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PHUKET: Settling down in a new place can sometimes be unnerving, but it’s usually outweighed by all the little things that attracted you to it in the first place. I’m drawn to Phuket because it’s very multi-faceted and there’s no lack of activities to enjoy, no matter what time of year it is and regardless of whether you’re alone or with a group of friends.

One of my favorite places to visit on the weekend is the Anthem Wakepark in Cherng Talay. I am definitely not sporty, but this is one activity you can enjoy even from the sidelines.

The park has such a vibrant atmosphere that it’s hard not to get into the spirit of things. It’s exciting to watch people zooming by in the water, performing back-flips and ramp jumps around you. What’s more impressive is that all kinds of people seem to enjoy it – kids, adults, amateurs, professionals – you are bound to encounter them all. Add to that a delicious and reasonably priced (yes, really) menu, and you have the perfect recipe for a Sunday afternoon.

Another enjoyable weekend activity is the Naka weekend market in Wichit. This is a preferred weekend haunt for tourists, locals and expats alike. Granted, the crowds may not be everybody’s cup of tea and havoc ensues if it rains, but the market has a charm about it that makes it a worthwhile visit, particularly the large variety of street food on offer.

And if you’re a bargain seeker, a dozen rows of shops await your patronage, with a variety of clothes, shoes and knick-knacks for sale.

My favorite part of the day, however, is my morning commute. I live roughly 20 minutes from where I work, and the daily ride from Kathu to Koh Kaew is invigorating, yet serenely beautiful. By taking the back route through the Loch Palm Golf Course, not only do I avoid the bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic of the bypass road, but I also enjoy a stunning view of Phuket’s hills, trees and open roads. If anything has got you under the weather, I would highly recommend getting on a bicycle or motorbike and riding through the scenic parts of the island.

I aim to learn something new about the island every day, and it has not disappointed me so far.

— Sahar Aftab Paliwala