A Travellerspoint blog

Phuket (Nai Yang Beach), Thailand

Final destination

sunny 30 °C

Dinner on a windswept Thai beach, free-flowing Chang beer, and a proper catch up with old friends - this was how we brought our Southeast Asian adventure to an end.

I’d posted a random photo on Facebook for a friend I thought would appreciate it, a cat cafe Phuket poster done up like a Hollywood pus, and by chance another pal saw it and realised we might well be in Thailand at the same time. By Jove, we would be!

Rich and I had had great fun checking out the beaches of Auo Nang for a few days but felt the chance to catch up with Kirsty, a former work mate of mine who’s moved to China for a bit with her husband, Nick, would be too good to miss. With the added benefit of taking us to x where they were staying right by Phuket airport and with a gorgeous beach a stone’s throw away from the main strip, we shifted our plans around and met up.

Props to these guys that when we met them early evening they were just out of an all you can drink and eat brunch, and they were remarkably coherent. Naturally, we took steps to catch up with them as we chatted about our three and a half months exploring the region, and they told us about the band of characters in their expat network and some of the quirks of living in a new culture. For instance, in China driving points can be transferred to anyone and they’re wiped out each year, which makes them kinda meaningless and explains why expats aren’t always allowed by their employers to drive. It was a great night and we felt very fortunate to have a chance to wind our trip up in the company of good friends.

As I write this, we’re juddering in the air on our Veuling flight home to London from Rome, where we stopped for a few days to get our body clocks back into whack and make the most of the opportunity to see somewhere new on the return leg. Pasta. Cheese. Wine. More pasta.

We’ve had the most fantastic time travelling together around Southeast Asia; it’s been the best experience of our lives. We’ve met wonderful people who’ve helped us have a glimpse of life in countries that, up until now, we’ve known relatively little about. We’ve enjoyed consistently wonderful hospitality and delighted in delicious local delicacies - Laos’ Lap salad, Banh Mi and white rose dumplings in Vietnam, countless fantastic pork stews in Myanmar, fish amok and beef lok lak in Cambodia, and all the prawns in Thailand.

We’ve made our way along the Mekong River, dived shipwrecks and been enveloped by thousands of tropical fish, chilled in the surf towns of Indonesia, and braved the rapids of Pai.

We’ve climbed jungle pathways and walked treacherous hill paths, through fields of ginger and chilli, up waterfalls and down red clay hills. With green tea we’ve toasted the happy couple at a tribal wedding, we’ve gleaned new insight into national histories in the places we’ve visited, chased sunsets across the region and, by gum, we’ve been to a fair few pagodas.

So many new, happy memories. We feel incredibly fortunate.

Posted by TaylorElphicks 21:06 Archived in Thailand Tagged beach thailand phuket nai_yung

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