We arrived at Phuket airport around noon and again met our driver, who would take us to the Panwa Beach Resort. It was, again, a bit of a long ride from the airport to our hotel, only this time it got a little longer since our driver took us to the OTHER Panwa resort first. Thankfully, I had the address of the resort on my reservation print-out (I am ORGANIZED) and showed it to the driver when he tried to drop us off at the wrong place.
Thankfully, I looked at enough photos of the hotel to know that we were NOT in the right place, or we would have gotten out of the taxi and tried to check in.
We finally got to the place and checked in, and all was right with the world. We only had one night here, and then we’d fly out the following afternoon.
We’d had this idea in our heads that Phuket would be crawling with tourists (a bit like what we actually got on Koh Tao), but it turned out I’d chosen well.
This beach was empty. There were a few guests at the hotel, but not enough to notice or be bothered by. It seems we chose a hotel located in possibly one of the last parts of Phuket that had not been totally developed.
We dropped our stuff off in the room and then went out to explore. The road in front of the hotel was wooded, so there wasn’t very far to go. We turned around and went down to the beach, which we could see from our ‘garden view’ balcony. Going left along the beach from the hotel, we only passed one other hotel, maybe two. They were tiny. There were a few being built (they looked like they were going to be hotels, we think), as well.
We also passed a few, very local shops along our walk, which ended at a small outcropping of trees, and then opened the bay up to the sea. Going back past our hotel and along to the right, we passed a few more hotels and a few people, but they were mostly deserted. We saw about 10 people on the beach over the 24 hours we were there.
It was amazing. And beautiful. And so quiet.
It was just what we wanted. It was like a picture out of a guidebook, but NOT teeming with other people.
We had dinner at the hotel that evening and watched the sunset. It was our last in Thailand, so we took lots of typical tourist photos.
We got a bit pissed off at the hotel, because they somehow couldn’t take the meat out of a few dishes for dinner, so Mark’s options were limited, at best. We settled for what he could eat and decided NOT to eat our lunch there the next day, and instead check out the tiny little place we’d seen on our walk, about 500 meters from our own beach.
We ordered a few mojitos to go and laid on the beach chairs set out by the hotel and watched the sunset.
Basically every sunset in Thailand is a photographic masterpiece, so I took advantage of it and the lack of people around us this time and got the Mamiya out.
I went out into the water with the camera and took a few photos, but maybe they didn’t turn out quite as well as I’d liked. Thankfully, we also had the new Nikon (which I made sure to buy before our trip), and I got the best photos of the sunset from that one.
Mark also got some good ones too, and snapped this (left) while I was focused on catching the sunset. He’s a lot sweeter than he thinks he is.
After we were done, we just laid there on the beach, watching the light change, alone. It was the perfect end to a good trip. I was also starting to feel a bit better, so that helped.
When it got dark, we went back to the room and ordered some room service. I got creme brulee, and we watched some TV.
A bit later, when it was totally dark, we took a walk along the empty beach and looked at the stars. They were so bright. The houses along the beach were dark. It was excellent. We had a perfect view of the sky.
If we had known that we’d get some peace and quiet here on Phuket, we might have done one more day here, and one less on Koh Tao. But how were we to know?
The resort itself has gotten some bad reviews, but I think they’ve improved a lot since that happened. The service there was fine and attentive, and we didn’t have any major issues. The room was nice, the pool was lovely. We’ve got no complaints and might try to go back again, one day. But maybe by then it will be too late, and the whole beach will have been developed.
Checkout was at 10 the next morning, and we didn’t need to be at the airport until about 4pm. So we checked out and left our luggage at the desk, and then hung out at the pool.
The breakfast buffet was fine, and it was here that we saw that there were, in fact, people staying at the resort. We just hadn’t run into them the day before. Taking excursions, I guess.
We set some appointments for a massage and a manicure, and then went to lay around by the pool. We were just wasting time, basically, until it was time to go.
But it was all just so GD relaxing, we were fine with it. The other guests weren’t annoying and didn’t get in the way, the staff got us some fresh towels, and we did nothing.
And again, the beach was basically empty. And the water was like bath water.
The massage on the beach was nice, my manicure was decent, and we had no complaints.
For lunch, we went to the tiny restaurant we’d passed the day before. We asked if they would be able to make some of the curry dishes sans meat, and they said it was no problem. It was simply called Beach Bar, and it was just what we needed.
And that was how our vacation ended. With Masaman curry on the beach, in the afternoon. After that we got in a shuttle that took us back to the airport, and were on our way back home.
This is the kind of place, kind of like Depot Beach in Australia, that you DON’T want to tell people about. You don’t want to even mention it, because the more people who know about it, the move popular it will become, until it’s no longer a nice, secluded place. I’m writing about it here because I don’t have SO many readers, and I don’t really think that just my mention of it is enough to do any damage.
That being said, don’t tell anyone I said this. Yeah?