Seven straight months of travel had taken its toll on our bodies: Mark was losing weight at an alarming rate and my back posture was getting worse by the day. By the time we reached Thailand we not only needed an extended rest, but also had to strengthen our bodies if we wanted to finish this year in good health.

PatongBeach_03Patong Beach in Phuket was the answer. Patong was a crowded tourist beach town full of Russians that heavily catered to western needs. At the time it suited us perfectly as we were in desperate need of the comforts of home as we searched for a place to settle down for one month.

PatongBeach_01In Patong we could buy groceries at a huge supermarket, walk through an enormous air-conditioned mall, catch a flick at the modern movie theater, enjoy the nightlife of Bangla Road, spend $6 for hour-long massages, relax on the nearby beach and workout at a well-equipped gym. It was almost like being back home, only we were enjoying 90-degree temperatures in January and delicious Thai food at unbeatable prices.

Patong Beach in Phuket ThailandOur initial search for accommodation on Airbnb showed only expensive options that were out of our price range. No surprise for such a popular beach town. So we decided to try the old-fashioned approach and walk around town, asking hotels and apartments how much they charged.

PatongBeach_05This led us to the MVC Patong House, the best option considering its price and location just two blocks from the beach. In the picture above, we were living in the tall, white building to the right of the gigantic statue. Staying in a hotel really spoiled us as it provided 24-hour security and daily room cleaning. The only thing missing was a kitchen, but we didn’t have to walk far to find delicious Thai food and an abundance of fruit stands.

Patong Beach, ThailandThe day we moved into the hotel we also signed up for a one-month membership to Maximum Fitness and Combat Center, located right on the beach, two blocks from our hotel. It was the hot spot for Muay Thai and MMA fighter training, but we stuck to the weights and cardio training while enjoying the air conditioning.

PatongBeach_11Since the first day of our membership we kept to a strict schedule, working out nearly two hours a day, five days a week. Back home in our regular lives this would be difficult, but with nothing else on our schedules in Patong, it was easy to train for that long. A great view of the beach from the treadmills gave us even more motivation, knowing that we’d be out there in our swimsuits as soon as we finished our workout.

PatongBeach_09Usually after an 11 a.m. start we would get to the gym by 2 p.m. and finish our workout by 4. Then it was time to change into our swimsuits, lounge in the hot sun and swim in the cool water at the beach until the sunset. Repeat the following day. Add the benefit of not having to constantly unpack and pack our belongings, plus occasional fancy ice cream, and it was easy to see why we felt stronger and happier with each day. It was such a great month of relaxation and recovery.

PatongBeach_07At times we worried about getting back into the high-paced travel routine we were on previously, but after enough time spent as gym rats and beach bums we were ready to see more of South East Asia and beyond.

Patong Beach, ThailandStay tuned…coming this February we’ll be exploring Angkor Wat in Cambodia!

8 Responses

  1. Beth Partin

    That sounds lovely. A friend of mine went to Phuket with her husband and loved it, and she is not really the traveling type. It’s good to know there’s a place that has so many familiar amenities.

    • Britnee Johnston

      Glad to hear we’re not the only ones who love Phuket! There’s also a lot of other great islands nearby for day tours.

  2. Beth Partin

    I meant to add that my husband and I planned a one-year trip down the West Coast of the US that we called Twelve Cities, 1 Year. So I liked your blog name.

  3. Dan

    Mark’s getting really good at photo shop. That vein in the first picture almost looks real.