Naithon Beach, Phuket


The pool at Naithonburi Beach Resort


Here we are back from Phuket feeling very relaxed and refreshed, so relaxed in fact that it has taken me a few days to write this. We enjoyed great weather, great food, beautiful beach and and lots of swimming in the hotel pool. And we did venture further than the beach; we hired a car (minivan actually) for a couple of days and toured the island. There is beach after beach on the west side of the island, but none as pretty as Naithon, where we stayed.

Actually, that isn't quite fair, but some of the beaches are so obscured by rows of umbrellas and sun lounges that it is hard to enjoy the pure beauty of the beach. Of course people need shade while they enjoy the beach, but to me it defeats the purpose of being there when all you can see is furniture.


Crowded Surin Beach


We were amazed at the amount of building going on along the coast from Naithon to Patong. Real Estate on Phuket is big business, and large, exclusive villas and condos are being built on every headland and every scrap of land is up for sale. Some villas are in gated compounds along the road, and some stand majestically looking out the the sea. It seems that much of the building is inland or up high, and this makes total sense considering the devastation of the 2004 tsunami. Whether it is all sustainable is another question.

Anyway, hubby did some great driving, taking in some scary hairpin turns and twists in the minibus and we got some spectacular views. We drove to the very southern tip of the island (Phromthep Cape) and then around to Rawai where there is a small fish market and a few shops selling shells.


Ben checking out the fish at Rawai



On the second day we headed to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre and then to Naiyang beach, just north of Naithon. Naiyang is very laidback with some great little beach bars and restaurants, and we even saw a couple of backpacker huts which have all but disappeared from the rest of the island. These northern beaches are great too because they are only 15 minutes from the airport and they are less developed than Patong and the other southern beaches.

Back at the Naithonburi Beach Resort, we collapsed into the pool. The hotel is so designed that I felt instantly relaxed as I entered. I took a deep breath and could smell the heady aroma of the frangapani trees everywhere. The pretty gardens, the sound of running water, the koi ponds all make it a very refreshing resort.

We had rooms opening directly to the pool, so we could slide the glass doors open and walk out across the grass to grab a lounger. These did tend to get snapped up pretty early, and we resorted to similar tactics by grabbing towels and leaving them on the loungers while we went to breakfast. The pool is a great size for everyone- there is a baby pool, and the main pool has a sloping entrance so it is shallow enough to wallow there and safe for toddlers.

The room was a generous size, and with an extra bed there was still plenty of space. Breakfast was good, with lots of fresh fruit, eggs, cereals, breads and whatever else you could want. The staff were friendly and helpful. Apart from the fly screen that kept coming off it's runner, I couldn't fault the resort. There were a couple of table tennis tables that were a hit with the kids as well as a pool table, but no kids' club. It is a very low key resort, with a sprinkling of children staying, but most guests seemed to be retired Europeans or Russians.

We loved wandering out of the resort every evening and choosing one of the little restaurants along the beach to eat at. They all had more or less the same menu mind you, but Wiwan was definitely our favourite, and the Massaman Chicken Curry was a definite hit with the Grandparents.

If you're looking for exciting nightlife and entertainment, this is not the resort or beach for you, but it you need to wind down, and enjoy some peace and quiet, this is the perfect place to spend a few days.

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