How I Spent My 40th Birthday Alone in Phuket, Thailand

Last Updated on August 4, 2022 by Tina

In 2019, I started a tradition on my blog where I publish a birthday post on my birthday. I celebrated my 40th birthday last month but I was not able to publish a birthday post because I was in Phuket, Thailand and I didn’t bring my laptop with me. After the trip, I had to go back to work for a week and I was still on vacation mode so I said I’ll just start publishing again when I get home.

(I told my supervisor the day before I went home for my field break that I am resigning. I haven’t received the final contract from the new company yet but I had to tell him because I had everything planned out for the trip. The plan was to stay in Phuket for a week until the 21st of June. But then our boss scheduled a work trip to Zambales for June 21-24. I knew that if I didn’t tell them I am resigning, he will probably tell me to cut my field break short so I could join the Zambales trip. Well, my plan worked. I was able to have a week-long vacation in Phuket. But… our boss told my supervisor that I could put June 1 as the date of my resignation letter so that my one-month notice ends June 30. That’s the reason I had a week more at work after my field break).

Anyways, going back to how I spent my birthday… I booked a 2 nights stay in At Panta Phuket. It’s a bit pricey compared to the other hotels in Phuket. Also, it is very far from everything. It is more than an hour’s drive to the tourist areas like Patong, Karon, and Kata. But I like the vibe of the villa, it reminds me of Bali. Also, its restaurant Ma Doo Bua Cafe has this lotus pond that is very Instagrammable. I told myself it’s my 40th birthday so it’s okay to splurge a bit.

Ma Doo Bua Cafe
Ma Doo Bua Cafe

I was planning to start the day at the pool. However, I got bothered with not having enough Baht with me. So I decided to take a shower and have brunch at Ma Doo Bua Cafe before going out to look for a money changer. (My ex told me I need enough for my cheesecake. I told him the restaurant accepts card payments. 😀 )

When I went to the restaurant, Maliya, the front office manager of the villa greeted me happy birthday. (I told her when I checked in that I am there for my birthday). She asked about my plans for the day and I said I was planning on spending it at the beach. She was super nice. After talking to her, I checked out their cakes. Luckily, they have cheesecake. I ordered a strawberry cheesecake, pineapple fried rice served in a fresh pineapple shell, lotus root chips, and coke.

Lotus root chips, strawberry cheesecake, and pineapple fried rice
My birthday brunch

I decided to sit near the lotus pond so that I have a nice view while eating. While waiting for my food, I was enjoying the music at the cafe while watching couples taking pictures at the pond. And then the music changed into a birthday song. Maliya and some staff of the restaurant came to my table with my cheesecake. The cake had 3 birthday candles on it. They sang happy birthday and after they finished singing, they asked me to blow out the candles. I wasn’t expecting that at all, but it was very sweet of them. My day was just starting, but it was going well already.

Strawberry cheesecake
My birthday cake. And have I mentioned that it was free? When I got the bill, the cake was not included.

After having brunch, I went out to look for a money changer. I thought I could find one nearby, but after walking more than 1 kilometer, I gave up and decided to book Grab. Bolt is way cheaper in Phuket, but the remaining Baht I have is not enough to pay for a taxi. With Grab, I used my credit card to pay for the ride. The money changer is located in Boat Avenue, a container mall where you can find shops, restaurants, etc. From Boat Avenue, I walked 3.5 kilometers to get to Bang Tao Beach.

Bang Tao Beach
Bang Tao Beach

Bang Tao Beach is a tree-lined white sand beach with some resorts in between. This is a good place to hang out if you don’t like the crowd. I stayed here for 2 hours watching the waves and the very few people there. After that, I decided to go to another beach, Nai Thon Beach, and watch the sunset there.

Bang Tao Beach
Nai Thon Beach

Nai Thon Beach is another option if you don’t like the crowd. It is very tranquil and hidden away from the main tourist spots. There are restaurants nearby. At one end of the beach, there is a wooden staircase that is a popular Instagram spot in Phuket. I stayed in Nai Thon until the sunset. While waiting, I practiced doing a self-portrait. Sharing some pictures here.

Nai Thon Beach staircase
The famous staircase at Nai Thon Beach
Nai Thon Beach
Sunset at Nai Thon Beach

Before going back to the villa, I decided to have dinner in one of the eateries near the beach because Ma Doo Bua closes at 6:00 PM. I had Pad Thai and Lemon Shake.

Chicken Pad Thai and Lemon Shake for dinner
Chicken Pad Thai and Lemon Shake for dinner
Pineapple
I think it was my lucky day. I was given this pineapple for free

Not so lucky actually. So while having dinner, I ran out of mobile data from the sim card I bought in Singapore during our trip there last April. It had free 1GB roaming data so I decided not to buy a Thai sim card at the airport. I was planning to buy one when I exchanged my money but they didn’t have a sim card at Family Mart. I had no choice but to turn on the mobile data of my Philippine sim card because I need it to book a cab.

That’s how I spent my 40th birthday in Phuket alone. Not once did I feel sad. Close friends, boylets 😀 and family took the time to greet me, in a private message. Which I like so much. My best friends know that I prefer receiving a direct message than a GIF or a greeting posted on my FB wall. It feels more personal to me. My Malaysian friend who I met because of my blog even sent me an audio message with him singing happy birthday.

This trip was my first solo trip after 3 years. I was a bit nervous and anxious when I was planning the trip. Every night I would pray to God to make my birthday a happy one and he answered my prayer. He even gave me a really nice sunset that day. A guy I met there with whom I was supposed to have dinner that night (but I decided to reschedule) told me that the previous days, it had been raining. Here’s a sunset photo from that day, taken at Nai Thon Beach.

Sunset in Nai Thon Beach
“Sunsets are proof that endings can be beautiful too.”
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