Phuket Peninsula Spa & Resort
While I am very happy to announce the relaunch of this site, with its flashy new URL and design, I want to get right back into writing the actual content. That’s the whole reason why this site exists, and four months without writing has been driving me nuts! So, without further ado, we’ll continue with my “Paradise Abandoned” photo project, and the fascinating Phuket Peninsula Spa & Resort.
Located just a few hundred metres along the coast from the Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach, the Phuket Peninsula Spa & Resort (hoteliers and not noted for their imagination when it comes to thinking of property names…) is one of the more complete of the abandoned hotel projects around Phuket. I haven’t been able to find too much information about it, but what I did learn suggests that the construction work was nearing completion when a fire damaged part of the building. During the ensuing investigation by the local authorities, it was discovered that the development had encroached on national park land – something which the Thai authorities take rather seriously. As a result, building work was halted immediately and indefinitely.
The result of this strange situation is that the structure still shows the signs of the original fire damage, as well as the ravages of time ever since. Partially completed rooms, with individual balcony pools and luxurious spa bathtubs, are now rotted and deteriorating, with some of the more accessible ones being heavily graffiti-ed by locals and tourists alike. Some of the main building’s structure is in a similar state, with one entire section of roofing collapsed. The interior corridors are in a particularly rough condition, with the luxurious fixtures and fittings now rotting on the ground where they fell. At one point, this resulted in me getting a board with a nail through it stuck in the bottom of my shoe, so mind where you tread.
Being relatively easily accessed, the Phuket Peninsula Spa & Resort does get a fair amount of attention, and I ran into at least a couple of other people looking around or walking nearby on my visit. I later found out that this particular site was previously a favourite of the local airsoft club, who would hold their special events (so-called “milsims” – meaning ‘military simulations’) here. This practise ended some years ago, when one participant fell several storeys down an old lift shaft, just a few minutes after the simulation started. He survived the fall, but had to spend six months in hospital. With guard rails being one of the things which had evidently not been installed at the time of the fire, there are a number of similar pitfalls, so urban spelunkers should exercise extreme caution.
One of the reasons why you see some passing pedestrians is that the hotel marks the start of a trail through the national park land behind it, which eventually leads to Nai Thon Beach. I did not attempt this route (yet), but I did go and take a look down the hill just behind the hotel, which is where you will find a small but rather pleasant little beach. One of the dozens of tiny, little-known beaches around Phuket, this one has fairly soft sand – a little coarse, but not too much so. The seabed just off the coast is shallow enough to support a few trees sticking out of the sea, with a small, jungle-covered island a short walk away. Beyond that is a reef or sandbank – some sort of wave-breaker, anyway – which was taking a battering from the Indian Ocean at the time I was there.
As always, it would be irresponsible and possibly illegal for me to actively recommend visiting this site or any abandoned building around Phuket. However, at the same time, it would be deeply patronising of me to advise against it when I visited and explored the place myself. What I will do is repeat what I said earlier: If you are going to check out the Phuket Peninsula Resort & Spa, please do so with extreme care and caution. Also, if you get detained for trespassing, don’t blame me!
Phuket Peninsula Spa & Resort
Recommend:Check out the fairly private little beach and tiny island, just past the hotel.
Avoid: Falling down an elevator shaft and spending six months in hospital.