Just when I thought my study abroad adventure was coming to a close, my dad told me he wanted to join the adventure. As a 50th birthday treat, he decided that a trip to Phuket, Thailand was in order. So I packed up my things, said goodbye to the Land Down Under that I called home for four months, and boarded the next flight to Thailand. After a 9-hour flight, I finally arrived and met my dad at the Phuket airport. After a long day of travel and some jet lag for the two of us, we decided to rest up for the next day.
Our incredible hotel was equipped with a private beach and an interesting assortment of both thai and american foods. We quickly learned that everything there is extremely cheap in comparison to the US, so we were living the life. I was able to pick up some of Thailand’s awesome culture in the short time I was there. Some of the hotel staff taught me a few words in Thai, I saw full families riding on a single moped, and I learned that they eat some oddly flavored potato chips.
On the first full day we were there, we decided to do some sightseeing. We knew that the Big Buddha statue was a must-see in the area, so we hopped in a car and went there. I had to wear a wrap tied around my waist in order to enter the temple area, so after this was taken care of my dad and I were able to enter and see everything Big Buddha had to offer. We also came across a baby elephant and the Wat Chalong Temple throughout our day. After doing some serious sightseeing, we returned to our hotel and laid on the beach for a few hours. At night we went to see Siam Niramit, a thai cultural show with awesome food and entertainment.
The next day, we did an adventure tour. We played with more elephants, both old and young. While it is a controversial subject, training elephants for performances and tourism is a large part of Thailand’s culture. We also went white water rafting, swam in a waterfall, and visited a monkey cave temple on our adventure! On day three, we went on the Phi Phi island tour. This took us to Ko Phi Phi Le and Ko Phi Phi Don, where the movie ‘The Beach’ was filmed, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. We toured around Krabi by boat, stopped for a lunch buffet, saw the iconic wooden long boats that Thailand has to offer, and went swimming in super clear water.
When day four came around, my dad and I were both really tired from all the adventures we had been going on, but we still had more plans! We took the James Bond island tour, named for an island that one James Bond movie was filmed on. We saw Phang Nga, went into rock caves to explore, and visited a floating village. That’s right, the entire village was actually floating on the calm ocean water. One of the highlights of the trip was a kayak adventure we went on during this tour. We had to lay down in the kayaks in order to fit under rocks and explore the islands! Finally, we went to another island to relax and enjoy some cocktails served in pineapples and coconuts.
After returning to the hotel from our adventure, we enjoyed an authentic Thai dinner and set off to take a look at Bangla road, the infamous party area of Phuket. The streets and culture were wild, so after a bit of exploring we headed back to go to sleep. There are small vehicles called Tuk-Tuks all over Phuket that take you wherever you want to go. We felt like we had to take one before we left, so we hopped in a Tuk-Tuk ride home, complete with disco lights and music. After a long and exhausting trip, my dad and I spent our final day just relaxing on the beach before our next adventure began.