Monday, November 22, 2010

2nd Stop: Phuket

Pronounced poo-get, and poo is definitely what we did get! It was crap! It was seedy, dirty and packed with tourists, but having said that, we still had a larf. In fairness as well, I think we were in one of the worst parts of the island, Patong Beach (don't go there). The one good thing I would say about the place is that we've got a contender for best accommodation, The Bodega Phuket! We had an enormous bed, TV, fridge etc. (and it's a good thing too, seeing as we didn't really fancy going outside much...)

We arrived into Phuket on the night of the 7th after a short flight from KL. We got dropped off at our hostel and immediately realised we weren't in the best spot... The hostel, which itself was immaculate, was located just off the main street in Patong, littered with neon lights, seedy market stalls and massage parlours. We were both wrecked when we arrived but hadn't eaten in 12 hours so we dumped our stuff and got food in the nearest place we could, some Swedish restaurant. It was nice in fairness but we were both far too tired to eat much so we went back to the room and crashed for the night.

We had a bit of a lie-in the next morning, to recharge our batteries (and to avoid Patong for as long as we could...). We went to a nearby shopping centre to get lunch and we found a lovely Irish bar close by, "The Irish Times". It started lashing as we got there, so we were glad of somewhere dry to sit, in familiar surroundings too!

After lunch the rain had died off so we took a stroll down to the beach. We read that Phuket has some of the best, white sandy beaches in the world... well they don't keep them in Patong, that's for sure! It was tacky, crowded and it didn't help that it was overcast. We went for a quick paddle then decided to retreat back to the safety of our hostel. As we headed back, we decided to walk down Bangla Road, a place recommended on our map as a "happening hotspot", and in fairness it was... if by happening hotspot, you mean seedy shithole! The amount of people coming up to us, trying to get us to buy things from their stalls was insane! And they all had awful English so all they could say was "lookiiiiing" or "shoppiiiiing". It went from irritating, to very irritating, to actually hilarious! Myself and Ash still say it every time the other is looking or shopping. If I had a penny for every time I heard those words... well, I wouldn't be a millionaire, but I'd have a few Euro at least! One guy actually came out with "Hello, how are you tomorrow?". He either had terrible English and didn't know his mistake, or he knew exactly what he was saying and was just trying to stand out from the crowd. We like to think it was the latter, and well, it worked seeing as I'm writing about him in my blog!

Another thing about Phuket, every street is riddled with about 30 or 40 telephone and electrical wires running overhead. It looks awful, and I have no idea where they would even start to find the problem if anything ever went wrong!

That night we just stayed in our room and watched about 4 episodes of The Amazing Race. Why would we need to go outside when we can just watch other people travelling the world instead?!

The next day we decided to head to Phuket town, basically to get away from Patong. We got a songthaew (it looks like a cross between a prison bus and a fire engine) there as it's much cheaper than a taxi or tuk-tuk, and we actually had a lovely day in Phuket Town. We found a taxi driver (or rather he found us) who drove us around the town for a few hours showing us all the sights, all for only 150 Baht (around 4 quid). We went to see another butterfly park along the way (there wasn't much else to do in the town) and it was actually great fun, much better than the one in KL!

On the way back to Patong, we went to an amazing temple called Wat Chalong, by far the best thing we saw in Phuket (but that's not really saying much...). There were a few different temples around the area so we took a stroll around the place, enjoying our time not in Patong. Like most temples in Asia, you had to cover up before entering. Check out Aisling's lovely towel/dress, I think the look is going to catch on!

Inside, there were loads of flowers and Buddha statues, it was actually a really nice place. We stayed there for as long as we could before returning to Patong...

That night we gave in to our Western ways and got Subway for dinner and brought it back to the room. Aisling said on the way back that we should take a picture of ourselves with the Subway as a reminder of Phuket, so I agreed. When we got back to the hostel she said, 'put it up on the TV and take a picture'. I thought this was a strange request but did it anyway, and we ate our dinner.

Later, she told me she meant, 'put the camera on the TV and take a picture of us with the Subway', but she was so hungry at the time that she didn't bother correcting me. We kept the picture as a funny memento. (I know that wasn't a very interesting story but that just proves how bad Phuket was! We had to find anything we could to amuse ourselves!)

The next morning we got the ferry to Ko Phi Phi, very glad (as I'm sure you can imagine) to leave Phuket behind...


  1. Refreshingly honest!
    In Bali they said 'Lookinglooking?' all the time. Those troupers.

  2. Aw brilliant Marky!! Can't wait for the next installation!