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A long weekend in Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand has been on my bucket list since I was a teenager. I'm not entirely sure why or even how it came about. Despite growing up on the beaches of Hawaii, it seemed exotic and exciting. I've traveled to Thailand's capital city of Bangkok a few times this year, but still my heart was calling for its seaside escape. With family in town for the Thanksgiving holiday, it seemed like perfect timing to take a long weekend getaway.

The travel time on both ends combined felt nearly the same length as our visit - from Saigon, getting to Thailand's largest island just off its west coast required a stopover in Bangkok...add in delayed flights and a hour and a half drive to our hotel...well, you get the picture! It was Thanksgiving, and I was thankful for the opportunity to see the world with my family and experience new cultures. I've celebrated this holiday far from home a number of times, but trading turkey and pie for Thai food and fruity cocktails is definitely a first!

We stayed at Novotel's Phuket Kata Avista Resort and Spa situated on a lush hillside overlooking the stunning Andaman Sea. It was a short hike to the white sands of busy Kata Beach and the cute seaside town of Karon. I pretty much vowed to eat as much locally inspired food as I could, and enjoyed more than a few particularly good meals. My favorite spots in town were Red Duck Restaurant and Mom Tri's Kitchen for which the view alone would be worth the visit!

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