Tag Archives: beach

bond, james bond

You can thank Roger Moore and “The Man with the Golden Gun” for the mass of tourists that rush to these islands in the northern tip of Phuket in their hundreds, every day of the year.

Another day, another boat trip. Sadly, this time we weren’t graced by Jennifer and to today’s tour guides’ credit, he was all man. Leaving from a small port on an overpowered speed boat, we headed full throttle North.

Me and Gemma sat at the front of the boat, bumping and bruising like crazy as we hit every wave. We shot through the water so quickly it felt like we were driving through a hurricane. No exaggeration, it’s a wonder I took any photos at all. None the less, it was made even more hilarious at every stomach churning bump we hit.

Large boats, small boats, fishing boats, yachts, sailing boats, catamarans and all other modes of water transport whiz past, full of ohh-ing and agh-ing tourists.

Obviously me included. As we slowed to observe the island, it all went calm and so quiet.

I have to go a little off subject here and talk about clothes, well H&M to be specific. I know, I know, we’re in the middle of paradise, but comeee onnn, how amazing is this blouse? I’m a complete sucker for prints and I had to have this. The new spring collection is amazing and I picked up this blouse in store for £7.99. Along with matching shorts, sandals and pretty summer dresses, oh my I fell in love with everything. If you haven’t been down there recently, go, go now!

Anyway back to paradise.

We moored up on Panyee Island for a break from the sun and for a spot of lunch.

You won’t be sipping on coconut Pina Coladas here though, the Muslim island have a preference for amazing seafood instead, Thai style. Delicious fresh fish served with Thai omelettes, prawn Pad Thai and tempura prawns was just what we needed.

Indulged and full, we headed for the oh-so-famous highlight of the trip. James Bond Island.

The boats reverse onto the small beach at the back of the island and unload their tourists.

Over the beaten track across the island unleashes the most magnificent reward. That view.

Crazy rock formations greet you at every turn.

As well as a whole market full of souvenirs. Watching the fishermen mingle amongst the tourists and the numerous parties of Aussies makes for great people watching.

The next stop on our tour was a journey around the nooks and crannies of these magical little islands and caves. We moored up to a large ferry and were summoned onto a waiting pink canoe where our Thai tour guide sang and rowed away.

Not as romantic as you’d imagine, especially with Scott taking up almost all of the boat for his “even tan”, it was incredible. But my favourite stop of the day was a little part of Thailand that we really hadn’t seen yet. Somewhere untouched by tourism and crowds of people.

Welcome to Naka Island.

We made a b-line straight for the bar.

And it felt like home. It felt like paradise. We grabbed a few coconuts and fresh juices and sat out on the beach watching a tropical storm approach us.

And my last photo from Thailand is taken from a swing, on Naka Island, whilst listening to Bob Marley singing “no woman no cry”. I’d finally found my paradise.

The say to leave the best for last.

welcome to paradise

Leaving Bangkok was exhilarating. I knew the paradise which I’d been dreaming about was on the other side of a short plane ride which, would take me away from the smog, crowds and blazing heat of the city which I had learned to love and hate in a matter of three days.

Phuket is another crazy place in itself. From the paparazzi style taxi reception of the drivers that pounce on you at arrival to Phuket airport, to the same barbaric petrifying driving to our resort. The moment we stepped into Kata Beach, all the pressures and stresses of the last three days disappeared instantly. This was the Thailand I craved to see so badly.

Kata Beach Resort and Spa is sat directly on Kata Beach. A little private staircase leads you to sand that is softer than cotton and to an ocean which is so magnificent it should be displayed in a little picture frame. Although prepared for the summer crowds, the resort itself was quiet and calm. Coconut trees lined the pool area and tropical birds planned their attack on your grub.

After settling into our rooms and catching the last few hours of suntanning time, we took to the beach for an evening stroll.

Beach shacks offer cocktails out of coconuts and Thai food sizzles on makeshift BBQ’s. The locals soak up the sun from the comfort of jet skis and children play in the turquoise sea.

There is no such thing as a stroll when the water screams as an outing from the intense heat. So I stripped off and made a b-line for the water.

Refreshed and cool, we headed back to the resort, the sun setting over the horizon.

That evening we discovered our trusty “local” restaurant which for £1.50 would buy you a delicious Thai Green Curry, Chicken Satay and Pad Thai.

But travelling soon caught up with us, and after overloading on Thai food we were back in the comfort of our hotel room, air-con on full blast, ready for what the next day had in store.

This was the Thailand I was falling so madly in love with.

Bull and Boat, Swanage

Something major happened on the shores of Dorset this week. It doesn’t happen very often, but boy when it does everyone should know about it.

We have a hot new hangout in town and it’s something that has been missing from our sandy promenades for too long. Ocean Bay set sail upon the English channel and we welcomed a new beach bar and bistro, the Bull & Boat, to Swanage. Huge news, I know.

On Thursday night, we bundled into a taxi and headed across the harbour to quiet little Swanage. After my sneak peak of the new design last Sunday on my final visit to Ocean Bay, it was a lovely surprise to see that what I’d seen was not all they had in store for us.

Jolly sailors and rowdy smugglers ventured from all over town to join in on the fun. At the entrance we were greeted with glasses of bubbling prosseco and tasters from the new menu “tapas” were bought hastily to the tables.

Ocean Bay was, and will always be known for its fabulous locally sourced and sustainable food, so the chefs have tough expectations to live up to for the hungry southerners that park up their surf boards and bundle inside for some beach side grub. The tapas certainly lived up to Ocean Bay’s consistently high standard and was delicious, fresh and fishy. The perfect cabana combination.

King prawns on a bed of spanish style rice, muscles and anti-patsi were just some of the tapas I managed to get my mitts on.

Then I found the cake.

The bistro is decked out in rustic beach themed decor. Like you’d imagine for a beachside bar, there’s lots of the wood, the colours are soft and everything is comfy. In fact I wish I’d worn my flip-flops and a bikini.

Thankfully I bought Rachel along to stop me diving in the sea after a few glasses.

It was quite tempting after all of the above had been consumed.

But I resisted. As a compromise, we kicked off the heels instead of the dress and had a boogie.

Have you spotted the Bull yet? Well if that’s not a reason for visiting, I don’t know what is!

Isn’t that right Rach?

Fresh air and dazed eyes are always a sign a good night, and we were tucked into bed before we knew it.

One fine anonymous internet man once said “Ends are not bad things, they just mean that something else is about to begin. And there are many things that don’t really end, anyway, they just begin again in a new way. Ends are not bad and many ends aren’t really an ending; some things are never-ending”. The Bull and Boat, Swanage is open daily for lunch and dinner. You can visit their website here or call 01929 422222 to make a booking.