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Thursday 15 December 2011, 10:44AM

Jamie Monk, born in the UK, has lived in Phuket since 1999.

Jamie Monk, born in the UK, has lived in Phuket since 1999.


Dive shop manager and writer of blog site Jamie’s Phuket, as seen every week in The Phuket News.


How long have you lived on the island and why did you move here?

I came to Phuket in 1999 looking for work as a dive instructor, and did not plan to stay more than a year or two, but the diving was great, and then I met my wife who was also working in a dive shop... and we’re still here!


What is best thing about living here?

 Phuket is a great place – not perfect, but it’s easy to avoid the bits I don’t like (Patong!). There is excellent local food but its also easy to find any other kind of food if I feel the need, many beautiful places to visit in Phuket and nearby. Good place to raise a family, good schools, medical facilities and so on.


What do you do to relax?

 Explore Phuket! We like to find new places, either in Phuket or in the area. Just last week we visited a national park that we’d not been to before, just a three hour drive from home. And then some days, relax means stay at home, play with the kids, do the gardening, and head to a nice quiet beach for sunset, a few beers and tasty food.


What hobbies or sports are you interested in?

 Work and family take up most of my time. My hobby for the last few years has been blogging and photography. The aim of starting my Phuket blog five years ago was to show people that there is a lot more to Phuket than beaches and obvious tourist attractions. It’s nice to be able to explore, the whole family enjoys new experiences. A couple of weeks ago for example we took the ferry to Koh Yao Noi and rented scooters for the day, kids loved it, great day out.

Sports – well, I don’t participate nowadays, used to run and cycle a lot... enjoy watching football, rugby, cycling.


Favourite food or dish?

Thai Residential

 Thai food seems to have endless variety. I love yam kung seab (dried shrimp salad), nam prik kung seab (a dried shrimp spicy sauce), kuay jap noodles (noodle soup), tom yum, massaman curry, kana moo grob (fried crispy pork with vegetable), anything with moo grob (crispy pork) really... chicken with cashews, yam tua pu (spicy mixed vegetable), hor mok (fish curry wrapped in banana leaf). Also love a fried egg sandwich! And mango with sticky rice. I eat a lot more Thai food than Western, but a burger now and then is needed or an Indian curry or a pasta dish... and the occasional English breakfast.


What kind of music are you into?

 Pretty much anything except boom-boom dance music. In my car right now is Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Paul Simon... I like blues, I can even handle a lot of new pop music (have to, since the kids like it). Anything from Frank Sinatra to Led Zeppelin.


What is the best tip you have for people moving to Phuket?

 Phuket is as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. You can live the fancy ex-pat life, or something a bit more local. Phuket is a big place, get out and explore. There’s more here then meets the eye! Read my blog!


What is the funniest thing that has happened to you while living on the island?

 Hmm... I am not one of those people who stores up “funny” anecdotes. The best thing that has happened – meeting my wife and having 2 wonderful kids.


The person you admire the most and why?

 My mum. She’s battled cancer three times, has been at death’s door and is more active than ever. Mum and dad are coming over here again in September. It’ll be exhausting! I like to have some days at home, but she really likes to get out and do something every single day!


If you could come back as any other person who would it be and why?

 Part of me says .. I’d like to be my son... I envy the excitement in those six-year-old eyes. Life is new and full of surprises.


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