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A Humbling Lesson: Phucket

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

After hanging out in the mountains of Chiang Mai we prepared for our trip down to the islands in the South. All was well, shades on looking fabulous, I was feeling super confident sashaying my way to the front of the ticket line.... 

The agent took a look at our booking number and laughed, informing me that our flight had left three days ago!

 Humbled, and put back in my place as an absolutely NON-perfect travel guru I looked at Michael and nearly burst into tears. I had booked a gorgeous resort in Phucket and even upgraded to an ocean view room and now we were stuck here because of a silly mistake! 

Mike reminded me that it was ok, we were safe and sound and these things happen, he made some calls to grab some money he was owed and we thanked our lucky stars it came through. We learned we should always plan to have at least $500 extra (not waiting for it to come in) before we leave incase of an unanticipated mistake or emergency! 

The flight out the next morning was twice what we paid for the original flight but we booked because it was the only 2 seats left and we didn't want to waste more money or time staying in the same place... 

It ended up being first class! Which we never fly, so it was a huge treat to experience it on Thai Smile for about $200 a ticket (which is really pricey for in-country airlines) but all we could be was grateful that we were safe and that was the only major mistake... many worse things could have happened. 

Lesson learned:

- CHECK YOUR DATES
-DOUBLE CHECK YOUR DATES
-TRIPLE CHECK YOUR DATES
-HAVE EXTRA MONEY FOR MISTAKES
...& don't get too down on yourself if you make one! no one is perfect! 



Our mistake only set us back a few hours and we arrived in Phuket via Chaing Mai the next morning. Our flight was very easy and smooth with security only taking about 20-30 minutes! We took about a half hour ride from the airport to our resort, U Zenmaya, which was even more beautiful in real life!

 The view from the room was spectacular and we even had a personal whirlpool on our porch! (which we actually flooded our entire room with because we misunderstood how to turn it off… whoops!) The hotel design was minimal and chic making great use of the beautiful surroundings and featuring the iconic view. The crown jewel was definitely the wonderful infinity pool on the very top of the resort nestled naturally into the mountain.



We experienced a traditional Thai massage the the resort’s spa which was quite an experience. I have had other Thai massages both in the U.S. and here but this one was very traditional where you needed to wear a linen outfit and they only cracked, pushed, and pulled your whole body working more like an athletic trainer than a masseuse. I was so ticklish and almost lost it when my masseuse walked all over my back! It was really interesting but I don’t think I would do it again. I prefer hot oil, hot stone, or more contact massage rather than stretching but it was very cool to see what they do! 




 We decided to stay at the resort and wandered our way to a tiny beach bungalow next to the hotel’s private beach that was more of a local’s hang out. Indulging on some Mai Tai’s and spring rolls we watched the tide roll in and the local fisherman pursue their dinners. I collected a rainbow of shells, pebbles, and sea-glass and watched another guest build tiny towers from the smooth rocks. 

That night we took a dip in the fantastic infinity pool and had dinner at the hotel which was SO expensive- more than entire NIGHTS at the next hotel we stayed at! Although the resort was beautiful it was not worth the price and if we could do it again we would have just skilled Phuket which seemed really touristy and was VERY expensive and gone straight to Krabi. 


We took a private taxi 2-3 hours, a gorges drive through the rainforests and mountains to Krabi for about $100 USD which was about a third of what the hotel transfer would have been! Inquiring about tours at the hotel also proved for be about two-three times more expensive than just in the towns. Next time, I would definitely just fly in to Krabi! 

Our thoughts overall: 
If you spend too much you will be disappointed. 
Stay in more mid priced hotels that are clean and safe. 
Avoid tourist traps, booking tours/transport from your hotel, price shop first! 
Skip Phuket and head to Krabi! 

Hotel U Zenmaya courtesy their website. 


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