Road Trip in Puglia, Italy

Before heading to my friend’s wedding in Piacenza, south of Milan, I took the opportunity to visit Puglia for 3 days with one of my best friends from Thailand who lives in Finland at the moment. We met up at Brindisi Airport on 18 Sep around 9 pm. After picking up a rental car we drove to our little Trullo, a traditional Apulian dry stone hut with a conical roof in San Vito which is located about 30 minutes from Brindisi airport. I booked this place because I wanted to experience traditional accommodation of Puglia and the location of the Trullo was perfect, right in the middle of the areas that we planned to explore. The host was very welcoming and kind to us. We tried some local fruit from their garden which we very much enjoyed.

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Our home for 3 nights in Puglia!
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Very romantic accommodation!
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The Trullo is part of a family compound but it was very private
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Our drinking area!
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The little Citroen we hired for 3 days
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Day 1: 19 Sep 2017

We left the Trullo around 9 am and our first destination was Ostuni, a historical charming white town with Mediterranean architecture. We walked around The Old Town, enjoyed the architecture and refreshed ourself with drinks at one of the lovely outdoor restaurants. It was an enjoyable morning.

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The Old Town of Ostuni
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Ostuni
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Stunning view
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The city of white!
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Tuk Tuk!
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Noi enjoys posting!
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The super model from Thailand!
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Hurry up!
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Ostuni
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Ostuni
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Ostuni
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Ostuni

After that we headed to Alberobello and before arriving in Alberobello we stopped for lunch at a lovely restaurant with a stunning view in Locorotondo called Controra. The lady was very friendly and served simple dishes, she spoke very little of English but it was not a problem at all. All the way from Ostuni to Alberobello was beautiful countryside a mixture of farms, vineyards and lovely Trullos. It was a good morning drive.

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Controra restaurant in Locorotondo
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Lovely place
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Cute model!
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Eating time…
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With lovely view
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Locorotondo
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Locorotondo

After lunch we headed to Alberobello, the town of Trullo. The small town has been made a UNESCO World Heritage site for the district of Trulli, with characteristic white conical roof houses and built with stone. I was amazed and fell in love with this town as it was so cute and so dreamy! We were very much enjoying looking at those Trullos. The town was busy with tourists but it was not too difficult to take nice photos without tourists in it. After hours of walking and shopping we stopped for a drink at a little bar near the parking, with a view overlooking those Trullos. It was very relaxing after a long walk. The reason to visit Puglia was inspired by Anna Dello Russo, an Italian fashion journalist who has a Trullo summer house in Cisternino, Puglia. I follow her on Instagram for fashion but she often posts her beautiful Trullo. Alberobello has to be on your Wishlist when visiting Puglia!

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Beautiful Trullo in Alberobello
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Alberobello
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Cute Trullo with colourful flowers
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Home sweet home!
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Wanna stay here tonight?!
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Alberobello
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Tourists enjoy Trullo restaurant
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Alberobello
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Alberobello
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Alberobello

 

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Alberobello
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Alberobello
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Alberobello
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Alberobello
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Alberobello
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Alberobello

After that we headed to our last destination of the day, Polignano a Mare. We arrived there around 5 pm which is a bit late for taking good photos. We walked around for hours and after that we had a seafood dinner and a bottle of local white wine; it was a lovely ending to the day and we very much enjoyed it. We headed back to the Trullo on the highway road on the seaside which took us about an hour to reach home.

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Polignano a Mare
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Polignano a Mare
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The famous beach!
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I’m waiting for you!
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How the day ended!
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Day 2: 20 Sep 2017

We planned to visit Lecce before going to the seaside. Unfortunately, we were behind schedule as we woke up late and we also had to pick up my friend’s luggage at the airport so we did not have enough time to see Lecce which I regret. After lunch in Lecce we drove a long the seaside and we stopped a few places included Grotta Della Poesia. It was a beautiful place with crystal clear water. We also stopped at Sant’ Andrea and swam in the Mediterranean for the first time! It was cool but refreshing. We ended our day by having a fantastic dinner (with a few glasses of Prosecco) at Sant’ Andrea with a stunning sunset. We very much enjoyed the seaside even though we did not make it to Otranto as original plan.

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Grotta Della Poesia
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Grotta Della Poesia
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Noi enjoys the view
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The famous pool!
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Crystal clear water
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You got to jump!
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Grotta Della Poesia
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Grotta Della Poesia
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Sant’ Andrea
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Sant’ Andrea
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Sant’ Andrea
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Sant’ Andrea
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Sant’ Andrea
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Sant’ Andrea
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Sant’ Andrea
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Sunset in Sant’ Andrea
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Sunset in Sant’ Andrea
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Our dinner at Sant’ Andrea
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Highly recommend this place
Day 3
Day 3: 21 Sep 2017

We planed to visit a few towns but we ended up visiting only one town which was Taranto. We took the last day quite easy as we wanted to return to the Trullo earlier than the first 2 days to enjoy the last evening at the Trullo. My friend prepared dinner and we were talking about our trip and the old days. For dinner we cooked horse meat which we bought in a local supermarket! Our first taste ever of horse meat; quite tender and not strong tasting – similar to beef. But I don’t think I’ll be buying it again.

It was a very relaxing and chilling evening with 3 (!!!) bottles of local wine. We very much enjoyed the wine even though we had to run to the airport like zombies at 4 am on the next morning and we even lost 10 Euro in the petrol station automatic machine without getting any petrol because of the 3 bottles of wine! What a fantastic ending!

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Taranto
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Taranto
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Taranto
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Taranto
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Dinner by chef Noi!
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Yummy!
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Chef Noi!
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The driver & the photographer!

Puglia is very different than other parts of Italy, very rural, authentic, full of history, beautiful and it’s probably the most economical part of Italy for tourism. I found that Puglia was not too busy with tourists compared to other parts of Italy which is one of the things I loved about it. We hardly saw any Asian tourists – we were probably the only 2 Asians in Puglia! The weather was perfect during our stay; it was 25-28c day time and the temperature dropped to 15-18c in the evening which was cool. If you want to travel affordably and love history, architecture, countryside, sea, sun, sand and enjoy drinking wine then you can’t miss out Puglia in summer!

After 3 weeks of travelling I finally arrived at my friend’s wedding in Piacenza. It was a traditional catholic ceremony in a church and after that we went for a reception lunch in a very beautiful castle called “Castello Di Paderna”.  I also found out that Italian people are very good at dancing and seems they have a lot of energy when it comes to dancing. After the first dance of the couple, everybody joined the dance but I did not have a partner to dance with so, I invited the father of the groom to dance with me, after he spun me 3 times I was sweating! It was a mistake to invite him! He was too good at dancing but I was not.  The party ended around 11 pm and it was very enjoyable wedding. It was a good memory with which to end my European trip.

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The happy couple!
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With the family
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With the brothers! Giorgio & Pietro

Hope you enjoy reading!

Where to stay in Llangollen,Wales

After 10 days in Switzerland, my husband and I went to visit relatives in Llangollen in Wales and in Leicester in England. We stayed in Llanerch Farm near Llangollen for 3 nights and it was an enjoyable stay. What we enjoyed most was walking around in the morning, breathing the fresh air and seeing animals around the farm. We also visited the town centre of Llangollen which was a lovely little town and busy with tourists.

Llanerch Farm located up on the hill with stunning view over Llangollen. We stayed in the apartment which is part of the big house. The apartment is newly furnished and it has been offering short stays for a few months via Airbnb. The apartment was very well furnished, everything has been chosen to a high standard and the owner of the property, Barry and Lora, pay attention to all details. If you are visiting Llangollen, I would highly recommend you stay there; you will not be disappointed!

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Hillside Apartment
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Fully equipped kitchen
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Kitchen with stunning view
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Good morning sunshine!
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A cozy living room
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Living room with a lovely view
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A very comfortable bed!
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Extra bed
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The farm house
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The farm house
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The apartment is on the right hand side of the house
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View overlooking the valley
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In the back of the apartment is a small garden
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Sunny day
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Our friends!
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Barry with Tommy – a retired gypsy racing horse
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Barry was walking us around on the first morning of our stay
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Enjoying my morning with those littles
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Why the horses out and we in?!
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Llangollen
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Llangollen
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Llangollen
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Tourists enjoy rafting
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Llangollen town centre
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The town centre
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We had lunch here

Hope you enjoy Wales’s countryside!

Where to stay in Phuket, Thailand

Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and one of the top reasons that tourists choose Phuket for their holiday is because Phuket has many beautiful beaches, offers great value for money and the freedom to do fun things that are not allowed in other countries!

Choosing accommodation in Phuket can be difficult for some people who visit the island for the first time, especially when you are looking for accommodation for a big group of people and need to make sure that the place suits everyone. However, if you are looking for relaxing accommodation for a group of 10-12 people, within walking distance to the beach, restaurants and shops, you may want to consider this beautiful 5 bedroom villa called Villa IDEAL.  The villa is located in Baan Thai Surin Hill estate, near Surin beach. The estate is surrounded by many five star hotels, resorts, luxury properties and beautiful sandy beaches. The villa is ideal for a fun and relaxing stay with friends and family. Beyonce and Jay Z also stayed in a nearby five star resort called Amanpuri near Surin beach for their holiday a few years ago!

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Thai contemporary villa with swimming pool
012 Pool Terrace
View over Bang Tao Bay
011 Dining Pavilion
Beautiful sunny day..
015 Living Room
The living room & music system over the villa
019 Master Bedroom
The master bedroom with Thai decor style
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The master bathroom with a jacuzzi
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One of the guest bedrooms
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All bedrooms with en-suit bathroom
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A study room
008 Pool Terrace
One fine evening!

Get to know the areas in Phuket:

The North WestBang TaoSurinKamala

If you are looking for a budget hotel, Bang Tao might be an option. There are several hotels in the Bang Tao area, many of them within walking distance to Bang Tao beach which is very convenient for beach lovers. Bang Tao is the longest beach in Phuket and most beautiful in my opinion. The famous Catch Beach Club is also located on Bang Tao beach. There is a Muslim village and a Thai-Chinese village in Bang Tao, so you will find colourful day and night markets full of cheap delicious local food and fruit. A local supermarket, Tesco Lotus, is full of Thai products and local beers. There are also many good Thai restaurants and street food very popular with locals which you should not miss trying.

If you would like to go a bit up market with easy access to high-end facilities, the Laguna complex is an option. The complex is located on Bang Tao beachfront and is a mix of five star hotels, resorts, golf courses and luxury property estates. The whole area is immaculate. Staying in the Laguna area gives you easy access to Boat Avenue which I would call a town centre. Boat Avenue provides many good high quality restaurants, bars, wine shops, shopping and a high quality supermarket called Villa Market where they import a lot of high quality products.

The Surin and Kamala areas have many luxury properties, villas, five star hotels and resorts. The accommodation in this area is mostly luxury with few nice hotels less than 4 star. Staying in Kamala gives you easy access to Patong which is the centre of entertainment. Rihanna and her crew stayed in a five star resort in Kamala called Paresa before going to perform at the F1 Grand Prix concert in Singapore in 2013.

Staying in this area gives you easy access to high-end facilities, e.g. beach clubs, fine dining, golf course, horse riding, etc. You can also find good value for money local facilities such as outdoor markets, seafood restaurants, street food and local supermarket without going out of the area. This area is suitable for a family holiday and people who want to have a relaxing time and enjoy what Phuket has to offer. This area is only 30 minutes from the airport.

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Beautiful sandy Surin beach
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Beautiful coconut trees on Surin beach
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The most beautiful beach in Phuket, Bang Tao beach
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Catch Beach Club on Bang Tao beach
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Kamala beach
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Andara resort & Villas in Kamala

The Central WestPatong, Kata, Karon: Patong is the centre of entertainment, nightlife and bars. It ideal for fun nights and partying hard! The streets are full of bars, tourist restaurants, massage shops and souvenir shops. There are a lot of cheap hotels popular with young people on a low budget and who want easy access to the nightlife. I would not recommend you to bring children and stay in Patong. Patong beach is not particularly special, sometimes very crowded and the sand is not always kept clean. Water sports are available here but be careful when using jet skis as you can be tricked into paying for damage that you may not have caused!

Kata and Karon are located in the south of Patong and only 10-15 minutes by car to reach Patong. This area is more layback than Patong and popular for family holiday as hotel prices are not as high as in the north of the island and the beaches are beautiful. The facilities are very touristy; tourist prices prevail and you will hardly find any locals here. However, there is one local supermarket in the area called Makro that provides a good selection of local and imported products. Patong, Kata and Karon are about 1 hour from the airport.

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Kata beach
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Kata beach is popular for family holiday
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A public park located opposite Kata beach
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Karon beach
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Karon beach

The South: Rawai, Nai Harn: At the southern end of the island, Rawai beach is more like a marina where a lot of long tail boats and speed boats are waiting to take tourists to the nearby small islands. The beach is not suitable for swimming because the sea bed is very rocky but you can rent a boat to beautiful small islands nearby – just walk by and check out the price with the skippers who sit waiting for customers. Rawai beach front is very touristy; most shops, bars and restaurants are for tourists, with hardly anything for locals. Around the corner at Rawai beach is a popular seafood market where you can buy fresh seafood and bring it to a number of restaurants opposite the market where they will cook it for you. I would recommend to cook at Mook Dee Seafood, the original seafood restaurant before this area became more and more popular. There are also pearl and souvenir shops next to the seafood market where you can buy pearls from China! Hotel prices are very reasonable near Rawai beach.

Nai Harn beach is located only 10 minutes by car from Rawai beach. Nai Harn beach is beautiful and many nice hotels, resorts and private properties are located here. This area is popular with Russian families who escape their winter and rent a private property for 1-3 months. It’s also popular with retired foreigners who find long term rental accommodation is affordable. The price for accommodation in this area is quite reasonable for long term stays and private properties are available for short stay holiday use as well. This would give you an option of feeling more like home. Check out these villas with private pool for only USD 100-150 per night which can accommodate up to 6 people.

Staying in Rawai and Nai Harn gives you easy access to Chalong, a residential area that offers local facilities. The famous Big Buddha and Wat Chalong are located in Chalong. To reach Rawai and Nai Harn would take 1-1.5 hours from the airport as they are located in the south of Phuket and the airport is located in the far north.

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Long tail boats in Rawai are waiting to take you to small islands!
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Many beautiful small islands near Rawai beach
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Nai Harn beach
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Nai Harn beach

I hope this helps you to find a suitable location and accommodation for your holiday in Phuket.