A weekend on the beach in Phuket. What a nice way to get away. Our good fortune was that Tawn’s cousin Fon won a voucher for a free three-day, two-night stay at the Black Pearl, a three-unit condo on Mai Khao Beach in Phuket. Since the condo is not particularly young child friendly – unsafe edges everywhere – Fon generously gave the voucher to us.
After a few scheduling hiccups, we coordinated with Ben, Jason and Kobfa to join us for a weekend getaway at this beautiful property.
This is only the second time I’ve been to Phuket. Previously, I didn’t hold the highest opinion of the island because on our first visit we stayed in Patong, the heavily touristy area that, despite its pretty beach, reflects all the excesses and undesirable aspects of tourism.
The Black Pearl is located on Mai Khao (“white tree” – i.e. birch) Beach on the north tip of the island, at least a forty minute drive away from the tourist resorts of Patong and the main town of Phuket. In fact, Black Pearl is on an isolated stretch of beach with no other development immediately around it.
There are three owners, friends with each other, of this three-unit condo complex. Two units are on the main floor with master bedrooms on the back side of the top floor. The third unit is entirely on the front part of the top floor. Above is a picture of the outdoors dining area for our unit. This place is gorgeous and was a lot more enjoyable than some five-star resort because it felt like home and was many times more private.
The infinity-edge pool on the main floor, overlooking the beach.
We arrived on Friday night about 7:00 and drove down to Phuket town to meet up with Stuart and Piyawat, who moved to Phuket a half year ago. We had an amazing dinner at an Italian restaurant. This meal deserves its own entry which I’ll add soon.
Saturday we lounged around the house all day. Biscuits, bacon and eggs in the morning with lots of coffee. Sunning, swimming, walks on the beach, listening to music and enjoying the perfect weather and cooling breezes.
There is a caretaker family that lives on the ground floor. They are very friendly and helpful. You can send the maid to the market with some money and she’ll buy food and prepare all sorts of Thai food. We went with her, selecting the food ourselves for a grand seafood feast. Above, the maid, Tawn and Kobfa select veggies.
Fresh (and huge) prawns. These were ridiculously inexpensive.
Fresh fish anyone? We ended up buying a few red snappers from another vendor and stuffing them with herbs and grilling them in a coat of coarse salt.
In the kitchen, Tawn puts the finishing touches on the Tom Yum Goong (spicy shrimp soup). The maid did most of the work and then left him to adjust the seasoning. It was really tasty.
While the cooking was going on, we enjoyed a most amazing sunset, shown here in three pictures each taken about ten minutes apart.
In the final picture, you can just make out the lights of shrimp boats on the horizon.
The maid’s husband did the grilling, including these gorgeous shrimp, a few large squid, and the salt-crusted fish. The homemade nam chim chili dipping sauce was fantastic!
Sitting around the table before digging in to our seafood feast: Jason and Ben, Kobfa, Chris and Tawn, Piyawat and Stuart, and Noi, one of the owners of our unit. Noi and his partner Pat came down for the weekend and stayed in the upstairs unit which is owned by a friend of theirs. Very nice couple and they joined us for dinner and then for Sunday brunch, too.
Noi and Pat playing with their “guard” dog Sing. Their two dogs were former strays and both look and act very vicious when you first see them. About ten seconds later they are your new best friends, very friendly and well-behaved.
Sunday morning we awoke to the sound of rain. It was overcast and drizzly until about 9:00 after which the sun broke through and we had another beautiful day.
Jason looks on as Tawn does some yoga. Tawn thinks he resembles an embryo in this pose. He has one of the most flexible bodies and is able to do poses I would never be able to do no matter how much I practiced.
Harking back to the attempt at Parmesan Biscuits a few weeks ago, I made a modified recipe that turned out much better. I’m going to make one more attempt at it and once I’ve perfected the recipe, will share it in a sperate entry. They biscuits had smoked salmon and arugula again. Very tasty.
I’ll do a few more entries about some of the other things we did while in Phuket. Needless to say, it was a relaxing weekend. If you are planning a trip to Thailand, especially in a group of 4-6 people, I’d strongly recommend that you consider staying at the Black Pearl. If you do contact them, please let them know that you heard about it from Tawn and Chris.
That is awesome!!!Tawn’s yoga is awesome too haha!
that sunset is beyond awesome!
THIS is freaking incredible. Oh my goodness.Not only the place itself (I love the infinity pool), but the sunset views and the secluded beach. This is like a dream to me, I’m bookmarking this place; next visit to Thailand, I’m booking here.Those Prawns are insanely sized. I wish I could get those here, but I can only ever have them when I’m in Coastal Asia. They look so delicious.You have me dreaming of a Thai vacation again.
Wow!!! Nice place – When I first read Phuket, I thought that was so unlike you to visit a touristy place. But this is so different! My bf absolutely adores Tom Yum Soup. The prawn has me drooling heavily. The sunsets – sigh… you have me dreaming again.
god phuket looks so amazing!! i really like that picture of you & t standing on the edge of the infinity pool. and those prawns?? WOW.
I’m so jealous. Those prawns are ginormous!
My oh my, Tawn is flexible! AIYA!! And I am SOOOO HUNGRY right now waiting for Felix for dinner. Your pictures are so not helping!
Very nice! Nothing like fresh seafood in a nice setting.
OH Chris….that looks like heaven on earth!!! And the sunset is SO exquisite!!! I know that you and Tawn really had a marvelous weekend!!! Ruth Ann
The tiger prawns look amazing. I couldn’t stop staring at the pictures of the sunset. Beautiful pictures Chris.
Beeeeeeeeeeeautiful sunset pictures!
OH….MY….GOD…those prawns are GINORMOUS!
The photos are breathtaking! Then I saw the size of the prawns!! Is that “normal”? I want to know what those things are eating… cause that might make a difference on if I go into the water or not.
Stunning sunset photos, especially with the lone tree in the foreground. I’m happy for you that the biscuits turned out great. I can imagine the fragrant aroma of baked biscuits filling up the whole kitchen.
That was indeed a splendid weekend with good food, good company, beautiful sunset and everything!
I like the one u two standing on the edge of the pool……
Looks like it was a wonderful time to be had by all! I hate to think about how much those prawns were and how much we pay here :O
Those prawns are unbelievable! I wonder how they taste. Sometimes shellfish can get too big and seem to become very chewy and not all that enjoyable.I’ve heard good things about Phuket! It looks beautiful 🙂
@TheCheshireGrins – The prawns were perfect. Tender meat as they were very fresh and not overcooked one bit. After eating prawns here in Thailand I have become kind of spoiled.@agmhkg – @iskrak – Thank you. I wish the lighting on our faces was a little brighter.@icapillas – Everything that one could ask for, right?@CurryPuffy – As soon as I’ve done one more try of the revised recipe for the biscuits, I’ll email it to W for you to try.@murisopsis – The ones on top are definitely “X-Large” but we have pretty large prawns here in Thailand. It’s all that pad thai they eat.@caihwei – @minhaners – The prawns that ate Phuket! Watch out Godzilla!@secade – @ZSA_MD – @Redlegsix – @wutuwaitn4 – The sunset was just amazing and I’m glad the pictures turned out so nicely.@TheLatinObserver – That is a great combination and pretty hard to beat.@brooklyn2028 – Tawn’s flexibility is quite amazing. Wish I had a bit more of that. Of course, if I lost ten kilos, I would probably find it easier! =(@christine24666 – We bought 1.5 kg of prawns (about 3 pounds) for 1300 baht, or about US$ 39@ElusiveWords – Oh, I’m not above going somewhere touristy… =D@chow@ireallylikefood – Normally, I’m kind of so-so about beach places but this one really amazed me. Would strongly recommend it. And a trip to Thailand? Well, that’s always a good idea.@yang1815 – How’d he get so flexible?
@christao408 – Lots of practice?! And yeah jealous of them prawns!!!
Where to begin? The sunset was, indeed, lovely and very modulated. God job. I agree with the others, I love the shot on the edge or the pool. Tawn in that position? Crazy. How can one person be so limber, fit, stylish, and gorgeous. Perhaps I will just stop getting up in the morning altogether!
Of course I meant “good” and not “God.” Don’t tell my mother I did not “proof.”
@albertmoore – Did Priscilla’s son really not proof? Shocking! =D
WOW! What a beautiful place!