Living in a paradise that many see as a tourist destination does tend to increase the likelihood of visitors. As we have lived in such places for a while now, we’ve perfected the visitor strategy so that we balance the time we play tour guides with the time we must stick to our guns and continue life as usual (which for me includes chunks of time for writing and working on client projects).
The wonderful thing about having visitors is that we can then play tourists in our own town and explore new places and perhaps re-visit some of our favourites. Since our guests tend to vary in age and levels of ‘adventuresome-ness’ we do have to adjust accordingly.
A recent visit of my adult nephews triggered what I would call, in retrospect, the perfect Phuket day!There are a couple of ways we like to start off the day with visitors, again, depending on their particular druthers… either with fresh fruit, coffee, toast and eggs on our patio overlooking lush greenery and listening to the orchestral sound of the resident birds, or taking a quick stroll into town to Café de Bang Tao, which features all day breakfast! This appeals especially if it was a late night and no one is up to cooking breakfast… except for the always-present pot of coffee.
Following breakfast, it’s a short hop to Bang Tao Beach where any takers can enjoy as short or long a stroll on a stretch of beach that goes as far as the eye can see. The further you go the more peaceful it is as the crowds thin dramatically after you pass the three beach resorts in Bang Tao. If I happen to tag along there’s bound to be a bit of shell collecting going on.
There’s plenty within walking distance from our place in Bang Tao but it’s always fun to either rent a car or a driver (if you’re coming to town I’d be happy to recommend one) and explore a bit further afield for the day. Often times the next item on the itinerary is a drive to the most beautiful high point on the island, in my opinion, to see The Big Buddha and enjoy the view of Chalong Bay on one side and the Andaman Sea on the other. The site and the Buddha are still under construction so you can even donate a few dollars and write a message on a piece of marble that will be forever encased at the base of the monument.
When my nephews visited we skipped this part and headed straight to Thalang to one of our favourite places for Thai noodle soup full of everything but the kitchen sink. I’m not kidding. One time they even included the chicken’s feet, which I put aside as politely as I could!
Fully re-fortified, the tour continues through Phuket Town where we take in the old colonial architecture, a few lively and colourful markets, and maybe a gold shop or two. For the more adventurous visitors, the day’s journey typically ends in Patong where we cruise on foot down Bangla Road and take in the sights, which on the night we were last there, included a parade in celebration of Lady Boy Day. Admittedly, it’s not for everyone, but it is a big part of Thai culture.
Once we return to the warm embrace of our lovely villa in our (mostly) quiet little town, we re-cap the day and share our impressions over a nightcap by the pool. I can’t wait to do it again! Who’s coming to visit next?
Do you have a regular itinerary that you put into play when you have visitors?
A published author and freelance writer, Anne O’Connell, has been an expat since 1993 when she and her husband escaped the cold of Toronto, Canada and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They enjoyed the sun and sand for 14 years, while she worked in the PR field, and then decided it was time for a new adventure. Heading for even more sun and sand, they moved to Dubai in late 2007 and then on to Thailand in 2011.
Anne has been working as a freelance copywriter and communications consultant since 2007, specializing in marketing, corporate communications, public relations, social media and website content. She and her husband have a passion for travel and that adventurous spirit has taken them all over the world. Anne grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has a bachelor of public relations from Mount St. Vincent University. You can visit her website at www.anne-oconnell.com or her blog at www.anne-writingjustbecause.blogspot.com.
Read more of Anne's Expat Focus articles here.