When we were living in London, we used to love going away for the weekend.
These visits usually involved getting the train either to Kent, where my family are based, or Hampshire, where Alex’s family live. However, now we live in Singapore, although weekend visits home are sadly out of our reach, weekend beach holidays are made easy! Hurrah!
Thus, this weekend, Alex and I got ourselves up first thing in the morning, made our way to the airport, and flew to Phuket in Thailand. Phuket is where Alex’s father’s resort – also, as of two weeks ago, my employer! – is based. It’s called The Village, Coconut Island.
The flight is so quick – about an hour and twenty minutes – and plus you gain an hour when you get into Thailand. This meant that we left the flat in Singapore at 7.30am, and were outside Phuket airport with an iced coffee by 9.00am local time!
As we walked out of Arrivals, we were accosted by a large looming figure booming at us. Turned out it was our friend Ben!
Ben works at The Village and is one of Alex’s oldest friends. I think I might have introduced him to you before, but for the record he looks like this:
That’s a rather excited Ben on the construction site. He loves construction sites.
Anyway, Ben had taken some of the Thai staff to the Airport to have a look around, so that if any guests rang and said they were lost in or around the airport, the staff would be able to help them. A simple yet brilliant plan; and one which we thoroughly approved of, as it meant that we got a lift back to Laem Hin (the little pier on Phuket which the Village’s boats go from) and thus had great company AND saved on the taxi fare. Result!
When we got back to the island, we had an utterly delicious breakfast courtesy of The Village’s lovely Executive Chef, Lee, whilst watching an incredible Thai man shimmy up a really tall palm tree and pull out the coconuts! The tree was right over the bar and he was worried that they would fall on guests’ heads, so he just sort of vertically RAN up the tree, no rope or anything, and started pulling the coconuts off, and lowering them down on a string! I tried to take a picture, but you can’t really see him very well. Sorry.
If that had been me, it would have taken me about a day to get up there, and that would be with a harness and everything…he’s amazing!
However, amongst all the fun and games, our day then sadly had a shadow cast over it. We were meant to be going over to Kata beach to meet Alex’s Daddy, who had been sailing his boat Chrysalis in the King’s Cup Regatta, one of Southeast Asia’s biggest regattas, which is held in Phuket. We were just getting ready to go at about 3.30pm when we had a jumbled call from him, telling us not to go over, as the beach was ‘carnage’ but that the crew of Chrysalis were ‘all safe’. His phone battery then died! Really worried, we frantically tried to find out what on earth had been going on. It later transpired that many of the yachts racing had been anchored off Kata Beach in the morning, when unexpected 25-knot onshore winds and heavy surf swept about ten yachts onto the beach, causing a huge pile up in the bay. One yacht was rolled in the shallow surf and lost both its keel and mast. Thankfully Chrysalis was ok, but a horrible situation for everyone involved.
The picture below is courtesy of Cameron Dueck for the Wall Street Journal, as obviously I wasn’t there to take a picture:
After this, not surprisingly, nobody was in the mood for a celebration as had been planned to mark the end of Regatta week. So, instead, we went into Phuket Town and had a lovely dinner at a Belgian restaurant called The Brasserie. It was REALLY good – Alex had foie gras and a really tender beef stew, and I had an incredible cheese croquette and a sort of deconstructed chicken pie which was just basically chicken, tarragon, white wine, cream and puff pastry. We felt very well-fed afterwards but needless to say my diet had slipped off track…
Sunday was gorgeous – the weather wasn’t amazing, but we took the speedboat out into the bay and cruised around for a bit, then went to an amazing beach called Reggae Beach. It is about half an hour away from Coconut Island by boat, and it is basically just a beautiful little island with a stunning white sand beach and turquoise water, with a solitary little beach bar / hut run by a Thai man who likes to wear dreadlocks and play Bob Marley in a loop (hence the name Reggae Beach!) We had some beer, and the boys caught a chicken!
It was very well behaved so they stroked it a bit then let it go.
We also had a swim in the sea – here we are:
It got to five o’clock and suddenly, as dusk began to descend, so did the mosquitos! Oh no! We swam back to the boat as quickly as we could, but not before all of us had sustained some pretty nasty bug-munches…
We then headed back to the island and scrubbed up and headed to the Island’s newly-opened Deli where a party was taking place to celebrate the completion of the island’s construction work! We had a great time and plenty of amazing food and drink, and after one too many glasses of wine things quickly descended to a point where we felt it was best to go to bed. As Alex found out, glass doors can be problematic when you have had a few glasses of wine.
The next morning, Alex was up early (and grudgingly) as he had to get back to Singapore for work. I spent the day on the Island, working, and then flew back at 10.00pm to Singapore.
I am writing this from our balcony – it’s currently 5.00pm, and I am very excited as I am flying back to London TONIGHT!! I can’t wait! Obviously I will be really sad to leave Alex for Christmas, but I miss my family and friends very much. Also, Alex has a brunch planned at a nice hotel in Singapore, The Fullerton, on Sunday which starts at 11.30am with freeflow champagne, so I think it is a good idea that I leave them to it….
Next time I speak to you, I shall be back in the UK, and the macaroni necklace will be delivered to its winner! Bet you are so excited…and you should be for, as you will see, it is an epic work of art.
Lots of love,