Phuket, Thailand: Holiday Bliss
Trip Start Jul 28, 2013
76Trip End Feb 06, 2014
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Air Astana was ok but can't say I would actively seek out to fly with them again. The seats were terribly uncomfortable with little to no legroom. We also both thought it strange that none of the flight attendants spoke much English. First time I've ever been on a flight where that's been the case.
We took off at the glorious hour of 0130 Saturday morning (after a slight delay) and landed bangkok 0900. Had just enough time to change onto Bangkok Air (very good), grab a holiday Singha and Krispy Kreme donut before departing for Phuket at 1230 which touched down at 1330.
On getting off the flight we were hit by the wonderfully pungent smell of Thailand indicating winter was long gone and summer had arrived. Opted for a mini bus in lieu of a taxi. Quick, easy and marginally less dangerous than most of our Central Asian journeys. Met four ladies from England (around our parents young spritely age) who were backpacking around Thailand. They were having a great time and keen to share their adventures. When we pulled into Patong one of them said "Oooh this doesn't look like the quiet place I imagined. Perhaps I should have done some research". Here I'm thinking - "Mate I'm at least half your age and can assure you this is not a quiet place. We're getting out of here as quickly as we can".
We stayed at Amata Hotel which, compared to all of our accommodation so far, was beautiful!! Massive room and bathroom, mini bar, free water, English TV channels, linen that actually fit the bed and didn't come off half way through the night leaving you to sleep on a dirty mattress. Heaven. On top of that it had a roof top pool and one by reception. Yup, I think I'm going to like it here.
Not having long in Phuket we ventured out straight away. Nicer place than I imagined with shops and bars galore. Bright coloured trainers, flip flops a plenty, bikini's, board shorts, sun dresses, jewellery, wooden lamps, sunglasses. A seemingly endless chain of enjoyment - until you discovered everything was exactly the same so you need only go to a few.
The beach was one long stretch of deck chairs, jet ski rentals, massage beds and fruit stands. Not what I would call paradise but I'm sure plenty do. With a pool at the hotel we didn't even dip our toes in. Figure Phuket was for shops and nightlife, the islands for beaches.
We ended up befriending two girls from Melbourne, Megan & Emma, over a few buckets at a hot pink VW camper van. It was opposite a massive cave of debauchery with he/she's thrusting on stripper poles in some rather unsavoury outfits so we laughed at that for a while before turning our attention to the street before us - Bangla - one of Phuket's main bar strips. With all the weird and wonderful people walking around it was easy to play spot the dirty old man with tiny wee Thai girl or which couple had the best matching outfit. Megan had never been into an ice bar so on seeing one of those we went in and got chatting to a man in a polar bear suit. She had also never been to a ping pong show and well... when in Thailand. Amazing what those girls can do with a ping pong or dart. To finish the night Sam and I watched the Australia v Wales rugby match at an Aussie Bar. Good result although I've no idea how we managed to stay awake until 2:30am as we were close to being awake for 44 hours. Sleep that night in our big comfy bed was a wonderful thing!!
I'm sure we could have slept until mid afternoon but with so much to see and so little time we were up by 10am, straight into our bathers and down by the pool. What a great way to start the day. We raced around the streets purchasing items of necessity - yes, we do need 6 new pairs of flipflops between us. Found a really lovely outside food court where you could choose from an array of meat or seafood for Pad Thai's or sauced up wok numbers which were cooked before you. Never ending options for fresh fruit smoothies - so good!
Our second night was slightly more subdued than the first. Whilst Sam watched the Man U v Tottenham game I marvelled at some ravishing ladies (questionable) with legs up to the armpits in minuscule glittery numbers and huge feathery headdresses. "You want photo, you want photo? Ok then (all smiles). Now give me money". Quite incredible the number of tourists who actually sought out these beauties to have their photo taken. If that's not your cup of tea then you can always pose with a giant lizard or adorable Furby lookalike Loris. Any sign of police the men dash for a side alley whilst stuffing the poor little creatures under their shirts.
We went to what looked like a nice restaurant for a disappointingly average meal. Not sure I've ever had dried out, tough steamed snapper before but it is possible and not nice. Shame as I was so looking forward to it. At least with our trip moving into the islands I'm sure there will be many more opportunities.
Mini Bus: Airport to Hotel THB 180 ea (GBP 3.40)
Hotel: Amata Resort, Patong Beach GBP 40 per night excl. breakfast