Where Does the "Older" Crowd Hang Out?

Trip Start Feb 12, 2011
Trip End Nov 19, 2011

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, February 24, 2011

The girls got an early start on breakfast as I was taking my time re-evaluating my packing efficiency methods, but I did manage to catch them for coffee and toast after I was harassed about paying for a soda by our hotelier while checking out. They were kind enough to hover as I got money from Erica to pay our $0.50 tab.

By 9:00am we were on the ferry to Phuket in a much cleaner ferry with plenty of seats. I managed to get some last photos of Koh Phi Phi as we left the bay, but was disappointed that the sun was washing everything out.  In hindsight, I can see why the island is thought to be Thailand's most beautiful, but it is completely over run with partying backpackers who have a narrow bandwidth of appreciation and would rather find themselves face down on the beach after a rough night, than enjoying coffee and a nice breakfast, or wine with their evening dinner.  Sadly, it appears the Thai's are meeting the market demand by catering to the "Full Moon Party" crowd, offering stall after stall of internet, cheap sunglasses, and buckets of booze.  I’m all for partying, but Koh Phi Phi is in serious danger of becoming a cheesy disingenuous version of itself which belies its natural beauty.

The ferry ride was pleasant and we all got a lot of reading done before arriving at the chaotic terminal in Phuket where there was a mad rush of cab drivers and backpackers desperately seeking each other out as if they were long lost lovers.  Eric and Kristen met with a ladyboy travel agent above the din of the crowd and arranged a ride and hotel close to the airport so we could catch an early flight to Bali the next day.

Our cab ride seemingly took forever, but we were efficiently dropped at a non descript guest house which was quite the little compound with very friendly staff.  The owner showed our room, a veritable luxury compared to the 'Crap Shack’ and when we asked about lunch, he whisked us off to the beach in his car.  The drive was a bit further than we imagined, but he pointed out a shortcut to walk home.  He recommended a restaurant to us, which looked nothing more than the surrounding shacks, but opened up to the beach which was filled with outdoor dining tables, plastic chairs, and lounge chairs for as far as the eye could see.

I was thrilled to be surrounded by people with grey hair politely enjoying their lunch overlooking the sea.  I had ordered curry; perhaps our last Thai meal for a bit and that’s when I saw him.  I’ve never before felt so inferior as when this beast of a man appeared from the back of the restaurant, his tan bald head peaking out above a full lion’s mane of hair covering his back, shoulders, and chest.  I’ve always prided myself on volume of hair I can grow on my arms, chest, and now back but this guy made me look like a 12 year old girl.  I’m talking thick mats of 4-6" long grey hair covering his chest and back, so thick you could grab a handfuls of it like he was half man, half German shepherd. 

He delighted us throughout the meal as he had business on the beach and at the restaurant and walked by our table at least a half dozen time or so.  A man amongst men, I can only aspire to instill such mighty awe.  Sadly, I chose to leave my camera at the room, so this story will have to be put down as legend like those written by weary sailors describing the leviathans of old. 

Unfortunately, Kristen and Erica weren’t feeling as chipper otherwise I would have stayed the day at the beach sipping on tea so we grabbed some water and began the long walk back to our guest house. By then, both girls weren’t feeling well, Kristen especially, and it wasn’t until nearly 9pm that I looked up from my bookwork and suggested we find dinner.  By that time the girls had resigned to skipping it, and I had to insist that Erica accompany me to find sustenance.  The guesthouse next door was gracious enough to feed us and the little store let us sneak in just before closing to grab some water and a snack for Kristen.

Having been shut-out of beach time and surrounded by bros at Koh Phi Phi, I would have rather stayed a few days in Phuket hanging out with the older folks but this was just a stopover for Bali…
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EnJay on

Wow, pretty hard to believe the 4-6 without a photo John

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