We’ve flown off to spend three weeks in Thailand. There’s really just one reason: we’re escaping the end of winter, and what better place than Thailand? Based on our somewhat more-than-modest world travels Thailand has among the best food, best beaches, and kindest, friendliest people in the world, all at bargain prices. So we’re spending three weeks on the beach here, not returning to New York until March.
One note about the flight over here. We flew Singapore Airlines from JFK to Singapore, connecting directly to Phuket. The JFK to Singapore leg, at 18 hours and 40 minutes schedule, is the longest flight in the world. There – another box checked off!
Our first stop, for four days, is the island of Phuket. We’ve been on the island before but always on the very southern part of the island where the city of Phuket and most of the people are. This time we’re way up at the northern tip of the island. Mostly just a few resorts and miles and miles and miles of beach. And that’s working out for us pretty well.
The resort we stayed at – a JW Marriott – is a beautiful property with really lush, tropical grounds. We’re not fans of really big resorts and this one is pretty darned big, but it was beautiful. Oddly though, we felt surprisingly distant from the beach, even though it’s a beachside resort. Presumably because of local laws (I’m just guessing but it’s as good a guess as any), there are no beach chairs or umbrellas on the beach. You can go down to swim and all that but for the most part you spend your days at the beautiful pools and just don’t go into the ocean that much. Thus you will note there are no pictures of the beach even though it was epically beautiful, just miles and miles of white sand.
That’s OK, though, as the pools were really beautiful. And the times I did go in the ocean were a little scary. There was nothing unusual about the surf but I’m still recovering from surgery on a couple toes and had a really hard time fighting the tide getting back to shore.
And that’s it. Hours enjoying the pool, reading, recovering from jet lag. As for reading, I have my work cut out for me. I’ve been saving it up for a while until I had the time to really dig into it but I’ve started Edmund Morris’s magisterial three-volume biography of Teddy Roosevelt. The 2,400-or-so pages will keep me busy these weeks. And based on other experiences I’ve had I will for ever more connect Thailand with Roosevelt.
The one downside of staying in a place that’s mostly about the resorts is that there weren’t great off-resort food options, or at least many that we could get to with my still-limited mobility. (Note about recovery: I was still using the walking boot on the flight over, to make sure I could get around the airports and all that. By day three in Phuket, though, I was getting everywhere I needed without the boot so it stayed there when we moved on. YAY!) The food at the resort was OK, but we hope to pick it up a notch or two as we continue through the area.