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A Jumbo Birthday Surprise

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What I love about my job is that it’s not just about selling property. Often I get the chance to help people do something really special…

The other week Steve, one of my clients, contacted me from his home in Spain.

“It’s David’s fortieth birthday and we will be in Phuket with friends – can you help me arrange something?”

Of course, I love surprises, and having lived in Phuket for many years I know all the exciting things to do, so I was only too happy to help.

Steve and I discussed a few ideas…

What about a boat trip around Phang Nga Bay?

This is one of my all time favourite things to do in Phuket, but Steve’s friends are not too keen on boats.

What about a helicopter ride? I suggested.

You could take a helicopter to a deserted island, have a picnic on the beach or stop for lunch at the Six Senses in Koh Yao Noi….no hint of a boat.

Steve loved the idea of the helicopter trip – but said, “Tony, our friend, is a big girl’s blouse and doesn’t like boats, and David hates helicopters even though he loves aeroplanes, so it’s all a bit of a nightmare.”

Then I had an idea…

What about elephants?

You could have a private elephant ride to the Reggae Bar – a bit crazy but what the heck?

It might be quite funny having your “transport” waiting for you outside your apartment.

I should explain: David and Steve have an apartment about 50 metres from Bangtao Beach – the Reggae Bar is their local.

Built from bamboo and bits of driftwood, it’s one of the best bars in Phuket.

It’s just metres from the sea with no other places in sight. Khun Ae and his wife have been running the bar for years and they make some of the best Mai-tais and Margaritas on the island.

If you want to watch the sunset with your feet in the sand, sipping your favourite cocktail – you won’t find anywhere better than this.

“Love, love, love that idea.” Steve enthused. “You’re a star, Rebecca. Thanks”.

Our plan for David’s birthday was hatched – now I just had to arrange an elephant.

So Joop, our very friendly and highly efficient office assistant, went to have a chat with the Mahouts in Bangtao.

They’re used to giving tourists elephant rides on the beach, but they were a little puzzled when we said we’d like an elephant to tap on an apartment window – but like all Thais they have a great sense of humour and saw the funny side.

So yesterday, the big day, David was just a little surprised to see Nathalie (the elephant) outside his apartment window when he opened the curtains.

As they got to know each other, Nathalie let out a huge roar.

Then David and Steve climbed aboard and they set off for the beach.

When they reached the bar, one guy was so surprised to see David and Steve turn up on an elephant, he looked curiously at his drink – wondering if perhaps he’d had one too many.

To cut a long story short, they had a lot of fun and when they got back to their apartment David called to say thanks – it made my day to know they’d had such a great time.

So, if you were spending your birthday in Phuket what would be your perfect day?

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About Rebecca Smith