Exploring Phuket – part 1

Thursday we continued relaxing by the pool.

Later on we headed to our hotel lobby to meet the Govatos family. We had a lovely time in a nice Indian restaurant nearby and caught up on news. They are moving to Phuket shortly and are also looking for another boat so hope to get back on the high seas soon. Was a fun time and we wish them well in their future adventures.

After they had left we wandered into town. We stumbled across Bangla Street – the famous party place – and we were both a bit surprised by how ‘in your face’ it was. We were constantly pestered by hawkers selling anything you could imagine and lots of people offering signs to advertise ‘ping pong’ bars or ‘live ****ing shows’ and everything in between. It seemed weird that these people also appeared to target couples rather than the numbers of single men wandering around. Most bars facing the street had pole dancers too……

There were a lot of western men of all shapes, sizes and ages with beautiful girls on their arms…..and we were trying to work out whether they really were girls or not in this land of the ladyboy LOL. We sat in a bar down a quiet side street and just people watched for a while.  Slightly overwhelmed by all the madness we eventually wandered back towards our hotel and had a relatively early night.

Friday morning we went for a walk along the beach road shopping and had some fun bartering with all the little shop keepers who are selling pretty much the same things.

We managed to get Richard a hat and a new waterproof bag in preparation for our planned speedboat trip as we had left these all on Morphie. Oh well, guess you can never have too many!  Later on we returned to the hotel for a few pool hours.

Finally after a restorative few hours in our air conditioned room we headed out for the evening. We found the big mall and enjoyed wandering through here and watched fried ice cream being made – basically they chop up ice cream with things like Smarties / chocolate etc onto a hot plate. Then when all chopped up into a mush they spread it over the cold plate and then roll it up. Very labour intensive….but looks very tasty….although Richard did think that most ice cream would have aluminium in it with all the vigorous chopping and scraping going on LOL.

We stopped at a local Thai restaurant for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed the food.

We then wandered through the Bangla Road again and weren’t quite so shocked as before – I think you get acclimatised to the madness and are able to turn a blind eye once you know what is going on. We found another small bar tucked away and watched the antics of the girlie staff who were trying to entice men in – one of them was so blatant she just grabbed them by their privates – and it was funny to watch men run off as a result LOL.

After this we headed back towards our hotel and came across an Irish pub called Mollys – we wandered in attracted by the loud music – and ended up staying late. They were really good!

Saturday morning we were up really early and were ready and waiting in the lobby by 8.15 am. On the dot of 8.30 am the little minibus turned up to take us across the island to Chalong pier. We were put into groups – according to which tour you were taking – and we were introduced to the rest of the ‘Monkey’ gang….all Japanese, Thai and German.

We boarded our speedboat and put on our life jackets as instructed. Felt very strange to be on a tourist boat…..

First stop was Racha Yai for some snorkelling. I couldn’t snorkel because my prescription mask is stored on Morphie (must try and plan this better next time) but, to be honest, there were so many boats and tourists I doubt whether many fish would have come out to play. So we just bobbed in the deep water near the stern of the boat.

Back on board we enjoyed some fruit before we took off again – this time to the beach we could see from the snorkelling anchorage. We tied up, momentarily, to a floating pontoon and wandered down to the beach.

We were looking forward to sitting at the beach bar enjoying a few cold ones in the shade only to find out it was open to hotel guests only. This resort – which looked deserted – have definitely missed a trick here as the crowds from the boats were significant. There were some people making money though – from renting beach chairs, umbrellas, huge floating toys and, sadly, baby monkeys being touted around for cuddles and photos.

We purchased some cans of beer from the corner shop and bobbed in the beautiful clear water before returning to our speedboat.

Back on board we headed over to Banana Beach on Koh Hey. We enjoyed watching some boats sailing around – but very few were private – they mostly seemed to be crewed day trip boats. We arrived and tied up alongside the floating pontoon. This was huge and, as the tide was coming in, the pontoon was being picked up and down by the surf so we walked along surfing down waves LOL.  Must be a nightmare for those with walking difficulties!

We arrived to our allocated table for lunch and were surprised by the amount they gave us – from squid soup through to fried chicken with chips. We tucked in and enjoyed the food but sadly wasted loads. We then took ourselves off to a couple of beach chairs and planned to bob again later but swiftly fell asleep.

We awoke to find it was 10 minutes before we were going to be picked up and that the tide had now gone out – so the walk down the pontoon was much easier and we admired the boats coming and going, including tourist longboats.

We boarded our boat and managed to grab a seat in the bow for the fast ride back.

We returned to Chalong pier having had a nice day and treated ourselves to a Durian icecream – very very smelly fruit (think mix between poo and vomit) but apparently a local delicacy. Well the icecream was nice but I started to feel ill just eating it – so Richard finished mine off too.

Back on the minibus to our hotel and I felt bloated and uncomfortable – by now Richard was feeling the same. So we went to bed for a few hours….

At 8pm we got ourselves cleaned up and headed out – still not feeling completely well – to the Drunken Leprechaun Irish pub to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.  Can you believe how short the Thai Leprechauns are LOL!  We had a pint but didn’t particularly enjoy the live music.

So we took ourselves off back to Mollys. The same band were playing and they were great – but we both felt ill – so after just a single drink we headed back to our hotel.

During the night we were both violently ill…..and were still feeling under the weather on Sunday.  We had a basic breakfast and did our laundry in the hotel’s laundromat.   Note to self – do not eat local ice cream ever again!!!!

Later on we returned to the pool for a few hours.   In the evening we were going to go out but I couldn’t venture far from the hotel, just in case, so we decided to have dinner at the Terrazzo restaurant, which is part of our hotel.   We had a nice meal and then retired to bed.

Monday morning, after visiting our in-house tour guide and booking a few more trips, we decided to stay by the pool again and had a really nice time bobbing in the little ‘spa’ pool and enjoying a beer.

Later on we headed out to see the famous Simon Cabaret show.   The cast are 100% men but you wouldn’t believe their costumes and figures…..   Can see how the tourists get hoodwinked LOL.   The show was fun, the miming wasn’t great and the dancing was OK – but the spectacular costumes made up for it.   Glad we saw it.

Today, Tuesday, we are having another lazy day…..

Bye for now