Three glorious Jet Star flights
Six Le Snacks
One Milky Way
One McSpicy Burger in Singapore
Forty five minutes in a van
Hello Patong, Phuket, Thailand
The jury is still out on Patong. It is what it is.
Locals vs tourists vs massages vs tailors vs Mc Donalds vs Starbucks vs lady boys vs saggy naked beach boobs vs resorts vs overpriced cupboards sold as rooms vs shopping malls all wrapped up in a giant glass ball of emotion.
Highlights of Patong include the man who owns Crown Inn, the guest house where we stayed and when Michael caught the ball in his mouth at the ping pong show. That last part didn’t happen but one of the many men selling ping pong shows had a good idea. Buddy, your homemade laminated ID tag on a lanyard does not make your ‘free entry’ ping pong show any more legitimate than the other 50 guys on the street. He was a thinker
Our big purchases include a hat for me (sun smarts on-ya!) and a genuine pair of Ray Ban sunnies for Michael. They only cost 100 baht (around 25 Thai Baht to 1 NZD) Crazy bargain. OH! And a fridge magnet. Things I’ve been tempted to buy include a traditional multi coloured Thai hat with bells and silver shiny beads, a pan pipe type whistle and a flat wooden elephant carving that pops out and turns into a bowl. GENIUS. All things that I clearly need and all things that would go nicely next to the other great souvenirs I’ve carted back from Thailand in past years.
Deciding we’d had enough of Patong we bargained 50 baht off the going rate for a tuk tuk to Kata Beach. Turns out the tuk tuk was a delicious air conditioned taxi, and boy was the driver pissed about taking us. Sucker.
It’s around here that the tables turned and we became the suckers.
Armed with knowledge from the most trusted place we know, Wiki Travel, we got dropped off at Kata Beach, right on the beach, looking for the 200 baht a night bungalows. I had an image in my head, secluded beach, little huts made of palms, me and the fish swimming in unison.
Ah the serenity.
The never ending line of beach chairs and umbrellas coupled with Club Med dominating the waterfront were the only things getting in my way.
It soon became apparent after an hour walking with our packs (packs in reverse might I add as Michael had mine, double sucker!) that every hotel was either full or over 1000 baht and after an American laughed in our faces while scoffing noodles and trying to impress that Thai ladies, yes, as I said, it became apparent that the allusive 200 baht beach bungalows did in fact NOT EXIST.
Don’t worry we updated Wiki Travel to reflect our findings.
So me with two black eyes and Michael with two dislocated shoulders (the direct result of carrying my bag) a local man selling beauty treatments took pity on our sweaty foreheads and backs and directed us to Kata Central which, as it turns out is about 4 minutes walk from where the taxi man dropped us off initially and a 20 minute walk from where we were.
I love walking in circles.
Long story short, we waltzed into a room with air conditioning, running water and a STAGS HEAD mounted on the wall.
Who would want to stay at a resort anyway?!
All is well that ends well.
Our time in Kata Beach has involved swimming, sleeping, Chang beer, water, noodles, rice, tom yum, noodles, rice and swimming. I discovered the joy of banana pancakes and nutella and am wondering if this is what Jack Johnston has been singing about for all these years. It was so good. The nutella dripped into the zip of my handbag and on to the Apple logo of my iPad Mmmm. I’ll save YOU for later.
Today for a change of scenery we decided to join the hoards of tourist and hire a motorbike in a attempt to kill ourselves.
We didn’t succeed in death, nor did I add to the scars on my legs from my motorbike adventure last year in Cambodia. We did however see some sweet beaches, Big Buddha, Michael got a sunburnt nose and best of all we shaved at least three years off our lives with all the exhaust fumes we inhaled. Damn I love the smell of burning oil.
Big Buddha is big and a buddha. It’s not on my top ten of great things I’ve seen but I suppose if you’re here you’d better go and see it. This photo below gives a quick insight into what out experience was like.
Tourists. Yuck. Man I hate tourists. Who would be a tourist?!
This is what Big Buddha actually looks like. I put my finger in his belly button then blew raspberries in his tum until he giggled. Silly Buddha.
And his good old golden mate
All and all the best part of the day, aside from the beaches and the swimming, was when I let a stray dog into a 7/11. He was crafty! He was hot. And HE SHALL NOT BE MOVED from the cool air inside the 7/11. Sneaky sausage!
So sneaky in fact that I’ve had to start this animalsihaveseen.wordpress.com which, judging by the way this trip is going will soon be followed by flowersihaveseen.wordpress.com and then foodihaveeaten.wordpress.com because the second best part of the day was eating this
A plate of chicken and pork with cucumber cooked on the side of the road.
Better yet some guy in his car did a u-turn and a Thai lady drove her motorbike into the side of his car right in front of us all while we were eating this delicious half cooked meat!
Dinner time entertainment at its best. Beat that Shortland Street.
In a few days we’re off.
We’ve got two days in Bangkok to get a Burmese visa then Yangon here we come.