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Phuket Exposed: Ilse Maria Gibson

Ilse Maria Gibson: Freelance journalist, photographer and business owner

Wednesday 18 April 2012, 05:56PM

Ilse Maria Gibson

Ilse Maria Gibson

What were you doing before you moved here?
I was a university lecturer and ran my own education centre in Munich, teaching computer applications, several languages and subjects such as ‘how to set up your own business’ and marketing.

How long have you lived on the island and why did you move here?
I arrived in Phuket in 2004 for a long holiday. When I got involved with the King’s Cup Regatta I immediately met a lot of people and really got into sailing. I had to go back to Germany for a few month to get my business sorted out but the cold temperatures just didn’t appeal to me any more.
That’s when I decided to come back and stay. In 2008 I got a job offer, to set up an International College in Kunming, China but in 2011 I came back to Phuket.

What is the best thing about living here?
The climate. I just love the hot temperatures, the sun, the beaches and the lifestyle. It is totally different from that in Europe. Here it’s much more easy going and relaxed, and the people are friendlier.

What do you do to relax?
Nowadays, I am relaxed most of the time. I love taking photos of which Phuket is a treasure trove for amazing wildlife and plants, and I like working with the computer, modifying photos, turning them into pop art and other. I run a few websites or I just sit in our pool or sala and read a lot.

What are your favourite sports and activities?
My favourite sports are sailing, diving, and snorkelling, which is one of the other reasons why I wanted to stay here. I also like playing golf on one of Phuket’s wonderful courses, and I used to play tennis but I gave that up after a while because it is just too hot for that.

Best childhood memory?
When I was a kid, my parents took my brother and me to Italy for our holidays. I
always loved the beach and the water and have very fond memories of that.

QSI International School Phuket

Favourite type of food?
I like Thai food very much especially the spicy dishes but I like eating in general. Sometimes I like to eat Bavarian food like a hefty crispy pork roast and potato dumplings. Luckily there are plenty of different restaurants on Phuket that offer a wide variety of cuisine.

What kind of music do you usually listen to?
I like classical music which I often listen to at home with headphones on because my partner is not very keen on that kind of music, but I also like rock and blues. I enjoyed the Blues Rock Festival very much in February 2012 and I like to listen to the Fuzz Tones when they have a gig. Generally I like all kinds of music, depending on the place or event, except for free jazz.

Best tip for people thinking of moving to Phuket?
When moving here I would suggest to rent first and find the best and most suitable location on the island before buying property or start building a house.
Politeness and smiles are good ways to make friends and get the right information and recommendations.
Rudeness and arrogance doesn’t get you anywhere in Thailand especially when you have to deal with officials. So, keep on smiling even though some things or procedures might appear unfamiliar.

Person you admire the most in the world?
People who have found inner peace and happiness, no matter what their life circumstances are. To achieve that state of mind is very difficult and takes a lot of effort.

Where on the island would you take someone on a first date?
Since I have been with my partner for six years now I couldn’t really say where I would take a first date. I remember when we first met I had invited him and his daughter to Banana Island close to Rawai. We went there on a long tail boat and had a great day snorkelling and feeding the fish.

Favourite place to be on the island?
Even though there are a lot of beautiful places on Phuket, my favourite place is my home in Thalang. I live close to Ton Sai Waterfall, very secluded and peaceful, we have five wonderful dogs (adopted from Soi Dog) and we are surrounded by great wildlife.



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