Exploring Phuket – part 2

Tuesday we had another day by the pool…..very nice!   In the evening we wandered back to Bangla Road, ate at a local restaurant, and sat and people watched. We were constantly being hassled by local hawkers and, this time, we gave in. Richard got a young girl to make him a Morpheus wrist band and I got another bangle.

We should have done this sooner as we just showed our latest purchases to everyone else that came behind and they left us alone LOL. We had dinner at a local restaurant followed by a couple of beers in Mollys listening to live music before heading back to our hotel.

Wednesday we went on a fast catamaran day trip. We relaxed in our room for a while in the morning awaiting our 11.30 am pick up. We travelled to Ao Por Grand Marina and were met by our tour company who then issued us with sarongs, towels and beach shoes for the day and we settled down to a buffet lunch while we waited for other guests to join us. Once everyone was there we were taken down to the docks and boarded the boat, settled into the seats, and the captain took off. It was interesting (well it was for us!) that they had a chart plotter repeater in the main saloon. We watched the captain ramp up the speed and the depths were pretty shallow, which reminded us of the Bahamas.

We enjoyed the spectacular scenery along the way before we made our first stop at La Wa Island. We had hoped for a beer bobbing session but no alcohol was served on the island as it was part of the Phang Nga national park. Never mind…..it was lovely to just bob around in the Andaman Sea.

Back on board – being transported by a traditional long boat – we took off again to Hong Island. Here we were taken by kayak through the limestone tunnels and caves. Very serene place despite the huge numbers of other tourists LOL.

Back to our mother ship and we had a beer on board while we travelled to James Bond island for some photo opportunities. Again more stunning scenery. This place is just plain beautiful.

On the return trip we went very very slowly……seeing one cruising couple enjoying the sunset on the bow of their boat at anchor…..and watched the sun disappear into the clouds. Shame we didn’t get the perfect sunset but it was still beautiful.

We sped back to the marina and then were fed a buffet dinner. We had lots to eat and my stomach didn’t react so looks like that episode is behind me, thankfully! Enjoyed the company of a couple of Australians before we all took off in our different minibuses back to our hotel. We got there about 9pm and we were exhausted from having been out in the weather all day so just had an early night.

Thursday we had another leisurely pool day before heading out to see the Siam Niramit show. We watched a few exhibitions and tried a few samples of local food before heading to the main courtyard to see some parades. Richard even took part in a tug of war with an elephant LOL.

After that we headed into the main auditorium for the show. This was absolutely amazing….stunning costumes….fantastic back drops….a real tale of the history of Thailand. There was even a flowing river, some thunderstorms, pyrotechnics and lots of people flying around. A real West End type production. Really glad we took the opportunity to see this.

After the show we posed for a few pictures with the cast before we were returned to our hotel.

On arrival we decided to go out on the town. We headed towards Bangla Road and found a local restaurant that took our fancy so had some dinner first. Then we walked through the madness stopping for the odd beer or two. Was fun!

Friday we were heading out mid morning to visit the Elephant Sanctuary. This place is where they allow elephants to be elephants. It was very sad to hear the stories of how they are mistreated in Thailand – particularly how their spirits are broken when they are babies – to end up in trekking camps / logging camps / or in the entertainment industry (just like the night before – damn).  Most of this is done by violent means until the elephants behave. Once they outlive their usefulness the owners keep them tethered and often don’t feed them enough so they end up dying a very slow and painful death. The Sanctuary are trying to change mindsets and rescue as many as they can but as the King himself has his own elephants it doesn’t look like any change will come soon. Sigh…..

One of the old girls we met had been working for 70 years – thankfully she is now enjoying her retirement having been rescued by the sanctuary. Our role for the afternoon was to be keepers for the day so we fed them, we hugged them, we covered them and ourselves in mud, we scrubbed them, we rinsed them off and put them to bed. Was a very special way to spend the day. Sadly at the point of publishing this blog the official photos of our afternoon have not yet been put on their Facebook site so you’ll have to do with the few that we captured ourselves.

After we came back and got ourselves cleaned up (literally!) we headed out for our last night on the town. We wandered Bangla Road again and this time we ate in the night market. Then we did a mini bar crawl before finally returning to our hotel in the early hours of Saturday.

Saturday morning we had a late start and then lazed by the pool for the day. Later in the afternoon we got ourselves packed up and then headed to Sam’s Steakhouse, which is part of our hotel. We had the most amazing meal for our last night in Thailand.

Sunday morning we were up at the crack of dawn and in a taxi to the airport by seven – the roads were surprisingly busy for a Sunday so it took about an hour.  We had our checked bags shrink wrapped as we know that Phuket airport has a bit of a reputation for things going missing. Then we dropped them off, ate the contents of the hotel’s supplied breakfast box, and headed through security. This took a while and by the time we got through airside our gate was open so we went straight there.

Eventually they started boarding….so we got on the bus…..across the tarmac and climbed the stairs. We settled in and we took off on time.

Goodbye Phuket.   We had a great time and may be back another day to explore some more.

Our first flight of the day was pretty uneventful and we landed into Singapore about an hour and a half later. The rest of the epic travel adventure will follow shortly!

Bye for now