We planned on getting up at like half 7 this morning so I could get showered and we could get ready and get the bus to Phuket town but the travelling really seemed to be catching up on us now we had stopped and relaxed. We had literally been non stop for the last two week, always doing something and walking for miles every day, that it had just caught up on us here. We didn't get the best of sleep last night- the air con is too cold as it's right over the bed- but when we turn it off it gets too warm-so that kept waking us up! Then the bed is too hard and I just couldn't get comfy and Nath just found it hard to get to sleep! His stomach had been hurting pretty bad yesterday and today, not sure why, but he isn't feeling his best. We were both knackered this morning so decided to have a bit of a sleep in and got up at half 9.
We got ready, stopped at the supermarket for some breakfast and snacks on the way, and did the massive trek to the beach front for the bus. We got the 12 o'clock bus to Phuket town, which took about 45mins. It was sweltering heat and Naths belly wasn't too good again so were glad to get there! The bus is a big truck with 3 benches in the back, which cost us 30 bhat (60p) each, so we couldn't complain. Plus I quite liked the transport in Thailand, they just didn't care and it is always just a vehicle you could just hop in the back off- never any health and safety involved like but it was always fun and an experience!
When we got off the bus in the centre (just a roundabout), it pretty much looked the same as Patong, just a little more run down. A guy came over to us and started showing us places on a map to go- we just thought he was been helpful- but then he asked us about using his taxi to visit all the places for 200 bhat. He said that we could stay at each place as long as we wanted and it would only cost us 200. It seemed a little fishy but before we knew it we were in the back of his taxi and on our way to god knows where!
The first stop was to a shop with the best souvenirs- so he told us- but it actually turned out to be very fancy jewellery and ornament shop. The staff followed us around the whole shop trying to get us to buy something. Nath would entertain them but it made me feel awkward! We didn't buy anything and left when we had had a nosy around, staff in tail!
The next stop was to the biggest Buddha statue in Phuket, which was lovely. We went up a few flights of stairs to the big golden Buddha, which we had seen on all the photos and trip advertisements in Patong. Whilst I was waiting at the bottom of the Buddha for Nath to use the toilet a monk approached me and asked where I was from. I told him England and then he just kept repeating England England in a funny voice, whilst doing something on his phone. I just laughed away, he then told me that I was very beautiful and turned his phone around to get a picture of me. I didn't know what to do so I just smiled!! He then looked at the photo and decided it wasn't good enough so took another one whilst telling me to smile!! It was hilarious!! He showed me the photos and chose the best one and got rid of the other one, saying I just keep one! That was a new one anyway..a monk taking a picture of me at the temple!! Too funny!
Next to the Buddha there was also a massive temple. It had massive grand stairs leading up to it with brightly coloured dragons on the banisters and gold lining on all the decorations. The temple was so beautiful and by far the best we had been to. All the outside was carefully decorated gold and red and the inside was painted with different pictures on each wall to do with heaven and hell. It had such detail!
After the temple he asked us if we wanted to go to the butterfly garden or the museum but we didn't, we just asked to go to the market. He said he needed to make two stops to get his tickets but we didn't need to buy anything, could just look, then we would go to the market.
The first stop was an aquarium that was in the largest jewellery store in the world- apparently. We got a free drink and had a look around at the fish. Then we were lead to another building, which was the factory, where we could walk around and see people making the jewellery. It was pretty weird and we didn't really know what was going on, we just kept getting ushered in different directions! We didn't know if we were suppose to be paying for things or what was going on, but looked around anyway and then met the driver outside.
The next stop he needed was at another jewellery shop, where we did the same thing of walking around, the staff following us trying to get us to buy something, which we didn't. We kind of understood then that he must have some sort of deal with the shops that he brought us to, to see if we would buy anything. The same happened on a trip in India.
Next he took us to the market, which was a shopping centre and not of much interest. I don't think there was too much to do in Phuket town as all the taxi drivers asked you the same thing about the Buddha or shopping- the same trip which we had done. We had a look around the shops and then went and got a mcflurry from McDonands- shameful I know!
The driver then dropped us back at the bus station where there was already a bus waiting to bring us back to Patong. The taxi did only cost 200 bhat and he never tried to charge us anything more. He was happy to drive us around for as long as we wanted and stop at all the places we wanted for as long as we wanted, all for £4! Our British nature clearly led us to think that because it was so cheap, it was too good to be true and there must have been a catch somewhere! But Thai people have been nothing but nice and honest and always willing to help. That taxi would have been a good part of his daily wage and he was grateful to us. We were more grateful to him mind and it made us appreciate the work they do for the money they earn compared to our country!
Half way through the bus ride back to the beach, the bus stopped outside a school which had just finished and loads of school children piled on the already full bus. All the seats were already taken so the guy who was ushering everybody on and taking the money just kept ushering down the isle so they were all stood up squashed in a line down the isle of the bus. The bus seemed to struggle to move very quickly, but it kept stopping at the bus stops and ushering more people on- I don't know where he was putting them!
The bus had that much weight on it and they weren't the best buses anyway that it struggled so much to get up a hill. The bus was literally crawling at 1mph and the hill just kept getting steeper. The bus even stopped in the middle of the hill to change gear and we thought we might roll back. Me and Nath thought it was the funniest thing and that the bus would never make it! It was tilting to one side, depending on which way the bend on the hill was, but nobody else on the bus was phased at all! I literally cried with laughter!
When we got off the bus at the beach back in Patong we went for a mooch and found a nice bar with happy hour cocktails and stopped there for a while and had a couple of cocktails. After we went for a walk to try find our souvenirs and I managed to eventually find a bracelet with Thailand wrote on it! We had a couple of beers from the shop and sat on the steps of the shop on Bangla Road and watched as the road got busier and busier.
The street was lined with touts and people trying to get you into the Ping pong shows- at first I actually thought it was a ping pong show!! Seriously! We sat for a while and got a snack and watched the crazy different people going by! There were so many white men with Thai woman, from very young men to very old. It was clearly very common!
We then found a little street market with seats and grabbed some dinner and more beer. It started to rain a little then so we went and found a bar, though the rain didn't last long at all! We stayed in the same bar for a couple of hours, which was owned by an Australian man and he kept doing free shots for the whole bar! Once we ran out of money, which didn't last nearly as long as we thought, we went to the bank and found a different bar. We seemed to find the seediest bar on the street, though they were all pretty seedy, and got a bucket. We really didn't like the bar so we downed the bucket- which clearly isn't a good idea as they are very strong!! The buckets just put us on another level!! We watched some street performers for a while and then found another bar at the top of the street. We sat in this bar until the end of the night and played connect four which each other and against the bar staff- who were stupidly good- they knew what they were doing as the loser had to buy the drinks! One woman tried to rob us and get us to pay 400 bhat for losing but we didn't have any of that!!
The night went pretty quickly and it was soon after 3am so we found a motorbike taxi to bring us back to our accommodation for 100 bhat. The ride back was really funny with all 3 of us on the scooter- plus we got lost too! It was a good end (and not dangerous at all) to a fab night on a crazy weird street!! Glad we had the experience of Phukets craziness!