Trips to Thailand (even short work related ones) are always such a treat. While Bangkok is one big art and culture fest and Samui is a sleepy, relaxing beach town- Phuket, I feel, is an interesting fusion of both cities. When you think Phuket, you automatically think of the cult hit The beach and the gorgeous island of Ko Phi Phi. I however will forever associate Phuket with charming local shops, artsy cafe’s and breathtaking seaside scenery. We spent 3 out of our 4 days there shooting around Trisara (our couple’s lush resort). While it was also fun and sort of relaxing in itself, I felt like I needed to burn all of the excessive Pad thai in my system with some good old adventure. We were blessed with one work-free day and a new local friend Aht, who shot the wedding with us,who generously offered to show us around the city, since we didn’t really have time to hop on a boat to Phiphi island. Seeing the city through a local’s eyes was totally refreshing- a day in the life of Aht, as I fondly call the experience in my head, felt like such an authentic travel experience. It was nice learning a bit about the Thai government, getting to ask about thai culture, thai food and hearing about the other places in Thailand we ought to visit next! (Chiang mai! Who’s game?) We just felt really blessed by Aht’s hospitality and good heart! Also, listening to all his family stories made me realize how similar Thai and FIlipino culture are.
We started off with the prerequisite “touristy” places. We walked around Kata beach (which I felt was a mix of the Legian district in Bali and Venice beach in LA) and then decided to move to a more relaxed and more quiet place near the ocean to grab some lunch. After some delish Pad thai, we then drove up to Prom thep cape, which was according to Aht, probably the most photographed part of Phuket. I was half expecting the place to be crawling with camera toting tourists (like myself! Haha!) but to my surprise and delight, we were the only people there plus a couple who drove up to see the romantic sight on their scooter (Ahhh to honeymoon like that someday!) We got to see Phuket from such great heights (cue the Postal service song!) and I couldn’t resist snapping away on my camera. There was also a local craftsman who was selling bags and charms at the cape. Carmela snagged a few treasures and I had to be content with just taking pictures since I was practically living on my credit card and didn’t have cash on me. Note to self: BRING COLD HARD CASH TO PHUKET as it is crawling with so much thrift shop treasures and gorgeous textile. I shall come back to hoard!
We then moved to Old Phuket town to get some coffee. Aht took us to his friend’s pretty cafe to get our caffeine fix. After which, we walked around, visited out a few nearby temples and then walked further along to check out the weekend market. The whole place was just…love! Streets were lined with food vendors (thai street food in my opinion, is the best ever! I look forward to it everytime I’m in thailand! I stocked up on coconut ice cream and food I couldn’t pronounce) and local crafters. Old victorian buildings that were restored into artsy cafes and vintage shops lined the streets, people from all parts of the globe were just relaxing and sipping on their lattes and watching the world go by-everything was just buzzing with culture, art and local goodness. I went crazy exploring all the shops and stalls, breathing in all that inspiration! This was easily my favorite part of the day.
Instagrams from a lovely afternoon around our hotel and Old Phuket town.
When the sun started to set and the fairy lights at the market came on, we had another round of Padthai, hearty laughter and then decided to head back to the hotel and pack for our flight the next day. We said our goodbyes to Aht and thanked him for being such a gracious host. I stop and look a back at this beautiful day with overwhelming gratitude to our Lord for gentle souls, art and majestic cliffs. All of this by Him and for Him. Praying this isn’t the last time I get to visit you Phuket!