No hot water, no electricity...

Trip Start Jul 30, 2010
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32
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Trip End May 29, 2011


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Where I stayed
Tenta Nakara

Flag of Thailand  , Phuket,
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vyvyan: [Ripping up the in to The Good Life] "NO, NO, NO, NO! WE ARE NOT WATCHING THE BLOODY GOOD LIFE! BLOODY, BLOODY, BLOODY! I HATE IT! IT'S SO BLOODY NICE! FELICITY "TREACLE" KENDAL, AND RICHARD "SUGAR FLAVOURED SNOT" BRIERS! WHAT DO THEY DO KNOW? CHOCOLATE BLOODY BUTTON ADS, THAT'S WHAT! THEY'RE NOTHING BUT A COUPLE OF REACTIONARY STEREOTYPES, CONFIRMING THE MYTH THAT EVERYONE IN BRITAIN IS A LOVABLE MIDDLE CLASS ECCENTRIC, AND I! HATE! THEM!"

The Young Ones, Series 2, Show 4


For Vyvyan read Ian. For the Good Life substitute 'Paul McCartney & Wings'. I've been trapped on a island resort that plays 70s music and esp anything by that cheeky little scouser Paul.

There's Necker Island and there's Nakha Island. One is owned by Richard Branson and is a luxury resort in the Caribbean. The other is a dot of land just east of the bigger island of Phuket and has a resort that eschews luxuries such as hot water and electricity and air conditioning. No prizes for guessing which one we were staying at.

We’d had long discussions about staying at Tenta Nakara even before we started the trip and I’d finally given in based on nice photos of the place and the fact it was cheap – about £28pd. Claire would say that I’m biased against the place and she may be right.

After being met at the airport – I assume to make sure we didn’t go anywhere else – and a quick boat trip we made it to Nakha Yai Island and I made a promise to myself to keep an open mind about Tenta Nakara.

The first impressions were very positive – the place looks idyllic. The beach is long and sandy. The sea clean and a turquoise colour reminiscent of the Perhentian Islands, the tents on stilts are roomy and airy (mainly because instead of windows you have mossie nets).  The bar/restaurant/reception is quaint and rustic and the staff friendly and helpful. And thankfully it had free WiFi. Some of the time. 

These were all the positives.  The negatives? The music for starters and then there's no hot water. Call me soft but I hate showering in cold water. I do wonder how difficult it would have been to install solar panels to heat up some water. No electricity in any of the tents. The only electricity is between 6pm and 10pm in the restaurant area. You need a torch or a gas lantern to find your way back up the steps at night. The restaurant area is built on stilts above a swamp or 'mosquito breeding ground’ as it is also known.  The food is okay, a bit better than you can find in your average Thai restaurant back in the UK but nothing to get excited about. Had better in the Chiang Mai cookery school (Claire's food rather than my plates of poison). 

A couple of days in with the afternoons being lost to heavy rain the novelty of no electricity to power a lightbulb to read by was wearing off. The mornings on the beach were nice but the snorkelling was rubbish and the beach stretches out so far you have to walk a fair distance into the sea before it is deep enough to swim in. Also the mossies were becoming tiresome and seemingly indifferent to DEET in their search for blood.
 
Also a couple of days in we agreed that a flight to Bangkok immediately followed by the flight to Sydney feeling grotty from only having cold showers probably wasn’t ideal and we decided to head to Phuket. We'd stayed 5 day so we didn't feel too bad about moving on. Via Trip Advisor we found a place in Cape Panwa which didn’t look too bad, not as individual or as picturesque as Tenta Nakara but they did at least have electricity and hot water all day long.

The restaurant was virtually dead on our first night with the staff displaying the usual disinterested SE Asian levels of service. The next morning we were surprised to see so many guests at b/fast - perhaps they'd arrived in the dead of night. From what we could tell most were grim-faced, chain-smoking Russians with their overweight wives (yes, I know I can't really point the finger on being overweight). At times it's felt like we're the unwitting guests at a bikini-party for the 1974 Russian womens shot-put team.
 
With that gruesome image now planted (sorry no photos!) let's move onto Phuket old town. We took the hotel's shuttle to Phuket which dropped us off by a modern mall. The old town was a 15min walk. It wasn't worth it. The old town was grotty, faded with peeling façades, and mostly closed, perhaps because it was a Sunday. 

A short visit to Patong - where we did finally find somewhere decent to eat - rounded our trip to Phuket off. Patong is grim, it's just row after row of tourist tat, western cafes, massage parlours and 'Irish' pubs. It's just crap - there's no other description for it. 

Almost made me wish I was back at Tenta Naraka with its cold water showers and relentlessly hungry mosquitoes. Almost

Next destination: Sydney, Australia 
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