After Bangkok we took a short flight to Phuket where we met my family who flew in from Hong Kong. As the middle child with sisters both 7.5 years older and younger, growing up I never thought we would ever holiday together in our adult life, but we do and we have fun together. Unlike our Greek holiday back in 2011, this year we have a tiny tot in tow -- my adorable niece.
We rented a fantastic 3BR/2BA 2,400 sq. ft. villa with a pool on the west side of Phuket on Bangtao beach near the Laguna Complex which was perfect for us -- family-friendly, secluded, nearby amenities, powder white beach, and private:
We had no agenda and five days looked something like this:
Sunbathing on Bangtao and Surin beaches:
Gazing at sunset:
And repeat x 5 = pure bliss.
It wasn't until my kid sister, Keenan, and I headed to Koh Phi Phi where we had a more active holiday. Koh Phi Phi is a car-free island made popular from the movie, "The Beach". It's a photogenic island with calm sparkling aquamarine and towering limestone cliffs. As we went during off season, Koh Phi Phi wasn't heaving with tourists but Maya Bay where The Beach was filmed was impossibly busy with day-trippers from Phuket. Be prepared to be disappointed if you are looking for a secluded sandy beach.
We rented kayaks and even encouraged my kid sister to try out scuba diving with us! In between the fire shows and short walks around the island (OK, the island is so small, you can walk it in less than an hour), we found ample time for lounging on Long Beach and two hour back massages.
It was a perfect way to round out our amazing two weeks in Thailand. But first, it was back to Hong Kong/Macau for eating and shopping before embarking our long-haul flights back to London and San Francisco.