate in Thailand was not appealing. Nonetheless, I was soon won over by the same reasons people probably fall in love with motorcycles: wind whipping your hair, zipping around cars and easily maneuvering through traffic, nothing between you and the wide open road. Maybe it’s a little less romantic on a Honda Scoopy than on a Harley Davidson, but Phuket isn’t a Harley type of town anyway.
8. Phuket Indy Market
Like many places in Asia, Phuket has a number of outdoor markets, some big and others small. While Phuket’s Weekend Market is very well known for its size and variety of goods, the Phuket Indy Market is less well known, even to those who live nearby. Nestled right in the heart of Phuket Town, the market boasts secondhand clothing, handmade crafts, leatherwork and artwork. You can find the usual market food along the backside of the market and as you eat, you can listen to high-school age bands that come out to perform on the soi. One of Phuket Town’s many treats.
7. Thai Holidays
As proud as I am to be an American and to celebrate the generally commercialized holidays that I grew up with, I must admit that Thailand has amazing holiday celebrations. Whether getting soaked during Songkran (*see my Videos tab), watching people slide swords through their cheeks during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival or setting your krathong on the water to release bad spirits on Loi Krathong (*see my post Loi Loi Krathong), you will be amazed by how much Buddhist culture remains on an island typically known only for its tourism.
6. Kata Hot Yoga
No, I’d never done hot yoga before moving to Phuket. Yes, I too used to be one of those narrow-minded people who believed that yoga was for people who couldn’t do ‘real’ sports. Yes, we were wrong. (*See my posts, The 30-day Challenge and Been There, Done That, Got the T-Shirt)
5. Green Curry
If this needs an explanation, then you’ve never eaten a Thai green curry.
As a Floridian, I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of beaches. I’ve seen beaches in Florida, North Carolina, California, Cuba, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand and Indonesia. In my opinion, Thailand’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. If you don’t believe me, ask one of the nearly two million people that come to visit Phuket each year.
3. Phuket Town
Writing this one makes my heart hurt a little bit. Morgan and I lived in Phuket Town throughout the entire time we were in Phuket. While most foreign teachers opt to live closer to the beach, my heart was always in Phuket Town. The food stalls, the Sino-Portuguese architecture, the culture, the community – Phuket Town has it all.
2. My K1 Watermelon Kids
Simply put, these kids were what I woke up for in the morning during my year in Phuket. To see more about them, just scan over my blog. I’ve written blog posts about their field trips, posted videos of their performances and included anecdotes from their funniest moments in class. I was so lucky to have them.
1. My Friends
Is any adventure really complete without good friends?