TRAVEL WITH YOUR BFF: PHUKET, THAILAND

Every now and then my best friend Karla and I would plan a BFF date where it would just revolve around good wine and the best conversations. One date night and after one bottle of red, from reminiscing fun memories, we were suddenly planning our next adventure. Next thing we knew, we were booked for a weekend trip to Phuket, Thailand.

The plan was to check out different beaches and different resorts and squeeze it all in 3 days. Three resorts booked and island tours scheduled, we were all set for our 2016 ultimate BFF trip.

DAY 1

Resort: Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort

Beach: Phi Phi Islands

7 AM. Swim suits on and body’s SPF-protected, Karla and I began our day in our balcony’s tanning beds. With a little more than an hour to enjoy our room before getting picked up by our tour group, there we were, soaking up the sun. Little did we know, we’d be burnt to a crisp by the end of Day 1.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

We were upgraded to a One-bedroom Deluxe Suite with Pool Access—Why? Beats me but Wyndham sure did spoil us with so many treats! Slipped under our front door were gift certificates for their spa services and a personal note from the concierge saying that we have a little gift waiting for us in the front desk. Little elephant-printed pouches, one for me and one for Karla. Sweet.

 

SONY DSC
dscf0152

9 AM. We were off to our Phi Phi Islands Day Tour. For Php 2,500 / 1,800 THB, we were to explore 8 islands for 8 hours in Phi Phi on a speedboat with meals included and unlimited drinking water. Fantastic deal, ain’t it?

SNORKELING OVER THE HIN KLANG CORAL REEF OUTSIDE MOSQUITO ISLAND

Our boat docked in the middle of the ocean. Snorkeling gears were distributed with a fair warning that if we lose it, we gotta pay for it.

One, two, three, SPLASH! I sure was stubborn enough to leave my life vest on the boat because I didn’t like wearing one—big mistake! So as we admired the reefs, swimming and filming the experience, a good 10 minutes must have passed and the next thing I know, the speedboat was as small as my thumb. The waves drifted us too far from the boat!

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-53-25-pm

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-53-55-pm

Karla had her life vest so swimming back to the boat wasn’t much of a struggle for her and she swam ahead (why did you leave me, Karla?). It was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life to swim against the current and back to the boat. Panic and exhaustion were overcoming me but I was determined not to be THAT person who called for rescuing.. not on our first stop at least!

BAMBOO ISLAND

dscf0236

dscf0281

dscf0247

I’ve always loved the feel of white powdery sand on my toes and this island had just that! For the next hour, we were to sit back, relax, and enjoy our first beach of the day. Bamboo Island is fairly small compared to the other islands but it made up for its charm. Enveloped with white sand is a forest-like center with tall and slim trees and picnic tables—It made for a great camping site! With coconuts on hand and speakers for some chill tunes, Karla and I found a log to sit on under a nice shade and it was R&R indeed.

PHI PHI DON ISLAND

SONY DSC

Lunch was served in a local restaurant with assigned seats. We were seated with a British family, a Chinese solo traveller, and a Cuban couple. The food wasn’t that good and it wasn’t Thai either—which was what most of us hoped for. Can’t complain though, a meal is a meal. With a little more time left on our hands, Karla and I walked in the market just outside the restaurant. It’s what you’d expect from a Thai market—elephant and Buddha wood carvings, R-rated souvenirs, paintings, and clothing. Since it was Karla’s first time in Thailand, I had to make her try Mango with Sticky Rice. Definitely a must-have!

MONKEY BEACH AND VIKING CAVE

We did not leave the speed boat to explore these but our tour guide filled us in with details while we viewed it from a distance. Monkey beach was supposed to have monkeys tanning by the shore but I guess our package wasn’t worth enough for them to give us a show—ha, I kid! We weren’t lucky enough to see them frolic in the sand hence, no need for us to dock there and enjoy that beach.

SONY DSC

Viking cave, on the other hand, is known for having an abundance of swiftlet nests and the Chinese sure do love their bird’s nest soup which is said to boost virility. This is where they get their stock.

PILEH LAGOON

img_6149

img_6165

My personal favorite. There’s something so magical about being completely surrounded by limestone cliffs while slowly sailing on crystal-clear turquoise waters. It was a whole new world as soon as we made our way inside the Pileh Lagoon—it was breathtaking! This was the point were I fully appreciated Phi Phi Island in all its glory. There were lots of tourists but that didn’t matter. Everyone was just transfixed in the beauty of Pileh.

LOH SAMAH BAY

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

It was another snorkelling stop — no thank you! Docked in shallow waters this time, the corals were more colourful and there were more fishes around. Karla and I sat this one out but still watched our fellow tourists enjoy the snorkel until one of our new friends came back with sea urchin splinters all over her foot. Nope, nope, and more NOPE!

MAYA BAY

SONY DSC

13731779_10157202120255296_1903983365882474419_o

img_3172

“The Beach” beach. This is how it’s widely marketed in Thailand in reference to Leonardo di Caprio and his film, The Beach. It’s a small beach tucked inside a cove, overlooking limestone rock formations. Packed with tourists, it didn’t really make for a relaxing spot but Karla and I found our spot anyhow! With ice cold Singhas on hand, we cheered for a great first day and wrapped up an amazing tour in the Koh Phi Phi.

DAY 2

Resort: The Slate Phuket, Formerly Indigo Pearl Resort

Spa: Coqoon Spa

Beach: Nai Yang Beach

A whole day Phi Phi tour called for a relaxing evening. Karla and I checked in The Slate and this resort sure knows how to make a great first impression! Stepping into the lobby, we were suddenly immersed into a world of avant-garde art. Every single detail of every corner is beautifully designed with artwork. With a welcome drink in hand and a flower bracelet on the other, we were checked in our Pearl Bed Suite.

dscf0503

dscf0511

dscf0547

dscf0535

Room service! We ordered Pad Thai, Massaman Curry, Tom Yum, and Chicken Skewers—gosh how I love Thai food! Paired with a bottle of red, this was the nightcap we were longing for all day.

SONY DSC

The Slate has three pools spread throughout the property. We loved the adult pool the most. It’s an infinity pool with a gorgeous view of The Slate’s garden. Staying consistent with the resort’s theme, it also has some surrounding artworks. Oh, and there’s a pool bar.

SONY DSC
Family Pool
dscf0624
Adult Pool
dscf0650
Adult Pool – Infinity Pool with a Garden View
dscf0667
Adult Pool – Pool Bar

Did someone say ‘Bubbles’?? We filled our balcony’s outdoor oversized bathtub with all the shampoos and body wash tubes we could get our hands on. If you want to get some colour in private, there are also two tanning beds laid out for your tanning pleasure.

img_5987

SONY DSC

Our main agenda for today though was to experience an authentic Thai massage and what better place to have it than in the world’s best spa which conveniently is located in this resort?! It was pricey for sure but to have that ticked off our bucket list, it was well worth it.

dscf0679

img_3407

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Right outside The Slate’s gate is Nai Yang beach where lots of kite surfers gather and ride. There are also lots of restaurants along the beach strip to fuel up.

SONY DSC

DAY 3

Resort: SALA Phuket

Beach: Mai Khao Beach

After our spa day, we moved on to our last resort for this trip, SALA Phuket. Located in Mai Khao Beach, this modern-design luxury resort sits in a land where the dark-green forest meets the golden beach. It really is the best of both worlds. Karla and I didn’t even bother leaving the resort at all until we had to leave for the airport!

SONY DSC

dscf0997

dscf0896

SONY DSC

We were toured around SALA’s rooms and facilities.

dscf0743

dscf1001

SONY DSC
SALA Spa
dscf0758
Deluxe Rooms
dscf0765
Deluxe Room
dscf0761
Deluxe Room – Outdoor Bathroom

And then we checked in our One-Bedroom Pool Villa Suite.

dscf0735

dscf0773

SONY DSC

All the rooms and villas of this resort have open-air outdoor bathrooms but there are curtains to cover if you really value your privacy.

With the pool and chandelier lights on, music playing in the background, and wine pouring on our glasses, Karla and I threw our own little pool party in our villa. This really was the best way to wrap up a BFF trip.

dscf0828

img_3516

dscf0871

img_3524

Our flight back to Manila was at night so we basically had a whole day to lounge in SALA the next day. Our last morning in Phuket was spent strolling in Mai Khao beach and watching the big roaring waves crash in the shore. It was monsoon season so the heavy winds and the big waves didn’t make the sea very inviting to swim in. No worries, we had two large beachfront swimming pools to try too!

img_7457

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

The food in SALA is amazing! I think we pigged out here the most. While having afternoon quesadillas and beers on the bar’s daybed, we met SALA’s executive chef, Chef Davide Pritoni, who introduced himself and started a conversation. He invited us to dinner that evening in SALA restaurant, one of Thailand Tatler’s best restaurants of 2016, where he would serve us his best Italian dishes. Oh, we were so down for that! They were all delicious and despite our food coma, we couldn’t stop eating chef’s food. It really was THAT good.

dscf1075

dscf1080

SONY DSC

img_6088

Shortly after dinner, we had to run to the airport to catch our flight back to Manila. Wow. Everything that happened in this trip was more than what Karla and I initially expected. It definitely is our best BFF trip so far!

Where would YOU bring your best friend for your BFF trip?

Leave a comment, we just might get inspired by you! 🙂

 

*DISCLAIMER: Our hotel accommodations at Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort, The Slate, and SALA Phuket were not sponsored. All views are my own.