by Maciek Klimowicz
Do you sometimes get a feeling that while you’re hard at work, everyone else is just chilling? It’s quite common in Phuket; after all millions of people travel here from all around the world to enjoy some well (and other not so well) deserved holidays in the sun. So while you’re stuck in the office, they wander around in t-shirts and shorts, get Thai massages, sip on Mojitos (virgin, of course!) and get sunburned. How unfair!
Now the million-dollar question is – what’s stopping you from being one of them? You’re in Phuket too, you have access to the very same beaches, nightlife and other attractions and you have the added benefit of not being jet-lagged, not experiencing a thermal shock when faced with Phuket’s tropical heat, and maybe understanding a tiny bit of local language and culture. In short, you’re equipped with everything that’s needed to enjoy what millions dream about – a holiday in Phuket.
This is what we decided to do and in this series, we will share with you our experiences. You can use what you read here to plan your next perfect weekend Staycation in Phuket. And we begin in Nai Harn.
There are plenty of hotels in Nai Harn but for a touch of privacy and luxury, we opted for a pool villa at Baan Bua project. The modern, airy Zen Villa we stayed at provided all the space and convenience we needed. A massive kitchen area, three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and a living room with a gigantic sofa, all tastefully decorated with elements of Japanese design. If we didn’t need to eat, we wouldn’t have even gone outside. Luckily, we did get hungry, which is why we discovered some great food spots in the neighbourhood.
Breakfast: 2 days in Nai Harn meant two breakfasts. The first one we had at Coffee Tribe, five minutes’ drive from the villa. Their selection of breakfast dishes is as wide as it is creative, with a big range or healthy options as well as something for a sweet tooth. The Spanish breakfast wrap with chorizo was a bliss and so was the pecan tart.
The second morning we went even closer. Just one km away from Baan Bua sits A Spoonful of Sugar café. Less hipster but cosier then Coffee Tribe it offers a few nice touches such as water served in decorative metal bowls and protein fruit shakes for the physically active guests. We opted for sandwiches and omelettes and the former turned out to be the best choice.
Lunch & Dinner: We arrived at Nai Harn on Friday evening and felt like a heaving a hefty, comfort food-style meal. Dinner at the recently opened Mr Fish & Chips in Rawai ticked all the boxes. A lovely golden brown piece of cod, a thickly cut fries with tartar sauce and mushy peas to die for – we went to bed full and happy.
Saturday is Pizza Day (it isn’t? Then it should be!) which is why we decided to take the 15 minutes’ drive to Pizzeria Agli Amici in Chalong. With the pizza they serve up it would have been worth even a 1.5-hour drive. Generous in size and toppings it’s up there with the best pizza served in Phuket. The only complaint was the lack of air conditioning in the restaurant which is why we took the pizza home and had it by the pool in the villa - perfect!
With fish & chips and pizza off the list (Phuket Staycation can also be a break from Thai food), we had one more western classic to get through – burgers. Rawai’s fabled Green Tamarind with its humongous burgers was closed (low season) so we were forced to make our way to Rawai beachfront where Flip Side awaited. The burgers left nothing to complain and neither did the beachside setting, but a bit more smile from the staff and lower prices on drink (60 baht for a coke!) would improve the experience a lot.
Windmill viewpoint – The lower west coast of Phuket is dotted with viewpoints and it’s not easy to choose the one offering the best one. But if you’re looking for a different one (viewpoint not view) than windmill viewpoint is the place. It takes its name from a nearby, wait for it…windmill! Possibly the only one in Phuket. The views of Nai Harn beach to the north and Ya Nui beach to the south are as lovely as ever, local vendors don’t overcharge for fruit shakes and there’s ample parking space.
Nai Harn Beach – International media made Nai Harn famous by placing it in various rankings of best beaches in Asia. But frankly – we’re not sure if it deserves that much attention. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a lovely beach with some nice rock formations, plenty of food vendors and good waves for surfing (in monsoon season) but it certainly has some strong competition in Phuket’s north. We enjoyed a stroll along the beach but eventually opted for a day by the pool at Baan Bua.
Drinks at Kata Rocks – While not in Nai Harn, Kata Rocks is just a short (and curvy) drive away from Baan Bua and their sunset views are world famous. The team behind the bar knows their craft and provides a perfect lubrication to those spectacular, selfie-inducing sunset vistas. The prices are what you’d expect from one of the trendiest luxury resorts in Phuket, but hey, you don’t spend a vacation in Phuket every week... unless of course, you do!
Here are some more photos from our perfect Staycation in Nai Harn:
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