I’ve often been asked how I decide on my next holiday destination because I seem to be travelling all the time, either for work or leisure. I would have to say there’s no real set ‘formula’ for the decisions I make on where to go next. For instance, just last month on one of those lazy hot tropical afternoons in Malaysia, I decided I wanted to visit Phuket. One of my friends asked, “But haven’t you been there already?”
The truth is I’ve been there at least 3 or 4 times over the years but it’s such a huge island. To be precise, it’s the country’s largest so every time I’ve visited it, I visited a different part of Phuket, making every trip different in its own unique way.
This time round, I was looking forward to finding solace in the quiet serenity of the Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, situated on the exclusive east coast of Phuket. The grounds are truly extensive and I couldn’t wait to check into my pool villa after receiving my refreshing welcome drink.
I enjoyed the buggy ride to my room as it meandered through the lush tropical haven with little glimpses of the ocean through the trees. The villa was huge and had its own private pool, spacious living room and tranquil rooftop overlooking the sea. I hardly felt like venturing out at all, because apart from being so comfortable in the villa, I was surrounded by nature, which always helps to erase stressful thoughts. It’s always important to give the mind a break. Sometimes a change of scenery is enough to do the trick.
It’s not only important to set time aside for rest and relaxation, but to also be completely present in order to enjoy it. This starts with giving yourself the permission to relax. Reiterate positive affirmations like “I deserve this” and “I’ve been working really hard.”
On my first night in Phuket, I went to sleep thinking I had left one of my nature apps running in the background but it was actually the sounds of cicadas ‘singing’ loudly right outside my villa. It must have been a family of them in chorus. I did yoga outdoors amused at how loud they were, and charmed by the fact that I was exercising to the ‘live’ sounds of nature around me.
I then headed on to the shuttle bus to visit Phuket town where I had an indulgent crepe by the roadside, served piping hot! I loved watching the hawker in action. She was so fast and efficient.
One of the scenic highlights of my trip was seeing a part of the island I had never seen before and it took my breath away. It was the southernmost point of Phuket called Phromthep Cape and it’s worth driving out to this windy, breathtaking spot just to catch the sunset or enjoy the spectacular view from up there. It was so beautiful that I felt I could sit there all day watching the waves crashing on the rocks. I ended up sitting on the ledge in meditation for several moments, just taking it all in, from the sound of the ocean to the chill of the sea breeze swirling around the windy cape. It was like a refreshing balm for the senses.
This, amongst many other reasons is what draws me back to the islands of Thailand, time and again. Of course, staying at the luxurious and relaxing Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, was the icing on the cake!