This month, my husband and I finally made it to our honeymoon destination — Thailand! We jokingly refer to this as our anniversary-moon since we arrived there just a month shy of our first wedding anniversary. During my two-week vacation from residency, we spent the first few days at home in Philadelphia (highlights to follow), then flew out from JFK Airport on 6/5/13. Our route by Singapore Airlines was via Frankfurt, then Changi Airport in Singapore, then finally Phuket.
Phuket (“poo-ket”) is an island province off of the southwest coast of Thailand. From its lush green mountainside, one can admire the crystal blue and sea green waters of the Andaman Sea. It is still referred in some parts by its older name, Thalang. It made headlines back in December 2004 when the Indian Ocean earthquake-induced tsunami struck. Since then, the tourism industry has been striving to make a comeback as evidenced by numerous new resorts currently under construction.
Our resort was a fairly far way up the winding road in the mountains of Phuket. Sanskrit for “heaven of all heavens,” Paresa resort truly embodied pure serenity. Remotely tucked away from the daily hustle and bustle, it was the perfect getaway but also close enough to the town on days when we wanted to explore, sight-see, and shop. On our first day there, we were content with lounging around by our private pool and walking through the resort, getting to absorb the natural wildlife and plant life that were beautifully preserved as a part of the resort. We enjoyed a massage with a view of the ocean, and enjoyed a cool cup of tea with a nectar-like sweetness while watching the magnificently changing colors of the Thailand sky as the sun set over the ocean. Our long trip and the relaxing massage along with the 11-hour time difference had us with heavy eyelids by 7pm. That was one of the best night’s sleep in a very long time!
Often on vacations, we return more tired than when we left and almost need another vacation afterwards to recover. Our London trip in December was amazingly fun, but we certainly packed many activities into each day to get the most out of our short stay. Our five days in Thailand were filled with the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure. We were able to easily adjust our sleeping schedule and awoke before sunrise every morning. This was absolutely wonderful, since I have not been able to rise before the sun came up on my own volition (and feel fully refreshed) for the past seven years! Re-learning how to enjoy the early morning hours was a very valuable aspect of this trip that did wonders for the heart and soul. The simple pleasure of enjoying a cup of tea and reading my novel before breakfast brought me back to a calm, quiet foothold in the otherwise rocky and tumultuous paths of everyday life.
Speaking of breakfast, the resort offered a complimentary breakfast buffet each morning along with our choice of one Thai or English main course. There were fresh juices every morning (my favorite were the ginger & apple juice and the beet root & orange juice); homemade Bircher muesli with almonds, shredded coconut, apples, and raisins; various deli meats and cheeses; fresh fruits including mango, passion fruit and dragon fruit; croissants and other pastries; homemade jams (e.g. pandanus custard, pineapple, strawberry, and passion fruit); and a “shot of the day” featuring a fruit shake in a shot glass. I enjoyed a different savory Thai meal every morning except one. Growing up in a South Indian household, savory and spicy breakfasts are the norm so this made me feel right at home. They were a range of noodles to rice dishes to soups, with accompanying condiments of chili pepper and fish sauce for extra seasoning. One morning, I opted for the Kedgeree risotto which was a delicious twist using risotto rather than rice (similar in name and concept to the Indian kitchiri). Enjoying these breakfasts while taking in the ocean view and breeze was one of my favorite parts of the trip.
To read more about our Thailand trip, start here.