Saturday, 27 August 2016

Week 19.1 - Phuket

Making our way from Vietnam back to Thailand took 11 hours, the flights were short but the checking in and waiting times in-between were long. We checked out of Happy Moon guesthouse at 6 am and checked into Kata Villa at 5 pm. After a smooth check-in (I breezed through security with a razor in my bag this time) and our last, last bowl of pho we boarded the plane in Hanoi bound for Bangkok. This flight was mainly uneventful and arrived ahead of schedule, which would of been great if Bangkok was our last destination, but for us it just meant more waiting at Bangkok’s DMK airport.

Last time we were at DMK we flew to Siem Reap and thought that the airport was a massive shit hole, turns out the side for internal flights is a lot fancier, with plenty of dining options and a huge, shiny duty free…you take care of your own Bangkok. Though the food left little to be desired, it was Western option after Western option, so we committed the ultimate sin and headed to Mc.Donalds, this time we both paid for it for 24 long hours!

We flew to Phuket with Nok air, now I’m not sure what Nok is and Google just tells me something about currency, but the planes were made to look like birds and everyone’s uniform had a bird beak on…which left me a little confused. However, on this flight we were in luck, it’s like the people at Nok knew that we’d been to Vietnam and had been cramped on their mini buses and trains so they gave us the ultimate treat and sat us in the emergency exit row, or as I like to call it, the stretch your legs out, don’t get cramp and have a nice time row. It even came with a little muffin, I just wish the pilots landing could have made me as happy.

Flying over Phuket we were both shocked to see how green it is, it was a beautiful site in the middle of the bright blue sea. It’s a shame really that once our taxi had taken us up and round the mountain that we got a closer look at Phuket, as this is when the novelty wore off. Amongst the shopping centres, Ikea’s and KFC’S are posters for dancing elephants, monkey shows and Tiger sanctuaries where they promise that they don’t drug the animals, even though the picture shows an image of a little girl cuddling a baby tiger, yes I’m sure it’s had no sedation at all. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there, next were the Western bars with their drinks offers and hundreds upon hundreds of tourists in the Chang and Tiger vests…you sure look cool guys!

Though we have picked a great hotel, Kata Villa has great staff, a clean swimming pool and is located less than two minutes from the beach, so at least we will be able to top up our tans and swim in the ocean and get some much needed rest after an action packed month. As soon as we’d checked in we dumped our bags and jumped straight in the pool, the benefit of being here in the low season meant that we had it to ourselves. 

I slept for a good eleven hours on our first night in an extremely comfy bed, and the next morning I woke feeling refreshed and ready to hit the beach. Kata beach is very busy, like Nha Trang in Vietnam, but the sand is soft and the sea cool and crystal blue. Kyle was in his element as the waves are huge and come crashing into the beach, plus there were surfboards available to rent. But as his tummy was still a little off he watched the locals and sized up the waves ready for when he was feeling better.

As the tide came in we made our way back to the hotel and cooled off in the pool before a rain storm set in. As the weather was a little overcast for most of the day Kyle thought he’d brave the day without suncream, more fool him coz it was piss funny seeing his red  face and chest later that afternoon when we were chilling in the room. Don’t think he found it quite as funny though, must have given him flashbacks to the bad sunburn we got in Sihanoukville, Cambodia!

Tea that evening was a delicious Thai meal, one of the reasons we came back to Thailand was the food and this did not disappoint. Over dinner we enjoyed some live music from a local band, they must have been good because Kyle let me leave a tip.

The heavy rain continued all night and into late afternoon the next day, so we spent the morning planning the rest of out time in Thailand and booking a flight to Penang, Malaysia. Once the rain stopped we took a walk around Phuket. Similar to most places in Thailand, the streets are lined with clothes stalls, bars and tattoo shops with people calling you in left, right and centre. Though we did stumble upon another beach with a calmer looking sea, so that will be our next port of call.

Thankfully, the next morning brought clear skies and bright sunshine so we made our way to the alternative beach and set up camp. It wasn’t long until Kyle got restless, so he hired a surf board and swam out to sea. The waves looked rough and it was hard work for him to swim out, but he was actually better than I expected, though I did get bored of watching after 20 minutes and went back to sunbathing. It was a baking hot day so we went back to the hotel for some food and a break from the sun.  Now I’m not a strong swimmer so we’ve been spending the late afternoons getting some practice in at the hotel pool, I don’t think I’m getting any better but my stomach muscles are killing…must mean that a six pack is on the way through.

Later that evening we hit the shops, I’d seen a pair of shorts I wanted but nobody wanted to barter and the prices were just too high. This seems to be the case in Phuket even the food and drinks are expensive, which is surprising for Thailand and a huge shock after the low prices of Vietnam. Looks like Kyle will be tightening those purse strings again! He needn’t think I’m staying in any fan rooms though.

Our last day in Phuket has been spent swimming, surfing and sunbathing…we got lucky with the extra hot weather today and no showers. Kyle’s been a little moody, the surf wasn’t as good as yesterday apparently.  This evening we will have to pack, again, and tomorrow see’s one of my favourite early rises to catch the ferry to Ao Nang, I’m just praying that the sea is calmer than it has been!

Love Carrie xxx

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