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Blazing saddles: Cycling to Sunday brunch

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PHUKET: Ahhhh! At last it’s Sunday and Phuketians can kick back, relax a little and start to enjoy all the glorious things that living in a tropical paradise is supposed to offer.

The trouble is that in these febrile times of traffic hassles, construction, road works and economic and environmental decline, many Phuketians find themselves increasingly stressed and time-starved. Sundays offer a welcome respite from all this and of course indulging in one of Phuket’s fabulous Sunday brunches is a great way to relax and savor what tropical living should to be all about.

We are fortunate in having abundant choice on our island when it comes to spending lazy Sundays ‘doing brunch’, as this indulgence is now at the forefront of Phuket’s social groundswell.

Reeking of lazy decadence, Phuket brunches often feature an endless array of world-class food, hot tropical breezes, stunning views and cool music, all washed asunder by copious draughts of naughty libations.

To add to these pleasures of the tummy, there’s nothing more enjoyable for local Lycra Louts than a good morning bike ride to build that most fundamental ingredient of any enjoyable meal…a rampaging appetite.

My personal favorite brunching spot is the beautiful Sails pool-side restaurant within the sumptuous verdant grounds of the Phuket Hilton Arcadia Resort and Spa, overlooking Karon Beach in the island’s south-west. This brunch offers fabulous fresh and healthy cuisine – ideal for the hungry cyclist looking for nutritious sustenance to replenish tired legs, without inflating his spare tyre.

But first you must get there. I am fortunate in that one of the island’s last relatively undeveloped cycling corridors links the lovely Nai Harn lagoon with the road leading to Karon Beach.

I usually start the ride in Chalong and head down to Nai Harn lagoon, which on Sunday mornings is reasonably quiet and populated mainly by other cyclists, joggers and dog-walkers.

After a couple of laps of the lagoon, I cycle north through Nai Harn village taking the left fork at the T-junction, then heading over the hills to Kata Beach.

This back road is steep and challenging and not for the faint of heart. But the rewards in terms of quiet, tree-lined riding with sensational views form the hillside summit at Karon Viewpoint are well worth the effort.

Here you can pause and look north to Kata Noi, Kata, Karon and Patong Beaches sparkling in the morning sunshine and pick out your destination at the Hilton.

What’s more, from that vantage you can luxuriate in the knowledge that it’s all downhill from there until you have that first welcome glass of Prosecco clasped in your sweating hand. And from there, your only real problem will be getting home.

— Baz Daniel

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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