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A review of PlayYard Phuket – a new campground on the island

Thaiger

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The following story was written by Barry Daniel.

It’s a glorious sunrise morning at 6am and I’m sitting at the edge of the beach on Phuket’s north-east corner, overlooking a stunning vista of the lapping sea channel which leads to Phang Nga Bay framed by a series of glorious rolling hills beyond. Cup of tea to hand, I’m sitting outside the snug caravan in which I spent last night soundly dreaming, as I contemplate my upcoming mountain bike ride around the abundant trails around the recently-opened PlayYard Phuket (www.facebook.com/theplayardphuket).

Situated on this lovely headland on Duangviraj Cape, just 20 minutes from the airport, PlayYard overlooks the sea channel which runs down the northeast corner of our island from the Sarasin Bridge, which I can see away to my left, past the Yacht Haven a kilometre away on my right. As the golden sun rises, this is a hallowed spot indeed.

A review of PlayYard Phuket - a new campground on the island | News by ThaigerThe PlayYard opened a year ago and offers beachside caravan and tent accommodation, plus family-friendly, healthy, outdoor activities in a perfectly tranquil setting. You can stay right on the beach, or in the palm groves, in one of the 18 fully-equipped caravans, and you even get to barbecue your own seafood supper on a portable charcoal grill on the wooden decking right in front of your caravan.

Like many Baby Boomers, my first recollection of a family holiday was staying in a caravan, in my case on a cold and windy caravan – park on a Devonshire headland, when I was just three years old. This was back in 1952 folks, when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, and so I have a great love for caravan holidays, and to find this gem right here in Phuket was a real treat!

A review of PlayYard Phuket - a new campground on the island | News by ThaigerPlayYard offers a wide range of non-motorized sports, all of which have been carefully selected to keep this lovely environment clean and serene. These include their BMX/skateboard pump track, jogging and mountain bike trails through the rubber tree plantations, sailing, standup paddleboarding and kayaking.

Night activities include watching outdoor movies by the beach and night walks along the lovely beachfront and mangroves, barbecuing your own supper, or relaxing at the convivial beachside bar. The PlayYard is a carefully planned venture which locks into the post-pandemic “new normal” with great emphasis on outdoor activities; bonding with family and friends through enjoyable shared experiences; clean fresh air and sea; and environmentally sound and sustainable practices. Clearly the idea has hit a tourist nerve, as PlayYard are already seeing a groundswell of enthusiasm, with many young visitors, families and adventurous singles staying and enjoying the wide range of adventure options on offer.

A review of PlayYard Phuket - a new campground on the island | News by Thaiger
I drained my cuppa and leapt onto one of the Playyard’s mountain bikes for a ride around the area. Firstly, I rode the well sign-posted trails through the palm and rubber tree groves on this lovely Cape, seeing many huge, grounded yachts and cruisers near Yacht Haven. These once proud ocean-going spirits were now condemned to inactive quietude by the pandemic.

As I rode between their silent hulls they seemed to brood in ghostly despondency, somehow calling out for life, fun and laughter again…………perhaps as we all do in these torrid times. I cycled onward following gravel trails, then on empty back roads through tiny villages where roosters and piglets seemed to outnumber vehicular traffic.

Finally, I emerged on to Thepkrassatri Road to be terrorised by hurtling pickups, petrol tankers and mini-vans and see phalanxes of Lycra-clad cyclists on their early Sunday morning junkets. I cycled across the iconic Sarasin Bridge, famed for the final leaps of its doomed and suicidal lovers, then south and around the Mai Khao lagoon disturbing a slothful monitor lizard sunning herself on the deserted little road.

A review of PlayYard Phuket - a new campground on the island | News by ThaigerA lovely sea swim at Mai Khao Beach loosened up my limbs for the final few clicks back to my breakfast on the decking of my caravan, with the realisation that PlayYard is ideally situated for the cyclist, with plenty of relaxing and enjoyable island riding all around. As the owners of this charming new venture say; “The experiences at PlayYard are designed to encourage spending more time outside, making all your own fun through outdoor activities and re-energising yourselves through reconnecting with nature.”

Wise words indeed!

A review of PlayYard Phuket - a new campground on the island | News by Thaiger

Barry Daniel

 

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