Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
20.02.2012 - 26.02.2012 34 °C
Wow, so after 2 days of traveling ( and I thought flying was meant to be the fastest way!) I arrived in Phuket on the Tuesday night.
Since backpacking flying from place to place across Thailand has been my only must. I did try the long bus journey once from Koh Lanta back up to Bangkok but 19hours (in total) against 1hour is not a fair competition!
As it was my first day in Phuket I decided to find the nearest beach I could. This turned out to be Patong beach. WOW!!
Phuket has mixed reveiws and now I understand why. Patong beach is quite possibly one of the grimmest places I've been to or maybe its just at the top of the list of the world's worst beaches!
You can't actually see the sand on the beach as if filled with rows and rows of sun loungers (of which you have to pay to sit in) and on top of the sun loungers the vast majority are obeast, old, leather skinned Europeans! It was more like a seen you would expext to find in Benidorm! I couldn't actually understand why they were still smothering themselves in tanning oil as I don't think they could have got any browner if they tried!
To have reached any of the other beaches on the island I would have needed to have got a taxi but as I was quite tired from 2 days of travel I decided I would stay (on the basis that I found a sun longer as far away from the crowds as possible.) On the plus side I did have a beach boy who would fetch me water and food and move my parasol each time in line with the moving sun.
Gazillions of sun loungers
Beach Grime - actually holding his hands out into the air to capture more sun!
On Thursday I booked up my trips for the Friday and Saturday and then for the rest of the day I decided to head to another beach in the opposite direction hoping it may be a better offering. I decided to try and walk in 34 degree heat thinking 5KM was not far (turns out it is!) (It looked close on the map!) I was lucky as I stopped to ask a Thai lady who was parked up on her scooter at the side of the road how far I had left before I would reach the beach? She said quite far and to jump on the back of her scooter and she would drive me. This was very kind, I tried to get my purse out once we arrived but before I could she said no, no and had spead off. I was lucky because after that I had to pay for a taxi to get back. My lonely plannet guide warns about the 'Taxi Maffia' in Phuket -all the taxis have a set rate which is stupidly high, so you can't barter down.
The beach I went to was Karon beach much of a muchness, very touristy which I'm not looking for at all on this trip. However it did get nicer as I walked across to the east side of the beach.
I was glad when Friday arrived as I was going on my day trip to James Bond Island! I had been looking forward to this trip since arriving in Thailand as I'm a massive James Bond Fan. It's the only film that will ever make me say to my friends,' does anyone wanna go to the cinema?'
First off we took a long tail boat out through the river as we were heading to some caves to do a little canoeing.
The journey to reach the caves was quite beathtaking. It was so peacfull speading along in the boat in the open green water looking at the scenery.
I got the best seat as I was sat at the front of the boat and next to the tour guide who always give you extra facts and information.
Once arriving at the caves we got into cannoes. I was sharing with a Norweigen named Estevan who was travling around Thailand too. However he didnt like to talk very much. I would have liked to have steared the canoe but we already had a Thai steerer. Our Thai friend then told us both to lie flat in the canoe as we were going through a tiny hole in the cave so before I knew it I had my head firmly in Estevan's crotch! I was lucky I was sat up front as otherwise it would have been the other way round!
It looks larger in the pic, but it was a tight squeeze
It was then on to James Bond Island. The scene is from the film, 'The Man With The Golden Gun' when 007, played by Roger Moore is about to fight Scaramanga!
I found a couple on the beach and got chatting to them as we were the only people to do the famous gun pose! They were pretty fun so I had wished they were on my boat as appose to Estevan! The trip is amongst one of my favourite trips so far.
Having spent time on the island we next headed over to a Muslem fishing village for lunch - but it just looked like a normal Thailand restaurant with a gift market at the back of the restaurant. It was here that I finally decided to buy some Thai Pants - which I l have been wearing a lot!
The final stop of the day was a monkey cave. Many monkeys outside the cave and inside the cave many Budda statues. I saw a fortune wheel inside the cave so popped a coin in, this was my fortune, - im pretty happy with it as the Russian girl who did it along side me got a harder fortune!
Saturday I was touring the island of Phuket and as soon as I got on the bus I met some Australian boys, Adrian ,19 and Jarrod, 20 they are both from Melbourne and this was their first time overseas. They reminded me of a Jedward!
Jarrod and Adrian
The first stop was to visit a veiwpoint of the whole the island, I could see some of the beaches I had been on a few days earlier.
Whislt we were at the veiwpoint I randomly held some big birds! Thai Eagles.
He/she was pretty heavy
We then visited ' The Big Buddha'. The buddha was build to celebrate the King's birthday and was built is Phuket because this in Number 1 for Thai's and Tourists. It's around 45meters high and is still being built. They think it will be about 4 years more untill its finished. We then followed on to see a few more Temples....
One of my favourite visits was to the cashew nut factory where I possibly ate enough cashews for life! There were so mant different flavours, my top 3 were, BBQ, Salted and Sour Cream and Cheese.
5 minuites down the road we arrived at the honey factory, Adrian, Jarrod and I were all looking forward to this as we were thinking there would be big pots of honey and lots to taste.... but no honey instead chocolate honey covered mangos?!, honey ice cream, honey soap and honey body scrub. No facotry or museum : (
Right before our last stop of the day we randomly got taken to an uber expensive GEM Store! It was a very random place, I dont know if they thought we were all going to start buying expensive gems?!
I was quickly asked to put my camera away
That lead on to finally the last stop of the day which was Phuket's weekend market - I brought my trashy Thaialnd t-shirt and then we ate lots of street food!
Classic aviators print - best pick from a bad bunch of T-shirts
On Sunday I was leaving for Koh Samui, this was a looooooong bus/boat trip (as it was a day boat and bus I took it as appose to flying)
Bye, bye Phuket!