Family Fun In Phuket

23 January 2017

Looking for a relaxing yet inexpensive beach holiday, Flight Centre customer Helene Drimer and her young family met their Israeli relatives in the idyllic island locale of Phuket for 10 days of sun, sand and experiences the entire extended family of 10 could enjoy.

Stunning Phuket has heaps of family-friendly activities on offer. (Image: Getty)

With four children under 18 in their group, there were a few considerations when planning the Thai getaway. The holiday accommodation was three two-bedroom apartments overlooking Karon Beach, which not only provided space for the individual families to sleep, the onsite kitchen facilities also allowed them to make and enjoy family breakfasts together before spending the day exploring.

The mix of children and adults in the group meant the parents could also steal away for dinner or to relax, while the young adults and teens watched over the little ones.

As the main aim of the getaway was relaxation, days were spent at the beach learning to surf, snorkelling and swimming; experiencing a local festival, market shopping and indulging in massages – even Helene's four-year-old daughter!

Helene's daughter Lior loved being in the outdoors. (Image: Helene Drimer)

“We delighted in lazy days relaxing at Kata Beach, drinking young coconut water, playing in the sand and wading in the shallow water,” Helene says. “The older cousins also rented surf skis and had fun learning to surf.

“On our last day in Phuket, we took a day trip to Phi Phi Leh and Phi Phi Don islands by speedboat. We visited Maya Bay where the movie The Beach was filmed; went sightseeing in Loh Samah Bay, Pileh Cove and Viking Cave; saw the adorable newborn monkeys in Monkey Bay; snorkelled at Tonsai Bay; and relaxed at Khai Nai island before returning to Chalong Bay.

“We also spent a wonderful day in Old Phuket Town – eating at the famous Blue Elephant restaurant, browsing in the beautifully renovated shophouses, and exploring Baan Chinpracha, the only Sino-Colonial mansion open for public viewing, which provided a fascinating glimpse into the life how a wealthy Phuket family lived decades ago.”

Maya Bay in the Phi-Phi islands is a must-see. (Image: Getty)

Food was also a drawcard, with the family sampling the bounty of fresh tropical fruits as well as delicious Thai cuisine in local restaurants in Kata and Karon, many of which offer dining options for children, Helene says.

The families also tried the street food at the Vegetarian Festival during their stay, which blended Hindu beliefs with Thai culture. At night-time, the group enjoyed strolling through the festival stalls and watching the cultural events such as the raising of the Lantern Pole.

“We enjoy learning about history and culture, so we enjoyed experiencing the festival and then learning more about it. The temples were beautiful, with incredible architecture and artworks,” Helene adds.

Lior monkeying around in Phuket. (Image: Helene Drimer)

With such a relaxing holiday in Phuket, the two families forged new connections, bonding with shared memories of fun activities and different experiences.

“We felt relaxed and connected as a family by the end of the holiday. It was wonderful spending 10 days having fun together, exploring a new culture and enjoying all the amazing things Thailand has to offer such as delicious Thai food, Thai massages and beautiful beaches.”

“It was heartwarming seeing our little ones spending time with their big cousins from Israel and it was wonderful connecting with our family who live on the other side of the world and being able to spend quality time with them,” Helene says.

 

Helen's top tips for family travel in Phuket:

·      Take wet weather gear if you go in the monsoon season.

·      Take a pram with good suspension for pushing along uneven footpaths and on the beach.

·      There are no metered taxis in Phuket – agree on a price before your journey.

·      If you are travelling as a group, local tourist SIM cards are a cheap way to communicate with each other.

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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Phuket.

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Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.