|Prior to entering the grounds of the Friendship Beach Waterfronof esort we asked permission to tour the property to take photos.|
In light of the recent bombings in Phuket, it may seem ironic that we’re writing about how reasonable it is to stay in Phuket for a holiday/vacation for the cost conscience traveler.
|The entrance to the spa on the opposite side of the parking lot at Friendship Beach Waterfront Resort.|
It only takes watching a bit of news to see that murder, terrorism and other heinous crimes are occurring everywhere in the world, not just in Phuket, which statistically has had less murders than many major cities throughout the US.
With this knowledge one can easily say, “Why bother to travel?”
|The resort has a good sized pool and Jacuzzi facing the ocean.|
The answer for those with the “travel bug” is clear, no where in the world is free of risk. If one is to fulfill their dreams of world travel, we can only anticipate that now may be better than later.
|Alternate view of the pool. It was a cloudy day, but plenty of guests lounged by the pool.|
With soaring prices, airline rate and luggage hikes and failing economies worldwide, waiting for some magical period sometime in the future may leave those hungry for the adventure sorry they didn’t push themselves to do it now. Who knows what the future holds in this uncertainty surrounding us?
When we traveled to certain parts of the world in 2013, 2014, we sensed an element of heightened risk at the time. We’d never have chosen to visit many of those countries at this time when so much has transpired over these past few years.
|An outdoor Thai massage area.|
And yet, looking back, we’re grateful for the experiences, many we discovered as life changing and enriching in ways we can hardly describe, having added an element to our world travels like none other that we’ll ever experience in the future.
|A waterfall and pond on the grounds of the resort, next to the spa area.|
Sure, at the time we were on alert and highly sensitive to the risks we faced, with such situations as a security guard on our bus in Egypt wearing a black Hugo Boss suit with a collapsible Uzi in a holster underneath his jacket. Now, we’d hardly consider such a trip.
|We were excited to see a Koi pond.|
Then again, here we are in Phuket, Thailand and the risks may be as many as where we’ve traveled in the past. Do these facts impact our future travels? Only in regard to specific areas in countries we’ll visit. We all know from the media, no place is safe.
Even the most secluded of country villages fall prey to horrific crime and devastation. Sure, we felt safer living on an alpaca farm in New Zealand as opposed to riding on a bus in Egypt or Turkey.
|As we approached the pond, the fish swam close , mouths open, hoping for food.|
As we’ve mentioned on many occasions, we prefer remote areas away from most big cities with a more quiet life, reduced traffic and with less outrageous commotion in the streets. And yet, next March we’ll spend 40 days in Sydney, certainly a big city with little fear. Although even that seemingly safe city has also fallen prey to terrorism over these past years. We can’t live in a bubble.
|Soon, as is the case for this resort guest, we’ll be lounging in a chaise by a pool and the ocean.|
As for Phuket, we decided to do a little research about the area for anyone who may consider this location at some point in the future. The best way to do this was to select a popular resort in the area and check it out which we did a few days ago.
|The spa lounge.|
We chose what we thought was a mid-range resort located directly on the ocean, Friendship Beach Waterfront Resort when most of the more upscale resorts require a reservation and passports to get beyond the guarded gates, neither of which we had at the time.
We easily gained access to the property after we showed our business card and explained to the reception staff we were preparing a story about the property and would be taking photos. They happily obliged. Security was at a minimum as we perused the property. (Had the 11 bombings in Thailand not occurred recently, most likely, we’d never have noticed a lack of security).
|Another decorative pool on the property.|
The resort was packed when we later learned it was promoted as “Phuket’s lowest waterfront room rates” which after a little online research we discovered starts as low as US $25, THB 868 per night!
|An exercise and lounge area by the spa.|
Moments ago, I checked the link for Hotels.com on our website to find a rate for
Friendship Beach Waterfront Resort for only US $19, THB 659! That’s less than the cost of a low priced hostel! (These rates may be seasonal and higher priced during peak holidays, etc.).
These rates include free WiFi free parking, air con, daily maid service and more. Had we not visited the property in person, we’d have thought the online photos were deceiving. But, after our visit, before we knew the prices, we both admitted we’d happily have stayed at such a property. It was a surprising experience, one we’re glad we took the time to investigate.
|Walkway back to the reception area.|
Today, Monday, we’re staying put as I continue in my recovery, some days up, some days down, each day providing us with enjoyment as we live our lives in appreciation for the present and ultimately, for the future.
Happy day to all!
Photo from one year ago today, August 22, 2015:
|The sign outside the huge permanent farmer’s market in downtown Cairns, Rusty’s Markets, a popular tourist attraction as well as a favorite shopping site for locals. For more photos, please click here.|