Costa Del Sol of Asia..sunburn,alcohol & ping pong

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
Trip End Mar 04, 2011

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Where I stayed
Nilly Harbour

Flag of Thailand  , Phuket,
Friday, May 7, 2010

After the hideousness of the proceeding night Angelika and I couldn't wait to arrive in Phuket. We ended up on the same ferry at 9am with the English guys but slept most of the way or at least Angelika did. Everytime I was almost asleep the girl on my row decided to push past me so I would wake up suddenly with her large butt in my face. Less than pleasant. Then she had the audacity as we getting off when I mentioned it to Angelika to say if I wanted to sleep I should sit on the aisle. I just fixed her with a death stare and I think she got the message that I was NOT in the mood and she WOULD lose any argument. People who have been on the recieving end of my one of my looks will recognise why she backed down!
    Taxis and minibuses from the pier were super expensive so we started walking down the road hoping to find a local bus station. We had at least 6 taxis stop and try and get us in the taxi but we stuck to our guns and ended up getting a private taxi for the same price as a minibus seat would have been so venturing out was worthwhile. We were a bit aggrieved at paying 3 pound each for the taxi as it was more than most other places (except Samui) but then there was a monsoon thunderstorm and we decided it was probably a good investment. He also stopped at the tourist information for half an hour while we chose a place. He convinced us to go to Patong even though we had both decided via the guide book that it sounded hideous. But he said Kata beach where we were planning to go was super quiet. Oh why did we listen???
    The hotel was on the beach and had a pool and free internet according to the brochures. When we arrived it was tiny and the rooms didn't look like the pictures and the pool was in a hotel next door and the wireless didn't work. But overall it wasn't too bad. And it was cheap being as it was half price sharing and also by booking at the tourist information it went from being 2000 Baht (40 pounds) to 900 (18 pounds) a night. It wasn't so much the hotel which was an issue but the place.
    It was worse than Costa Del Sol. Full of sunburnt tourists who lay on the beach roasting all day then spend the evenings getting drunk in Irish bars or go go bars watching ping pong shows. Also you couldn't move more than 2 meters without someone hassling you. Massage, tailors, tuk tuks, taxis and DVDs were constantly offered. By the end of the 3 days I was 2 seconds away from hitting the next person who asked me if I wanted one. What was worse is that they just don't take the hint when you make no eye contact and completely ignore them. I have no idea why people like places like that. There is nothing resembling Asia at all. 
   We went out for dinner and walked for miles to try and find somewhere that was reasonably priced. Eventually found a busy Thai place where people shared tables and got chatting to an American guy who worked in Russia who was in Patong on his own for a week. Later we both mentioned it as being unlikely that he wasn't partaking in the most common activity after drinking in Patong...prostitution.
   I went for a massage and thought that the 10 minute walk home would be no sweat as it was still really busy still at 11pm. Oh what a mistake. I took a wrong turn and ended up behind a big hotel. There were a couple of people around and I figured I would pop back out on the main street so kept going. I heard a motorbike coming up behind me and slowing down and just got an odd feeling. I jumped onto the curb and went to inside of a couple of Thai girls who were also walking. The guy pulled right onto the edge of the road where I had been 5 seconds before. The spun around quickly and drove away. I suspect he was going to try and snatch my handbag from my shoulder then thought better of it when I moved out of reach. I don't know what I would have done if it had been stolen as it had my wallet, Kindle, camera, phone and i pod. If it had gone I would have seriously considered going home as that was the only redeeming feature of my big pack going was that that stuff didn't get knicked.
   I carried on walking and the place got more and more deserted but I figured it was safer to carry on the same direction and look like I knew where I was goinng than to double back and look lost. I kept my fingers crossed the whole time and tried to think empowering thoughts so I would look like it wasn't a good idea to mess with me. There were dark ditches either side and NO-ONE else walking at which point I started to get more and more concerned. I was more worried than I had been camping which is saying a lot. Eventually I came to a road I recognised and managed to find my way back to the hotel. My 10 minute walk turned into 45 minutes of stress....completely undoing any good the massage had done in destressing me.
   The next day we chilled out by the pool reading trying to pretend we weren't in Phuket. We made plans to go out in the evening figuring if you couldn't beat the package tourists then you may as well join them. never really happened it was just too tacky and neither of us could get into it and were both tired from Phi Phi still. We did however almost end up in a Ping Pong show by accident as Angelika thought it was a club...which is was just not the kind of place where you dance. We hot tailed it out of there as soon as possible! Angelika decided to leave a day early to get the most of her time before going back to Germany in a weeks time.So midnight packing and a 6am start then I was on my own. It felt odd when I got up to be on my own again after having great company for a couple of days. It was nice to be around someone who I would actually spend time with at home rather than just another traveller.
   I went out for food in the evening after spending the day shopping for a bag. My day pack split in Phi Phi after having too much stuff in it. I didn't think the safety pins holding it together were up to the job in a baggage hold of a plane. I eventually found one and felt great to have sorted at least one thing off the list. Day and backpack in one go. And they fit together. Amazing! Dinner ended up being more eventful than I expected.
     My typical dinner alone reading changed pretty soon after I got invited to join a game. Basically all the bars in Phuket have massive bits of wood outside and you race the bar girls to hammer a nail flat before they do..if you win they buy you a drink. If you lose you buy...guess which one happens more often? I was out of money so my drinks were paid for by a kiwi guy on his first trip out of NZ. Bless the poor guy probably didn't even realise that the girl's interest was limited to when he was buying drinks. After 3 beers and a shot I left them to it. 
   I ended up finding a guy in reception the next day who was also going to the airport so caught a lift with him - saving myself 500 Baht especially as I completely forgot to pay him back until I was through immigration and he was in domestics. I feel like I have bad luck sometimes but I am in no way as dippy as he was. He got to the airport a day early for his flight! Mmm I worry about people like that who are away for a whole year. Least I haven't done that...yet! :) 
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africabase on

sounds real tacky

London Correspondent on

I watched the film The Beach last week and thought of you!

Phuket looks pretty grim and honestly your description and piccies are not making me want to visit one bit!! In fact after this I feel the need to go cleanse myself in more sophisticated backstreets of Soho..!

And the main entertainment is banging nails into, seriously?! I think it's your duty to introduce them to the finer English pub pursuit of dominoes. It'll be massive. And, based on their interesting interpretation of table tennis, considerably less hazardous than darts!!

kellyroundworld on

Haha I have never seen the film so struggled a little to see how it was the most amazing beach ever. I am pretty sure that there are plenty of other amazing bays that people just don't go to. Phuket was truley terrible!

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