Thanks to Asalha Bucha, a Theravada holiday in Thailand that commemorates Buddha’s first sermon, we were able to spend a long weekend in Phuket, a popular island in the southern region of Thailand. Acknowledging a need for a true vacation after stressful days in the city, we skipped the tourist haunts and the parties. We thus opted to spent three days entirely in our classy hideaway, and honestly, we were perfectly happy (and relaxed). Read more…
It was pitch-dark when we left Bangkok’s city proper, opting to take a cab over the airport express train because of the heavy luggage we were bringing with us. Sure, we were spending only three full days in Bangkok, but groceries took much space in our bags.
I insisted that we bring food and beverages with us instead of raiding the resort’s mini-bar to save money—like true frugal Filipinos. And so, the afternoon before our flight, I shopped at the neighborhood Tesco Lotus and bought 18 cans of diet cola, a liter of juice, tonic water, bottled water, and a ton of chips and cookies, bearing in mind that it’s better to bring extra and that we have 40kg of checked baggage allowance each anyway.
We arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport with more than enough time in our hands, so we stopped by at a Subway to grab a quick dinner. After devouring half subs and white chocolate cookies, we were ready to check into our Bangkok Airways flight.
An entire row is dedicated at the airport for Bangkok Airways flights, so we had no trouble seeking it. And since we were extended Premiere Member status that night, we queued up at the dedicated lane with a welcoming blue carpet and got immediately processed. Adding heaps to our excitement and feeling of privilege were our bags tagged as VIP.
Again, since we were flying as Premiere Members, we had access to the exclusive Bangkok Airways Blue Ribbon Club Lounge. We regretted having dinner earlier because there was a selection of sandwiches, dim sum, pastries, and local snacks, and we were offered a plate of Hong Kong-style noodles with braised duck each. We were very full by boarding time.
As we were called to board, we strode past the gates into the one assigned for our flight. Thankfully, we were able to board ahead of everyone because of our status, and so we were able to lug our bags into the overhead bin and get settled painlessly.
The flight was uneventful, but I loved how we flew with Bangkok Airways. The flight attendants were always smiling, the meal was filling and great, the aircraft felt new, the seats were spacious and comfortable, and well, there were moist towels.
We arrived at Phuket International Airport before midnight, and for a reason we weren’t privy to, one of the daughters of His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulayej was also set to arrive there. Hence, the shuttle taking us to the airport hotel instructed us to wait outside the compound, past the soldiers and the bright halogen lamps at the checkpoint.
We arrived at the airport hotel past midnight already, and the British owner fortunately got us settled in immediately. The place was decent and comfortable enough, so we were able to get some rest and a fresh start for the next day.
Taxis in Phuket cost an arm and a leg, no kidding. They know no meters, only regulated fixed rates. But even so, an approximately 30km ride to the resort from the airport cost 800 THB (~1100 PHP). Unfortunately, buses only operate on a few routes from the airport, and the only other option is to take a limo. But never mind the costly cab ride.
We spent the next three days enjoying our very own pool villa at Aleenta Phuket – Phang Nga Resort and Spa, mostly enjoying the pool, the beach, the food, and massages. Here are select photos from our getaway:
It was among our most ideal weekend escapes, and we didn’t even have to leave the resort. As it was my first time in Phuket, there was a strong urge to explore Patong Beach miles away, but instead of going for the rowdy parties and being abuzz with the crowds, we opted to stay in our bubble, enjoying the crashing waves and endless serenity.
Premium treatment by an airline reserved for its most frequent fliers and a private pool villa in a luxurious boutique resort made me realize that living the high life is indeed something to aspire for. We loved every minute of our extravagant weekend in Phuket that we even were joking how we were going about with our humble brags.
More importantly though, I realized how apt it is sometimes to go for stillness and take a break from the chaos of the fast-paced, maddening world. We didn’t need to see much (and not even party) to gain that often elusive sense of contentment. That weekend in Phuket, it was dolce far niente—a “pleasant relaxation in carefree idleness.”