Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Years in Phuket, Thailand

After five great days in Chiang Mai, we hopped onto a Thai Airways flight and flew onto Phuket, Thailand on the southern tip of Thailand facing the Andaman Sea.

We were looking forward to a few days on the beach and welcoming in 2011 with the Thai! We did get three beautiful days on amazing beaches, but not many Thai people. We were told that 30% of Sweden comes to Thailand for Christmas and many others from other parts of Europe, Australia, etc. What was missing...were the Thai people.

We stayed on Kata Beach on Phuket, about an hour drive south of the airport. We didn't stay beachside, but up on the hill overlooking the beach. Here is our hotel, the Sugar Plum Grand Hillside.

These were the pools and our room was all
the way at the top of the hill

View of Kata from our room

Our Beach

Dinner on the beach the first night in Kata...may still have
the mosquito bites to prove it.
 Unlike Chiang Mai, Phuket is so much of a tourist destination, that I think all of the locals move out over the holiday to make room for all of the Westerners. The entire beach was Westerners and Downtown Kata in the evenings was hoppin'. It was completely different than what I expected from Phuket, but fun & relaxing.
View of downtown Kata at night
The beaches in Kata were European Beaches...tops optional and all!

Beach restaurants. We parked our butts on beach chairs for three days and didn't need to move for anything...not even for Thai food.

Where we parked our butts for three days...

Oh...I guess not really for three solid days. We took a break from the beach to ride an elephant. This is Molly, our elephant.

Phuket did not let us down for the New Year. Our hotel had a New Years Even celebration beginning with a huge buffet and some Thai entertainment.

Welcomed to the party with leis and drinks...good start!

 The buffets were amazing and never ending. Complete with chocolate fountain and the ENTIRE roasted pig.

Our entertainment ranged from this Thai dancers to a Thai cover band singing American Songs (to which he forgot or never did know all of the words). Summer of '69 was mostly just mummbling...and I think the lead singer was reading the lyrics from a book as well.

And then a short stroll down to the beach and the chaos ensued! Wow, there were fireworks EVERYWHERE. It was amazing. I cannot capture it in pictures here, but there were huge fireworks being set off every 20-30 feet down the beach, and only about 20 feet from where all of the people were standing. We actually feared for our own safety at several points throughout the night. Drunk people and fire never do seem like a great mix.

But the beach is where the party was happening, so, we stopped by the 7Eleven, grabbed some not-so-good Thai beer, parked ourselves back on the beach chairs we had frequented that day and watched the fireworks, welcoming in 2011!!! I am pretty sure I will never have a New Years Eve again like was a great way to end out Thai vacation.

Our final day on the beach was just as beautiful as the rest. More sunshine, more great food and drinks, lots of relaxing and a few dips in the ocean.

Sunset on January 1, 2011 on Kata Beach in Phuket Thailand! Ahhhh!

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