Monday, 16 March 2009

Phuket/Patong


After 5 days in Bangkok we finally managed to book a bus out of there to Phuket. One of the most visited (and accessible) islands at the very south of Thailand. We booked a V.I.P bus from Bangkok station all the way down to Phuket Town which all in all took about 18 hours. I have done a lot of massive bus journeys in my time what with all the ski trips I used to do normally over 24 hours but this bus journey was terrible. The air con was on full blast the whole journey so I was so cold and to make matters worse the "in bus" entertainment was rubbish with "The Chronicles of Riddick" and Jim Carrey's "Yes Man" on the bill which were back to back two of the worst films I have ever seen. I would have preferred no films at all instead of them and when the TV is smack bang in front of your face there is no escape from Vin Diesel's stupid peanut face. Bad memories. I didn't sleep much on the V.I.P bus stretch due to the cold and uncomfortable seats. However when I got on the cramped little minibus for the 4 hour stretch to Phuket town, I slept like a dream for some reason, which was nice.

Upon arrival in Phuket Town I was starting to feel we had made a bad decision. The hostel was lovely which is always a bonus, although the Air Con was restricted to the evening which meant during the day all I did was melt. It was lovely and clean though so I let that one slip in my letter to the Thailand tourist authority. Phuket town was a dive, something I would have found out long before had I actually done some research into where we were going. We went there mainly for Patong beach, however this was a good 45 minute bus ride away. Mission. In the end we decided to see out the two nights we had booked there as a chance just to recharge our batteries after Japan and Bangkok. One things that stuck in my mind about the place was this shriveled old Australian women we bumped into on the street who started telling us about all the drive-by shootings that had happened there in the last week due to drugs deal going wrong. Oh lovely I thought we are staying in a ghetto. But she assured us we wouldn't be affected as they keep the violence to themselves. I wasn't convinced and promptly armed myself with a 12 gauge and a couple of magnums just to be safe. Saying that though I never saw even the slightest bit of violence/aggression/drugs or anything bad at all while I was there so she may have just been mental.

Despite going to Patong beach while we were staying in Phuket town for some reason, I don't know why, we decided to book another 2 night down in Patong. The accommodation was dirt cheap only 4 pounds a night but Patong was rubbish as well. So I don't know why we decided to stay there another 2 days (3 days in my case but I will explain that shortly). Its one of the only regrets I have had so far on this trip as I hate wasting time when there is so much to see in these countries. It was just like a terrible Spanish island resort with rubbish bars and restaurants and loads of FAT English families all in vests walking around the place. The beach itself was really nice and the view over the bay was lovely but it had just been killed by tourism and was not the Thailand I had come here to visit.

We thought it would be good to go out for a night in Patong so headed off out to this club called "Club Lime" which was putting on some sort of drinks deal along with a buffet. Not expecting much food wise we stocked up before we went and were not surprised to see a pathetic amount of shriveled chips and some sort of mystery meat. I was very pleased we ate before hand. The night was fairly standard and involved the usual amount of abuse from the locals selling goods and other things. However the reason I mention this rather pointless night out is the fact we met two Swedish travelers in the club. We got talking to them as you do with fellow travelers and they liked the sound of what we were up to so decided to join us for the next few days. So the next day they booked into our hostel for the night before we set of for Ko Phi Phi the following day. An interesting and very useful multinational partnership began.

I'm sorry to say but the highlight for me here was going to see "Watchmen" at the cinema. Stuff like this annoys me as I didn't need to fly thousands of miles to do this. I had been looking forward to it for a good year when my mate Jonathan told me about it on the way to see 300 so I really was looking forward to seeing it. I enjoyed it so much that I went to see it again. It was such a visual film (like 300) I felt it had to be seen at the cinema. One other reason I really liked going to the cinema was I felt like me again. When traveling there is so much going on you never really get settled and obviously are constantly making scarifies and just generally have to have a different attitude and mentality towards what you do. But it was so nice here to whack on some jeans and trainers buy some popcorn and head into the cinema to watch a film. I really enjoyed it and felt like me again, even if it was just for 2 hours.

Unfortunately for me that night things took a turn for the worse and I developed some sort of stomach bug and felt very ill. When I arrived in the hostel a few days before 2 other guys were in bed with what I assume to be the same thing and I guess I picked it up off them. It was terrible and I felt rubbish as I just couldn't do anything. The next day we were supposed to be getting a boat to Ko Phi Phi which I was really looking forward to but by around 3am I realized I wasn't going to make this as a 2 hours boat journey would have been a nightmare. So in the morn explained my situation to Tommy and Swedish guys and told them to head off to Phi Phi and I would meet them the next day. I picked up some antibiotics to hopefully knock it on the head a.s.a.p and went back to bed alone in Patong feeling very low. All I did that day was watch Al Jazeera News and fell sorry for myself, twaz the worst of times.

I eventually managed however to book my boat to Patong and was going to be picked up at 7am so long as everything was back to normal. However at 7.15 I was woken up to a hard prodding from the Thai lady owner shouting "Mr.Rob Mr.Rob your bus is here wake up" Oooopss. so without a moments thought to whether or not I felt better I grabbed my stuff ran down stairs and got into the bus to several huffs and tuts from the other passengers for making them wait. I felt still pretty dodgy but thought I would be able to manage the journey so man'd up and finally made my way to the beautiful Ko Phi Phi.

*I have decided to use related images due to not having taken many pictures again and feeling I need to make my blog more aesthetically appealing.

1 comment: