Birthday Trip | Holiday Inn Mai Khao, Phuket

I got to choose between two extremes, a city holiday (Bangkok) or a resort holiday (Phuket). At that time I was drowning with work for the launch of ESOD and felt like slowing down, so I picked resort.

Accommodation in Phuket is very expensive, but Soon Koon of Lemon Flim helped us save $360 with a tip (thank you!). We made reservations with Holiday Inn Mai Khao in the end. Not sponsored.

The resort is not bad if you’re really looking for a cut off from the rest of the world kind of retreat. It really is quite cut off from the rest of the world. Save for a restaurant, few make shift food stalls, one make shift clothing stall and a hipster minimart, there is literally nothing in the vicinity of the hotel but forestation, a pond and long winding roads. The nearest place of interest is a distance away even by chartered or shuttle bus.

(Click for bigger image)

Almost all reviews of the resort on blogs and tripadvisor mentioned that one could be entertained just by staying in, so I gave us flexible schedules to work with on 2 out of the 5 days of our time there.

The kids club was superb, and most of the time, there were very little children around. Sometimes just Joy and us. We didn’t drop Joy off because we enjoyed the kids club ourselves as well.

Cycling was not doable for us because there was no family type of bicycle and no bicycle small enough for Joy, and we’re not good enough to ferry Joy the conventional way.

The gym was unexpectedly fun. We were there just for a look and didn’t even dress appropriately for it, but since we had the whole place to ourselves, we tried everything.

Click on picture for another one of us fooling around in the gym

The bed was too comfortable. I could never tear myself away from it early enough to make it for morning yoga on the beach.  The beach is small and quiet. We were always having our meals during sunset, so no sunset photos of the beach, unfortunately.

Maybe I’m not a beach girl after all?

Our snack supplies all came from the only minimart within walking distance of the resort. It looks like a hipster cafe on the outside. Prices are equivalent to those in Singapore, if I were to ever be back, I would just fill a part of our suitcase with better options.

It’s a good thing we picked a pool access room. Pool time was one of the most memorable bits of our holiday and there is so much win in being able to change and jump into a pool right in front of our room.

At night, we ordered room service (too far away from everywhere), loaned DVDs, snacked and chatted away. Joy has so many things to discuss.

It means a lot to me to have reliable warm water to bathe with, but I really didn’t like the color of the water (click on the picture to see the color). No choice of course, I just kept on reminding Joy not to swallow.

Of course, we were there to celebrate my birthday. We ordered a fresh cream strawberry cake, lighted a single candle (I’m not sensitive about age but there is no need to waste so many candles) and took plenty of pictures.  The slice by the side was with compliments from the resort.

Joy took some surprisingly nice photos!

As it is with every birthday celebration, Joy was the happiest. She got really busy setting up the cake cutting area and serving me with the first slice of the cake. This slice is, in all possible ways, my birthday cake.

Did you get it? Sorry, so punny.

It is clear now, we are not entirely the go to a beach resort and do nothing kind of family, but a day or two of it is good, for appreciating our hectic lives. I was in charge of booking but was so muddle-headed that I got our return flight timing wrong – and we missed it.

I’ll share more about food options around the resort, the mini mart and what you can do for activities, if you’re going. Meanwhile, if you’ll like to see more photos of our trip, they can be found on my instagram feed.

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