Beach holidays tend to look the same. Sun, sand, sea, tanning lotion, rinse and repeat. Nonetheless, they are always much needed, especially when you hold a highly stressful day job.
Here’s a rather effective formula for recharging, recently tried and tested in Phuket in the Land of Smiles.
Step 1: Get yourself to a beach.
Step 2: Make sure you are prostrate most of the time (so that you can really relax), whether it’s on a beach towel or a deck chair. Ice cold beer optional, but highly recommended.
Step 3: Take a nap while you work on your tan. Remember to slather on your sunscreen beforehand! Rinse and repeat until satisfied.
Step 4: One can’t lie on the beach at all times of the day so do what we Singaporeans do best – eat! Go out on a limb and try the local food. Sometimes you can hit a gold mine, like beef noodles and Thai iced tea by the roadside.
Step 5: With your stomach full and your body rested, it’s time for some exploring. Take a jaunt to neighbouring beaches and islands, such as the beautiful Ma Ya Bay, of The Beach fame, here in Phuket. With sand so white your eyes hurt and waters so clear and blue that it puts the sky to shame, Ma Ya Bay is a short speedboat ride away, approximately 45 minutes away from Phuket Island.
Step 6: A day tour like that typically takes the entire day. By the time you get back it’s already evening and time to make dinner and night plans! What’s a trip to an island without a taste of the local seafood dishes? I don’t know about you, but seafood Thai-style sends me to food heaven. You can see below the carnage that was unleashed upon the poor fishies and prawns. Burp.
Step 7: Check out the Chao Fah Variety Market, opened only on weekends, opposite Wat Nakha, way over in Phuket Town but just a 20 minute tuk-tuk ride away (don’t forget to bargain!). There you will find stalls that sell counterfeit goods that will do just as well as the real deals, pretty vintage-inspired clothes and accessories, amazing street food and even pets (again, don’t forget to bargain!).
Step 8: If there’s still energy left over to party, check out Margarita, a bar with the worst but most entertaining cover band in the world (out of tune but with lots of enthusiasm) or Seduction, the least sleazy club in Patong and which also has the best music. Be forewarned though, drinks aren’t cheap in tourist-magnet Patong.
Step 9: The next morning, get yourself to another beach. Repeat Steps 1 to 4 till satisfaction is achieved.
Step 10: Embrace the fact that you have to go back to your real life and you should be a happy bunny. Hey, at least you now have beautiful bronzed skin and the memory of a relaxing beach holiday for keeps.
This post is part of the series.
Now that everyone’s sharing stories from the road, I thought I’d share a funny incident that happened whilst I was touring Budapest, the capital of Hungary, a few years ago with a friend.
For those of you who don’t know, Budapest is really made up of two areas, Buda and Pest. What separates the two is the absolutely scenic River Danube. We were planning to go up Gellért Hill in Buda one evening to get a bird’s eye view of the entire city. However, it was starting to get dark and we could see ominous clouds looming over the horizon. At that moment, I had to make a judgment call – either go up the hill as planned, or call it a day. I chose the latter.
It turned out to be a wise decision on my part, but the day was not over yet. As we proceeded to cross Elizabeth Bridge (one of the many bridges) on foot to return to our hostel in Pest, it started to pour. Like, REALLY, REALLY POUR. A strong gale was gushing from our left, and we had to seek refuge behind one of the beams that made up the suspension bridge. That was the only shelter we had, and there was no place to retreat to. The storm grew stronger by the minute, and the last inch of daylight disappeared, leaving us in nothing but tungsten luminescence. Being seasoned travellers, we did not have any umbrellas/ponchos with us (snigger).
This was not getting anywhere, I thought. So I made another call. “This isn’t working! Let’s get to the other side ASAP!” Thus began the exodus into Pest.
As we were halfway through our journey, I peeked over my shoulder and past the rails of the bridge. What used to be the tranquil River Danube was now a scene from Armageddon (minus the fire and brimstone), with mighty frothy waves that could probably swallow an entire sailboat and send it into oblivion without even flinching (if waves could even flinch in the first place). It was dark, with the sky set ablaze with lightning every now and then. My goodness, it was my first official rendezvous with Death. Alright, I am getting carried away with the descriptive writing.
ANYWAY, we made it to the other side of the river in one piece in the end. The storm abated as if it was mocking us for not staying put. Right then, in the middle of assessing the damage, my friend started laughing.
Why, you might ask? Thanks to the strong winds that were hitting us, I was completely soaked. On my LEFT SIDE. The entire right side of my body was pretty much dry. It was quite a sight I must say, and we stood there laughing for a few good minutes. Wished there were pictures to show you how ridiculous I looked, but our cameras wouldn’t have survived the rain if we tried taking photos. I’ll simply leave it to your imagination.
I don’t care what people say, but this has got to be the
best scone I’ve ever eaten in my entire life!
Where you say? In Bath, UK. Their hand-made scones are deviously armed with clotted cream and jam and have the ability to kill you and bring you to tastebud heaven. Resistance is futile as soon as you peel through the warm golden crust to reveal its soft fluffy centre. You’d slowly render yourself powerless as the taste of freshly baked scones rushes through your senses like a gushing river. And then you wonder, “Am I dead? Am I alive? Who cares, again! AGAIN!”
Personally, after paying 5 quid for this afternoon tea set (tea of your choice and BEST SCONE EVER), I finally realised why the English rave about scones and tea all throughout history. I am now a convert.
The place is called Hands of Bath Tea Room and can be found at:
1 Abbey Street
Japadogs. What is this you might ask? Well.. it’s hot dogs, Japanese-style. What started off as a small kiosk on the corner of a busy intersection in downtown, Vancouver, has become quite a phenomenon. Although they’re running street stands at the moment, they will be opening their first official store soon! Food lovers, this is a stop you’ll just have to make. It has become one of my favorite street foods over the years, and those who have tried it will definitely understand why.
The queue might be long at times, but hey.. good food is always worth the wait, right? After all.. who could resist the tender, juicy Kurobuta pork sausage loaded with fried onions, Japanese mayo, and nori shreds? Oh, and not forgetting the teriyaki sauce.
If Steven Seagal and Rapper Icecube has made Japadogs their choice of lunch when they’re in town, I think that says quite a lot. Not forgetting the staff of these Japadog stands. Honestly, they’re some of the friendliest and down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet. So what are you waiting for? If you’re ever in Vancouver, make sure to check this food joint out, for it will definitely not disappoint!
Hello everyone, I’m Jeff. Soon i’ll be spending a few months travelling around Europe and will be documenting my trip here.
Here’s what will I be bringing:
- Ear plugs
- Sleep sheet
- Compass flashlight
- Inflatable pillow
- Wet wipes
- Sleep mask
- Money belt
- Hand sanitizer
- Alarm clock, blister patches, sun block, mosquito repelent, sewing kit, swiss army knife, matches, bottle opener, bandaids, sink stopper plug, laundry line, powder detergent
- OPEN MIND
I’ve decided that I should just bring an open mind. There’s not much in my backpack and I haven’t really a concrete plan. We’ll see how this goes. So please stay tuned!
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- Oh no! Twitter's down! MONSTARRR PILE!