At no point during this trip have we felt like we needed to stick to any sort of concrete schedule (airport days aside!), so when we cut the bottom half of Laos, we decided to do our second trip to Thailand in reverse: south to north.
We were going to start in Bangkok, make our way up through Ayutthaya to see some temples, move on to Sukhothai for yet more temples, then head to Chiang Rai for – you guessed it – another temple, before ending our trip in Chiang Mai for the Yi Peng and Loi Krathong festivals.
We knew each of these cities was going to be amazing, but let’s face it, at the end of a three-month journey, there’s only so much you’re still craving to see. So we decided to leave a few temples for the next time we find ourselves in Thailand and we began purchasing flights instead of bus tickets!
Of course, we still spent plenty of time in Bangkok, and we still popped up to be wowed by Ayutthaya’s sites, but after that, we decided to fly down to Phuket for a week before flying up to Chiang Mai.
Let me tell you – a week on a beach was exactly what we needed! Sunset after beautiful sunset…
And we couldn’t have picked a better beach for the week. We decided to bypass the craziness that is Patong Beach (Phuket’s main beach), choosing to head just south to the quieter Karon Beach.
Yes, there are quieter beaches than even Karon, both on Phuket island and the surrounding islands, but we had made the mistake of going too far off the map in Koh Tao and we had to rely solely on our resort (which had mediocre food at best).
In Phuket, we stayed at In On the Beach at the northern tip of the beach. Which meant we had quiet, relaxing evenings, but were still only a 10-minute walk to any food we might want (I had edamame for the first time in 2 1/2 years!). Plus, the beach on our end was mostly only used by our fellow hotel-stayers.
But not every day was sunshine and calm seas. Our final two days were filled with some crazy waves. Honestly, they had me a little bummed I don’t yet know how to surf.
Not to worry though, we spent time in the outdoor pool at our hotel. And I finally got a few books read! Tana French is a great beach read, if anyone was wanting any book advice : )
So every day was pretty much a perfect day. And now we’re in Chiang Mai, having the time of our lives, but still thinking fondly about our time on little Karon Beach in Phuket.