Blog : Phuket
Like the true dedicated sunbathers that we are, on the 2 hour ferry over to Phuket from Koh Phi Phi, we sat on the top deck in our bikinis (Al even in her bandeau and knickers, good effort girl!!) to catch some rays and not waste the hottest part of the day whilst on the boat! Oh my god it was sweaty though! At first i wasn't even sure i could manage it but i didn't want to sit on my tod! We thought once the boat started moving wed be alright, what with the breeze and everything but i swear it didn't even reach us on the top level and so we sat and cooked ourselves like bacon in a hot pan!! Arriving to Phuket, we pulled into a pretty rundown looking port and hearded like cattle to a car park and had minibus numbers shouted at us. It was so difficult to find number ten, i mean wouldn't it have been logical to all sort of park in the same area and maybe just maybe in number order? Too much to ask from Thailand me thinks! Oh and driver nine and driver eleven cant even speak english and have no idea what were asking about... Mythical minibus number ten it seemed! Then we found it, a pimp white minibus with no number in the window...helpful. And already full, doubly helpful! Some Israeli looking dudes got turfed out rather unceremoniously and we climbed in, sort of not giving a s*** really and just wanting a shower as being covered in suncream, sweat and salt isn't normally the most pleasant! It was about an hours transfer to Patong in Phuket, where we were staying and i was say in the front seat next to the craziest driver in the world so literally had to hold the seat to stop me flying through the windscreen! We pulled up at a rather quiet area of town, compared to bits wed just driven through and were told our hostel was at the end of a side road, so we backpacked up and off we went. It was there and bonus they'd booked out the dorm already (even though we booked way in advance on hostel world, so they knew we were coming!) so we got given a three bed hotel room, which considering what we have been staying in, it was absolute luxury, warm water, comfy beds, cable TV even! We all showered, kate cut Als hair and then we wandered back to the road wed been dropped off on and sniffed out somewhere to get a bit of dinner. The first thing we noticed was the massive price hike between here and everywhere else wed been! After dismissing the first restaurant we saw for being too expensive we then ended up going back to it as one of the cheaper ones we could find! I had a quick and a bit unsatisfying green thai and then we all went back to bed and fell asleep as we were so tired!
The next morning we were up early.... Tom was arriving to the airport and kate would be collecting him and they'd be on their way does romantic two week break together and Al had woken up and decided she was going to get the overnight bus to Bangkok and then to Chang Mai with Kelly and CJ - some of the Liverpool gang, so we had lots to sort out. We checked out of our hotel as we deemed the dorm too expensive for me to stay in, one night on my own and walked through patong, backpacks on, in the heat of the day, looking for the others guest house using the directions "with your back to the big macdonalds, walk up the road with the markets on each side" which was a bit tricky as maccies and markets are both pretty common in thailand!! We popped into every half mangy looking guesthouse and hotel we could see along the way as well, for me, so i could find a place to stay that night. At one point, going to Phuket airport with Kate felt like a tempting idea and just sleeping on the floor before Bee's arrival the next day but eventually i found a little place with loads of hostelworld and tripadvisor stickers all over the reception desk and that didnt look at me like a moron trying to get a cheap bed for one on the start of Chinese New Year! It was cheap, clean and best of all only two other people in the eight bed room so i was pretty happy... The girls managed to find Kelly and CJs guest house, Al booked onto the same bus to Bangkok as the others and Late managed to negotiate herself a slightly discounted taxi ride to the airport later that afternoon.
Having all shed our backpacks, mine at my place and the girls in the travel agent, we went on a little walk round the local fruit and meat market with was a bit of an assault on your senses. The smells of meat were really overpowering if you got close although wed decided to stay firmly on the fruit side, when i brought a quarter watermelon we got dangerously close to a dried fish stall and pretty much all ran out gagging! Kate and I went for a wander around the big shopping centre which was nice as it was fully air conned and we looked for placed that i could go for a wax later. We wandered down to the beach and the famous Bengal road in central Patong. We agreed that Al had made the right decision getting out of Phuket asap as it really wasnt our fave place to put it politely! Everywhere was so expensive, super sleezy, with gogo girl bars and sex clubs everywhere and dirty old men with thai floozys hanging off their arms...nope, not for me. The beach was rammadammadingdong as well, with loungers lined up so close together you'd have your head in someone else pit! After my banana and peanut butter pancake (actually v sickly) we wandered back to the guys guesthouse to begin the sad ceremony of saying goodbyes... Al boarded her bus first after lots of snuggles, love and strict instructions to be careful, have fun an not forget to eat! Then KV got in her little taxi to the airport and i stood and waved at the car until i couldn't see it any longer and then it was just me! All afternoon and evening to myself!
First i went back to my hostel and booked a seat on the shuttle bus to the airport. The lady at reception recommended that for a 2:30 flight i ought to be getting the 8am bus to be "on the safe side" - thats more anal than me (a heredited trait from my daddykins, to be ridiculously early to airports, always) and we settled on the 11:30, once id explained that i wasn't flying, but collecting Bee. It cost me 170Baht, a bonus considering the taxi back with Bee was closer to 1000Baht! I then took a wander back to the shopping centre and when looking at a massage house price list got pretty much accosted by a nice enough lady boy and told that Jenni or someone would take care of all my waxing woes and that Jenni was the thai lady to see... Some passing ozzy lady also told me that the place was run by a strict buddist so absolutely no funny business was allowed inside which made me feel more comfortable as i was lead away towards the little bed with curtains around them in the middle of an empty bazaar. Jenni or whoever was great though and after a lot of flap about the wax not being to hot and not redipping the sticks and all that hygiene bulls*** i felt settled, even if i did have four bed sheet curtains round me and fastened together with a couple of bulldog clips, inventive! After my waxing i had a wander around the little bazaar, which was bizzare, mainly because it was so empty and shopkeepers were laying on the floor watching TV with children sprawled all over their goods...odd! I then watched a bit of an impromptu breakdancing show by some young thai guys dressed up all gangsta in black hoodies and hats and what not but they were pretty good! And i had a look at all the eateries around the central square and figured id go for sushi as it looked relatively cheap and i hadn't had it for a while! It was pretty disappointing though, my veggie rolls were tiny and the veg tempura was rank, just battered and deep fat fried seaweed and one carrot :( although a nice Russian(?) lady who was eating alone was nice and we had a few chuckles through dinner together! When i got back to the dorm the practicalities of travelling alone and having not met any of the others due to be staying in the room hit me and i showered with my day sack in with me... What was i to do with my phone/camera/other things i don't put in the safes but that are valuable and normally would leave out as one of the girls is bound to be around! I washed my clothes from the day as they stunk and hung them to dry on the balcony. I watched the world go by on the balcony, had a nice chat with the mummatron and a chat to a girl in the dorm who came in about midnight. I also caught Bee in the transitiony bit of his flight, in Dubai airport and with wifi so we had a natter on text too which was nice! It was funny to think that whilst i was sleeping he had another flight to catch to come out and see me :)! I didn't sleep too great that night but i think perhaps it was because of my excitement and anticipation of seeing my boy after three months apart! I was up and showered by nine and put on some nice clothes after deliberating for ages and some slap to look presentable and i took my stuff downstairs and over the road to the Elvis tribute bar where i had fried egg and baked beans for breaky and a dead nice cup of earl grey :) i then trugged to 7/11 shop to get snacks and goodies as i didnt know a) what the airport could offer and b) how much he would have eaten already. I brought popcorn, coke, choco sticks, water, brownie cakes etc and then went to catch the bus to the airport, shaking like a leaf with excitement!
I had a bit of a mate at the airport as we were all dropped off at departures which to begin with i didnt realise so i Qed along with everyone else to have my bags scanned before entering the building, then to find that arrivals was the building beneath us so back out i went and tried to walk down the car ramp to access arrivals but got told no, i had to go back into departures and down in the lift. More Qing, even though i already had the security clearance stickers...gggrrrr! Downstairs i spoke to an attendant about booking a taxi and he sorted me out with a price and everything and said cone back to him after my boy had ariuved, so i just had to sit and wait. I put my ipod in, tried to write some blog, played games, looked through all my pictures, looked at the arrivals info board, checked the time. Literally only about five mins would have past having done all of that and i was sat twiddling my thumbs and for some reason, probably because i was feeling emotional anyway i was nearly bursting into tears every couple of mins, cringe! Girl on floor with backpack in airport, all dolled up and occasionally sobbing and cant sit still- i must have looked like a hopeless case, like someone had stood me up or something! Once his plane was showing landed i got up and started pacing, seriously the longest hour of my life! I was checking everyones luggage tags that i could see as they came out to see if they were airasia or from Bangkok but everyone coming out just had HHK or something, which took me about three days after to figure out was probably actually the code for Phuket airport! I thought it would be about half an hour between landing and seeing him so at half past two i was beginning to get figitey and the crying got more obvious! Some random bloke came up to me and started touching my hair which threw me off as well, bless him he was only trying to tell me that id hot a security sticker caught up in my pony tail but i though yes what a great way to welcome my boyfriend with another man appearing to be stroking my hair so leaping back and tearing half my hair out to remove the sticker i found a new spot to pace, closer to the arrivals door. Before i know it in being grabbed from behind and at first thinking it was that pesky man i turned around to see a face i recognised, it was my boy :) trust me to be standing at the wrong bloody entrance gate!! Aww relief spread all through me and like a narna i sobbed all over the place and started fussing immediately! Coke for energy, Carmex for chapped lips and a taxi straight to our hotel - a treat for such luxury! We were probably that really gross couple you can never tear your eyes from on the tube being so sloppy and lovey dovey but i really didn't care! I virtually sat on Bees lap for the whole hour and a bit journey to our hotel!!
When we arrived in Kata, where were were staying in Phuket, we went up a big hill to our hotel, Foto hotel, which was absolutely gorgeous, set into the hillside with a fantastic view over the valley and the sea. The hotel was full of vintage cameras and kooky decorations-just up our street and our room was giant! The size of a 20 man dorm!! With a bed that would fit six people in comfortably, hot water and a jacuzzi on the balcony and an infinity pool on the roof... Schaaaweeeet!! We both showered and napped before being more gooey and trading presents... Me long denim shorts, a beach sarong and flip flops and he a clothes parcel from mummsy, magazines (inc. look, my fave!) and a little portable speaker for my ipod! Genius boy! That evening we went for dinner and Bee did a good job of keeping his eyes open with matchsticks after a serious amount of travelling, time changing and no sleep! France to London in the middle of the night, a couple of hours at home in bed before London to Dubai at the very crack of dawn and then Dubai to thailand and bangkok airport one to bangkok airport two before another flight to Phuket and a taxi down to Kata, oh and jetlag too - Fairplay! We had a simple meal, which was more expensive than it should have been and nowhere near as nice but whatever i had my boy :) we slept well that night, although it did take a few minutes to adjust having someone else in the bed so having to share the duvet and not sleep in a star!
The next couple of days were a blurr of sunbathing at our rooftop swimming pool, (and peeing) nice restaurants for dinner, wine(!!), midnight thai massages -although Bee said his was more like being beaten up by a little thai lady- and bombing around on our little scooter that we rented for a couple of days. One morning we took it for a spin along the coast to see a bit more of kata and karon beach, which were both really nice but crammed full of sun loungers and kids :/ we did have one little incident on it, whereby Bee was turning it around and the throttle got stuck in the rev position so he jerked forwards across the road whilst desperately trying to break but he managed to skid the bike to a stop before hitting anything or falling off, very action man stylie! On the 13th we went to a very posh restaurant called mumma tris, where we had a delish bottle of wine and i had salmon which was yummy, we were super naughty and chowed down a pudding each too! We full on waddled home that night! It was nice to celebrate our anniversary together though, as we missed it being apart! And i certainly didnt want to do the cringe valentines day thing!
On valentines day we actually went on a really good boat trip. We had to get up at the crack of dawn ready for a 6:10am pick up! But wed done some 7/11 shopping the day before so had our breakfast and snacks for the boat. It was a two hour transfer from our hotel to the port which wasn't even in Phuket, it was on the Thailand mainland! We got on our speedboat having signed out masks and flippers etc and headed out for another hour or so to the first of the similian islands we were to visit, out in the andaman sea. The setting was absolutely beautiful, the sun was shining down, the water was crystal clear and sparkling and the beaches were fine white sand. I think it was the first real time Bee had ever really snorkelled so i was really looking forward to getting in the water with him to see his reactions! He was straight in and head under the water before id even shown him any of the snorkelling tips I've learnt over the years! The coral wasnt fantastic at the first stop but there were lots of shoals of fish, angel fish (which always remind me of my dad as they're his fave) parrot fish, which Bee really liked and a few "Gil" fish from finding nemo. We also saw a turtle which was really cool but it was being harangued by a Russian woman who kept trying to climb on top of it and jump the poor thing for a photo, so we left it alone! It was really nice to swim around holding someone's hand and point out done of the things i know about under the water or just cool things to see :) neither of us were very good at the sea sign lingo though!! At the next island we stopped for a basic lunch of cold chicken and vegetable curry with pineapple for pudding, which along with some crisps and biscuits stolen from the registration meeting that morning we were nice and full! We had a little lay on the beach before climbing some rocks out in the sea and filming some hello home videos. I sang happy birthday at full volume over and over as Bee tried to get a good take for me to send to mum! I must have looked like a complete fool but we decided that video messages from somewhere so beautiful were cooler than a boring postcard! We then went on a second snorkelling session after lunch but only a few people chose to join us... This was much better with really nice coral and loads of fish and pretty good visibility. Although both of our snorkels and mask that we picked up second time round leaked so we ended up staying close to the boat and just holding our breath but it was great and I saw quite a few fish id never seen before and i love looking at all of the coral! I think Bee really enjoyed it as well and in the way back to pick up the others that hadn't wanted to snorkel, all he could talk about were all the different types of fish he'd seen and what they were! We made friends with a Swedish man who had a hilarious accent who had come to visit his son over in Thailand and we chatted away about places to snorkel across the world and he reckoned the Philippines is top o his list so i would like to compare it to the Red Sea one day :) it was quite a long travel back to our hotel what with the boat and bus journeys and when we did finally get home at about half past seven in the evening we plonked ourselves in the balcony hot tub, watched the sunset and a movie on the laptop - it was heaven (apart from being eaten alive by mozzies!) For dinner we managed to find the one restaurant on the strip not covered with offensive Valentines day decs and so went in and i had Pad Thai (a kind of peanut and tofu stirfry) and Bee a pizza that looked incredible! We had to be home relatively early to pack for the following day as we were then transferring off Phuket to Koh Lanta, our next island stop-off. Obviously we did no packing when we got in about midnight ish and so a horrible 5:30am alarm was set once again and we were up packing backpacks and reminiscing on Bees trips round South America and Indonesia and how much he'd like to do it again... We caught the ferry from the port, which went to Phi Phi first, great so Bee could see the beautiful setting of the island without having to endure the chaos, which would not have been up his street! It was terrible weather over the sea as we crossed it and heading Kates advice having done the journey a few days earlier, we sat in the most sheltered position we could for fear of getting wet but by the end of the journey we were huddled on some steps under a little bit of shelter and people were literally lying on the floor inside to get out of the rain and crashing waves of the sea on all of the exposed decks. Bee cracked open a Chang and we embraces the drizzle that we were getting until we were both shivering and them we ventured under the deck to the big storage room and found two seats free, they were racing car style and right in front of a TV showing Mr Bean - couldn't have been more perfect!! From Phi Phi we changed boats and travelled for another hour or so to Koh Lanta, our next destination....