Phuket Christmas Family Trip (6-Day Dec)

Description:
group (adults only)
returnee (2nd/3rd visit)
A family holiday gathering filled with sun, beach, and lots of seafood.
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Trip Itinerary

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Seafood Restaurants

Seafood in Phuket is fresh and cheap. Our favorite seafood restaurants on the island were Salaloy Restaurant and Kan Eang @ pier.  Salaloy is one of those local seafood shacks that you expect to get simple yet great seafood dishes. What we didn't expect was the outdoor seaside seatings with a fabulous ocean view like this while enjoying fresh and delicious seafood. We liked everything we tried - fish, shrimps, clams, softshell crabs, and seafood fried rice (it was a feast!) - but our favorite was the steamed mussels (the freshest mussels we have ever had!). And don't forget to order some fresh coconut juice to enjoy with your seafood.  Kan Eang is a fancier dinner place - it's famous for its lobsters but those are not cheap and the larger ones can cost a couple of hundred dollars each.

Phromthep Cape

The mountainous landscape of Phuket creates many great viewpoints. We visited the two most popular ones: Karon View Point and Phromthep Cape. We liked the view at Phromthep Cape better and the elephant shrine there was interesting too. If viewpoints are your thing, here is a list of some noteworthy viewpoints in Phuket.

Sunbathe at the Resort

There are no longer any private beaches in Phuket after a new anti-corruption rule put in place in May 2014. Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort is as good as it gets if you want a more private beach experience. Thanks to its early entry in Phuket in mid 1980's, Le Meridien secured a superb location on the island, occupying a secluded bay section of Karon Beach. With both sides of the bay cut off by mountain cliffs, the only way to access the beach is through resort lobby which makes it semi-private.

We spent most of our days in Phuket just chilling at the resort, either sunbathing on the beach or taking on some of the free resort activities. We also enjoyed morning walks/runs on the beach. With tranquil settings like the wave-washed buoy rope and the natural rock formation, it was a wonderful way to start the day and get some exercise in before the big breakfast buffet.

Wat Chalong Temple

If you are looking for non-beach or non-ocean related sites in Phuket, the beautiful Wat Chalong Temple is worth a visit. Of the many buddhist temples found in Phuket, it is the largest and most revered. Similar to other temple complexes in Thailand, Wat Chalong is composed of several colorful ornate structures.

Wat Chalong is most revered for the sacred relic it kept, a fragment of a bone of the Buddha. The relic, named Phra Borom Sareerikatat, is kept inside a glass case on top of the 60 meters high Phra Mahathat Chedi. Wat Chalong also has a long history of being associated with healing. Two former abbots of the temple were known for their knowledge of herbal medicine and their work of healing local people. The viharn contains statues of these two revered monks covered with gold leafs that local people donated to pay respect.

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Christmas Eve Gala at the Resort

Le Meridien Phuket is one of the earliest western resorts established on the island. It has become the annual Christmas retreat for many expat families living in Asia. Around the holiday period, the whole resort becomes a big family as you see many familiar faces. On Christmas Eve, the resort puts together a big gala with a sumptuous buffet banquet (including whole lobsters), lots of singing and dancing performance (many performed by the resort's very own staff), and beach fireworks. The gala is not cheap ($200+ per person) but it comes with unlimited food/drinks and the convenience of being just a few steps away from your room to crash after the party.

Journal

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Seafood Restaurants

Seafood in Phuket is fresh and cheap. Our favorite seafood restaurants on the island were Salaloy Restaurant and Kan Eang @ pier.  Salaloy is one of those local seafood shacks that you expect to get simple yet great seafood dishes. What we didn't expect was the outdoor seaside seatings with a fabulous ocean view like this while enjoying fresh and delicious seafood. We liked everything we tried - fish, shrimps, clams, softshell crabs, and seafood fried rice (it was a feast!) - but our favorite was the steamed mussels (the freshest mussels we have ever had!). And don't forget to order some fresh coconut juice to enjoy with your seafood.  Kan Eang is a fancier dinner place - it's famous for its lobsters but those are not cheap and the larger ones can cost a couple of hundred dollars each.

Phromthep Cape

The mountainous landscape of Phuket creates many great viewpoints. We visited the two most popular ones: Karon View Point and Phromthep Cape. We liked the view at Phromthep Cape better and the elephant shrine there was interesting too. If viewpoints are your thing, here is a list of some noteworthy viewpoints in Phuket.

Journal

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Resort activities at Le Meridien Phuket

The resort provides a variety of free activities for its guests. If you want to relax, there are two oversized swimming pools and an on-site spa. If you want to stay active, there are 4 tennis courts, an archery range, a mini-golf course with a driving range, and a couple of table-tennis tables. The resort fitness club also offers free daily classes such as yoga, stretching, aerobics, pilates, as well as a few water sports. You can grab a weekly printed schedule for all classes at the front desk. If you want to venture outside the resort, the concierge will help book events in town or arrange half-day/full-day excursions.

Sunbathe at the Resort

There are no longer any private beaches in Phuket after a new anti-corruption rule put in place in May 2014. Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort is as good as it gets if you want a more private beach experience. Thanks to its early entry in Phuket in mid 1980's, Le Meridien secured a superb location on the island, occupying a secluded bay section of Karon Beach. With both sides of the bay cut off by mountain cliffs, the only way to access the beach is through resort lobby which makes it semi-private.

We spent most of our days in Phuket just chilling at the resort, either sunbathing on the beach or taking on some of the free resort activities. We also enjoyed morning walks/runs on the beach. With tranquil settings like the wave-washed buoy rope and the natural rock formation, it was a wonderful way to start the day and get some exercise in before the big breakfast buffet.

Journal

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Ladyboy Show at Simon Cabaret

If you have seen a ladyboy show in Bangkok or somewhere else in Thailand, you can probably skip it in Phuket. If not, Phuket Simon Cabaret is the biggest "transvestite" cabaret house on the island. We booked a 930pm show (3 evening shows daily) through the resort concierge. At a small extra cost, the show also provides roundtrip transport. The show was entertaining with many beautiful ladyboy performers in fabulous costumes. They performed a mix of popular English, Chinese, and Japanese songs. No pictures are allowed during the show but after the show, all the performers line up at the exit to take pictures with you. It's customary to tip 100 baht (~$3) per ladyboy when taking pictures with them.

Journal

Show

Wat Chalong Temple

If you are looking for non-beach or non-ocean related sites in Phuket, the beautiful Wat Chalong Temple is worth a visit. Of the many buddhist temples found in Phuket, it is the largest and most revered. Similar to other temple complexes in Thailand, Wat Chalong is composed of several colorful ornate structures.

Wat Chalong is most revered for the sacred relic it kept, a fragment of a bone of the Buddha. The relic, named Phra Borom Sareerikatat, is kept inside a glass case on top of the 60 meters high Phra Mahathat Chedi. Wat Chalong also has a long history of being associated with healing. Two former abbots of the temple were known for their knowledge of herbal medicine and their work of healing local people. The viharn contains statues of these two revered monks covered with gold leafs that local people donated to pay respect.

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