There is something really special about traveling alone. I don’t know exactly how to describe it but it’s addicting. It’s such a genuine feeling, discovering and appreciating things by yourself. Everything you do is for you. That is something I could benefit from doing more often. Please excuse my cheesiness. I’m having a really intimate vacation with myself and I love it. Lol.

On Saturday morning, I booked a plane ticket to Phuket for that evening. Why it was so late notice is another story. When I arrived, I checked in at the Indigo Pearl, which claims to be the best boutique hotel on Phuket. It was like an “Indiana Jones finds buried treasure in the jungle of Thailand” vibe. It was one of, if not the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in, and at a rate that is roughly half of what the best western would cost in Santa Barbara. I had to resist the urge to just stay at the hotel the whole short time I was in Phuket. My room was beautiful. The shower was bigger than my whole bathroom in Berkeley and the bathtub was equally impressive.

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I felt it was necessary to take this picture so you could have an idea of how huge and awesome this bathtub was

I got in late so during my first night I just ran around the room in the robe they provided while I excitedly looked at all the stuff. Then I drew a bath and ate the welcome fruit basket as I soaked. It had rambutans, green tangerines, and this purple fruit with a white inside that I still don’t know the name of. I didn’t know how to eat it so I tried some of the bright burgandy peel which was so bitter I had to spit it out. But the white fruit on the inside was delicious! I got up early the next morning to go to the complimentary breakfast and plan my day. It was the most elaborate breakfast buffett I have ever been to. There was a juice bar, omelette bar, latte bar, fried rice and other Thai breakfast items, an assortion of tropical fruit, at least twenty different kinds of pastries, cheeses, cereal, toast with six or seven kinds of spread, and my favorite: a waffle/pancake/crepes/doughnut bar with vanilla and chocolate sauce, Nutella, maple syrup, powdered sugar, and chocolate chips. Everything was made fresh right in front of you, and in the most beautiful Indiana-jones decorated outdoor setting. Obviously I had to take full advantage of this so I made myself 3 plates and went back for seconds. The papaya lime juice and the fried rice were so incredible I’m making myself so hungry writing this lol.

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Omg. I could have stayed there all day

##Big Buddha

After breakfast, I went to the room to figure out how to get the most of my day in Phuket. I ended up deciding my best bet would be to take a cab to Big Buddha, which was a little over an hour away. I lucked out and had the coolest cab driver named Mr.Dol who pointed out all sorts of interesting things along the way. Phuket is so lush and green and I really enjoyed being able to see so much of it. I could see big Buddha on top of the mountain from miles away. When we arrived at big Buddha, Mr.Dol let me out and showed me where he would be waiting. I got a sarong, which they lend to women visiting temples since you are supposed to show humility and dress modestly.

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Sarong Selfie. So much for humility...

I made my way up the little trail that leads you right to the base of Big Buddha. He is surrounded with smaller, golden statues of gods of different days of the weeks and other things. From the overlook, the view of Phuket is breathtaking. There are little bells people have left with their names and wishes on them that you can ring as you walk around. I also bought a tile that will be put on the inside of big Buddha and wrote mine and my sisters name on it.

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Hopefully they actually put it in there. You'll have to visit and let me know.

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:)

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Me and Big Buddha

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Probably the best coconut water I'll ever drink in my entire life, given the circumstances

I enjoyed big Buddha for a while and then grabbed a coconut, returned my sarong, and found Mr. Dol waiting for me in the parking lot.

I was told (by the hotel) that I had to pay more if I wanted to stop at several places, but Mr.Dol was kind enough to show me more of Phuket anyway. We stopped at an elephant excursion place where I paid 100 baht (~$3) to feed a baby elephant.

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It looks like we are hugging or having a moment or something but really he is grabbing at me to see if I have any more snacks.

I tried to give him just one piece at a time but ended up letting him just stick his trunk in the basket and gobble it all up. It was cute. Although I felt a little bad for the elephants because I’m afraid they might be exploited. So I would say be very careful about the place you choose if you decide to go elephant trekking.

##The Best Temple In Phuket respect

Next Mr.Dol took me to what he told me was the best temple in Phuket. I walked through the surrounding gardens for a little before going inside. The interior of the temple is gorgeous. All of the colors are so rich. There are flowers, golden statues of Buddha, and beautiful murals on every wall. I was struck with inspiration, and my visit there has influenced my paintings.

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So fun walking around the inside of this beautiful temple barefoot in my borrowed sarong

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I was also grateful to learn it is considered disrespectful to purchase images of Buddha's head without his body, etc

It started raining while I was on top of the temple. I could just barely make out the Big Buddha on the mountain in the distance. I loved being up there and taking in the view in the rain. It actually hasn’t rained 1/10th of what I expected in Singapore, so I was really enjoying it :)

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Smiling because my selfie is being interrupted by the rain :)

Eventually, I had to leave to make sure I would be on time to my Muay Thai class. I left the temple, grabbed my soaking nikes from the entrance, and found Mr.Dol smiling waiting for me with an umbrella :) He was seriously the best. Thank you Mr.Dol!!!

When I got back to the hotel I went for a Muay Thai class at the fitness center. I ended up being the only one taking the class so I got a private lesson :) Kahman was laughing at me because I kept favoring my right side and messing up the combos. Once I accidentally started kicking him when he wasn’t ready lol. We had lot of fun :) Or atleast I did lol.

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Me kicking Kahman. I won't show you the one of me pretending to kick Kahman for the picture lol.

After Muay Thai I walked around the grounds (which are huge), dipped in the pool, and went for a Thai massage. After my massage I sat oustide in the rain and drank some warm tea. Later I went for dinner, but once I saw the prices I decided to just order desert. I ended up ordering an apple crumble thing, but they brought me creme brulee. I didn’t feel like saying anything, but a few minutes later the waitress brought me the apple crumble and told me the chef just wanted me to try both. Lol. I’m pretty sure they just messed up my order. Then I went back to my room and curled up in the super comfy bed. The pillows were extra amazing for some reason.

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My last big yummy breakfast.

I was really sad to leave the next morning but Mr.Dol picked me up and brought me to the airport which cheered me up a little bit. If you’re ever going to Phuket let me know so I can give you his contact. You have to call Mr.Dol to get you from the airport and show you around! :)

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He made my trip!

I know I say this about every place but I want to go back! I really loved Phuket and wish I had more time there, there was so much more I wanted to experience! But I do feel lucky I got to see so many wonderful things in such a short time there. :)