A Taste of Travel through Thailand in Phuket
It was our first trip to Thailand and I hope it is not the last. At Christmas, we started looking at prices to travel in August. Once the flights get booked, we started looking for hotels, first Bangkok and then Phuket. We chose the ones that we liked the most. We are guided by the prices but the truth is that the hotels were very good but not very well located.
It is said that great stories end with a happy ending. Chiang Mai was a good story. We were going to Phuket almost reluctantly. The farewell was very, very hard. No doubt in Thailand there will be great people, and I think we could meet one of them. We prepare suitcases but we could not miss another big market like chatuchak before we left.
Day 1 - Ko Phi Phi Don
After a good disappointment in this market we went to the hotel to take our bags and head towards phuket. Today we move from Bangkok to the Ko Phi Phi Don, the largest of the Phi Phi islands, located in the Krabi province, about 40 km southeast of Phuket. From the center of Bangkok, we moved to the Don Muang airport with a taxi, where we took a flight that takes us from Bangkok to Phuket in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
After taking beautiful aerial photos of Phang Nga Bay we landed in Phuket. Once at the Phuket airport we took a taxi to the Rassada Pier in Phuket. Here we embark on a ferry that takes us to the Phi Phi Don island after a journey of 2 hours.
We stayed at the resort seemed which at first look a bit seedy with a huge pool. The guide who picked us up at the airport managed everything in the check-in and got us a honeymoon suite with direct views of the beach. We decided to go for a meal and take a walk on the beach. We bought a hamburger at a street stand and finished the meal with a salad at a local restaurant.
We dedicate that day to see the city, going to the Loh Ba Kao and Loh Lana bays, the beach, the shops and we hired the excursions in an agency near the hotel. As we were very skilled in the art of bargaining we settled for less than half of what the Thailand travel guide mentioned.
As per plan we would first visit, Phi Phi, and the Monkey Beach with several dives in crystal clear waters. Two days later, we will visit the Phang Nga bay and the James Bond movie island with lunch in a village in the middle of the water and visit Phuket Big Buddha located on top of Mount Nagakerd.
In the evening we went to the beach. We take a beer from one of the hotel bars. The best thing was to enjoy a great sunset with a crazy coconut in the little cove of the hotel.
At night we visit the stalls along the promenade and in a shopping street full of shops, a large venue with a Thai ring and nightclubs. It was very crowded, with a lot of party area prepared all by and for the western tourist, mainly Americans and Australians. The city seemed prepared to receive many more tourists than there were since most of the restaurants were deserted.
In Thailand almost everything was artificial and that includes even women. In fact, I have never seen such perfect transvestites. It was a real spectacle to see them strutting up and down the street with their tiny skirts and exaggerated necklines. I did not dare to take a single photo so you will have to settle for my word. The most incredible of all is that we see men older than 70 years old with girls about 16 years old.
We had dinner in the street, at a Chinese restaurant with fish and seafood barbecue. It also had an impressive number of aquariums with all kinds of fish, including a small shark. Then we went to a pub to have a few drinks. We had a couple of beer and went back to the hotel.
When we got to the room we feel that someone was in the pool and there came a strange noise from like a cow or a trumpet. What would be our surprise is when the European neighbors of the next room also hear the same noises. We go out to the pool and start looking for where that noise came from. In the end we decided to call the reception to ask what was happening. They tell us that it is the frogs that indicate that the next day we will have rain.
Day 2 - Ko Phi Phi Le
We slept late and arrived just at the end of breakfast. While we have breakfast we decide what our destination will be. As it has rained all night we do not have much hope that it will be a beautiful day but the waitress tells us that the day will be cloudy and the sun will also rise. Therefore we decided to go to Krabi.
The tour started at 9 in the morning. We took a speed boat with about 20 people including the crew and we headed to a beautiful island nearby. The beach is protected by cliffs full of greenery. Ko Phi Phi Le island, part of Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, became very popular because of the controversial movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
We gradually entered Maya Bay, the setting for the film. The water was not too clean on its banks. The views are a little spoiled by the large number of motorboats, small boats and other boats full of tourists that filled the beach. We found some beautiful spots like a hole in the stone produced by the impact of water or a path that took us to the other side of the small bay.
We embarked again and around the island, we saw many small beaches in the direction of a kind of circular lake in the interior of another island. We then visit Pi Leh Cove, an internal lagoon in the heart of the island. During the tsunami this area was affected. Thousands of debris were deposited by the sea in these interior lagoons, but now it is fully recovered.
Finally we went to see the Viking cave. It is currently used to grow swallow eggs highly valued for making soups throughout Asia. The center of the lake allowed to stand because there was little depth but on the edges that joined the stone cliffs increased the draft. It looked like a large green ring with the white center of the accumulated sand. We took a good dip and continued the trip to the Monkey Beach.
We almost did not stop, much less get off the boat as the animals rushed for food and with not very good intentions. One of the guides warned us to hold the cameras tight as the monkeys caught them and took them up the mountain.
At 12 o'clock in the morning we arrive at Phi Phi, a beautiful island composed of two pieces joined by a sleeve of sand. Here the town sits and with beaches and jetties on each side. We had a buffet lunch in a large restaurant on the beach. After resting for a while and taking a dip on the beach in front of the siren we left for an area of clear waters for snorkeling in Loh Sama Bay and some underwater photos.
We finished the tour on a small island where we could bathe comfortably until the sky was covered with clouds and drops began to fall. We arrived at the hotel around six in the afternoon. It was a great moment to be in the pool. And it was huge, with blue tiles, three distinct areas of the jacuzzi, and wet bar. Some beautiful stone elephants from time to time, released water through the trunk.
We decided to go to eat at a different beach bar. It is obligatory to ask for fried rice with whatever you want, either with fish or with meat. We also ordered sautéed prawns with mushrooms and all kinds of vegetables and some mussels boiled with mint or some kind of very spicy herb. Back at the hotel we hurriedly showered and went to sleep as we were tired after the whole day. Tomorrow will be another day.
Day 3 - Ko Panyi
The day dawned cloudy and so the guide provided us with transparent plastic raincoats. We boarded speedboats and cross natural channels to the Phang Nga bay. The guide told us that it looks like Halong Bay in Vietnam. The islets are full of greenery that came out from the water as if they were peaks of underwater mountains. We got off the speedboat and we were waiting for some pneumatic canoes to visit the bay and its caves.
We arrived at a large, square boat that served as a base and we rode in small inflatable pirogues, dressed in life jackets and raincoats. With a rower we cross the nooks and crannies that were scattered at the base of the islets. We spent an hour and a half going in and out of those natural wonders (in some of them we had to bend down to enter).
We take hundreds of photos in implausible positions to capture the essence of nature that surrounded us, surrounded by lush vegetation and with the color of more bluish green I have ever seen. It was still twelve in the morning when we arrived at James Bond Island. Just then the first drops began to fall and a strong wind rose that threatened to bring down what was left to see.
We could hardly take some photos of the beach where the movie was shot with itis famous mound a thousand times captured in the cinema. The shops and bars are closed and as it seemed that there was nothing to do we started heading towards Koh Panyee island. It is a very intersting island inhabited by the descendants of the ancient gypsies of the seas.
It is a complete town, with schools, churches, restaurants sustained with sticks and wooden structures in the same water next to a coastal cliff. There we had lunch in a restaurant on the shore of the pier. We had chicken, squid, soup and vegetables, without beer, since it was forbidden and then we went through the town. We see its streets, shops and houses just as the children returned from school.
We bought some trinkets haggling with the merchants and we embarked looking for the last visit of the day. We go to see a reclining Buddha in a dark and humid cave whose entrance swarmed with dozens of monkeys asking for food. These were not dangerous, though insistent, so we could photograph them with them while they grabbed onto clothes demanding peanuts and fruit.
We arrived at the hotel around 6 o'clock in the afternoon, tired but excited by everything beautiful we had seen. That night we toured the stalls and dined in an Italian restaurant. We had dinner soon and then a crazy coconut and conversation on the shore of the beach. The nightclubs are already booming. Our room seems to be part of it and we decided to go for an ice cream or some smoothies out there.
From fatigue, I do not know if I fell asleep dancing in that boulder bed or I simply fell exhausted.
Day 4 - Ping Pong Show
Miracles exist. Getting up every day at 7 in the morning and without the help of the alarm clock in the previous days, this is the first time that my mobile phone starts ringing when it is time to get up. We had slept well in a disco-room. We go to the pier to catch the first ferry to take us to Phuket, and 3 hours later we were at the hotel.
We take a free bus offered by the hotel to Patong. We take refuge in a shopping center as soon as we arrive and take a walk through it, waiting for it to stop raining. Since the rains was still falling, we resorted to the tactic used in Chiang Mai. Well, we go for a massage. We tried the Thai massage, for an hour.
We went outside and it had stopped raining. We go to Bangla Road. Along the way we find TukTuks tuned with neon lights and deafening speakers in the back of the passengers. The street of Bangla Road itself is a normal street, which in the evening becomes a pedestrian street. At the sides there are bars, nightclubs and more bars and discos, with the music playing at full speed and dancers who move around trying to keep up with the rhythm of the music.
The word we will hear the most during our short stay in Bangla Road will be Ping Pong Show. A lot of assailants try to convince us to enter the premises to see that super show (or so they say). We leave them by telling them that we're more into tennis. And they go silent.
It's fun to see the atmosphere and how old people are, but now we start to see with sadness that the Thai hospitality is just as good as the compass. From north to south, things are getting worse. Here the Thais even get angry when we want to bargain more than we should. In Chiang Mai that does not happen. We decided to return to Karon, and we took a tuned TukTuk that brings us to our hotel to the rhythm of Kuduro Dance and tuned pipe noise.
We ate in the usual area and at nightfall, we went to the beach to see how the storms were passing by the sea, here and there. But it was cool.
At night we went south of Karon walking, for a walk, where there is another tourist area, a turf soccer field, and an Italian restaurant at a good price in the one that we had dinner. We have a natural pineapple peeled to eat, bought in the street at 2 o'clock in the morning (there are stalls that never sleep). We return to the hotel, and go to sleep.
Day 5 - Patong
After packing our bags, we went down to reception, went to breakfast and spent the morning in tyhe beach. We were up to 1 on the beach. They came to pick us up at 3 to go to the airport. We had separated a bag with the clothes that we were going to wear during the trip back. We shower and change in the changing rooms of the gym, and with everything in order we went to eat pizza at one of the beach bars of the hotel.
We only had to stay ahead 24 hours almost until we got home.