Karon Beach, Phuket

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
Trip End Sep 01, 2007

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Friday, March 2, 2007

I arrived in Phuket by Air Asia on Sunday about 6 p.m..  I mistakenly had thought Brian and Carolyn would be arriving on Sat. and I hadn't heard from them so I got on a minibus which stopped at a hotel booking agency, much to the chagrin of those tourists who already had a place to stay, but it was fortunate for me. THey booked me a room (always saying everything is booked up due to a Temple Festival which automatically allows them they think to charge a premium for booking the room, i found out later) in My Family #3 guesthouse on Karon Beach.  It turned out to be across the street from the Temple and all the Festivities, which went on into the early a.m. and my room fan did not block any noise....  Anyway, I immediately dropped my stuff off at said hot room which noise blaring, and headed to an internet cafe to check my emails.  Fortunately, heard from B&C and they were now checked into a Guesthouse around the corner from mine!  They are several beaches around Phuket and it was a lucky coincidence that we were so close. So I replied where I was at the Little Mermaid Hotel in the lobby which had internet and would stay in the bar there until they came and a few minutes later they were there!  I had visions t hat we would both be in Phuket somewhere and would spend the whole time trying to hook up!  We hadn't eaten, so headed to a restaurant nearby, which was recommended by my guesthouse and it was an excellent choice.  Turns out they had spent a night on the bus from Ko Chang.  After a sleepless night, I moved on Monday to a small room in a guesthouse attached to a place that does massages and manuicures, run by a mother and daughter who spoke English.  IT was not palatial, with a shared bathroom, but it had air conditioning and since it didn't have a window, was quiet!   Karon Beach is beautiful and was under a 10 minute walk away. Most tourists are Swedish, and this beach, along with others on the mainland was decimated by the tsunami.  It is unbelievable how much rebuilding has had to take place.  Monday we went to the beach where they wanted 100 baht for a lounger and umbrella in the hot sun (no trees on the beach) so we opted for away from the beach, but within view of it, to sit under one of the few trees that were there.  That night we went to Simon's Caberet on Patong Beach.  IT was a ladyboy performance, similar to Chrissy's Cabaret that I went to in Chaweng on Ko Samui.  IT was a hoot; they are very attractive and Brian had his pic taken with 2 of them (they all stand outside in a lineup and you choose who you want to take a pic with but they want to be paid).  They danced and lip synched, but tunes where more local Thailand or oriental tunes vs the Broadway and old rock and roll tunes they performed in Chaweng.  A minibus picked us up at the Guesthouse and brought us back. 
The next day, Tuesday, we had arranged to go on an overnight trip to Ko Phi Phi (pronounced Ko Pee Pee) so at 7 a.m. on Tues we were picked up by minibus and taken to the ferry for the 2 hour trip there. We overnighted in a lovely bunaglow resort.  Lots of shopping available, small shops one after the other, and lots of rebuilding from the tsunami still going on in and all without motorized transport (no scooters or other vehicles)! Loads of cement were carried by big wheelbarrows and they were busy in the evenings when it cooled down. We returned on the 2:30 ferry on Wed. and B&C booked their flight for Thursday to Ko Samui and they left yesterday at 4:30.  I recommended Sandy Resort to them, nice bungalows right on the beach at Bo Phut, and it had it's own fresh water pool with shade.  They recommended a place, La Villa, they said at Kaipai in Ko Chang so were are crossing paths.  Sure was nice to have some company for awhile so now I am back to solo travelling.  Last night I wandered around the Temple Festival and saw performances by dancers from Samoa, Hawaii and locals; the latter including some lip syncing and dancing by could be ladyboys - it is hard to tell after you have seen how they look and dance totally femininally (well almost).  Last night I booked by travel out of here.  I had wanted to take the train from Surat Thani back to Bangkok, then to Ko Chang, but all trains are booked until March 5! so I am on the VIP bus leaving today from Phuket at 6:30 p.m. so at at 4:30, I get picked up by a mini bus to take me there.  I arrive in Bangkok at 5 a.m. tomorrow. Not sure if I will travel to Ko Chang right away and then from there to Sihounakville, Cambodia or travel right to Sihounakville, or stay in Bangkok overnight first.  I guess it will depend on what logistics this will require. 
This a.m. I went to the beach at 9 and went in the water. It was very windy and a huge wave came crashing down, sweeping me and a French guy forward and we hit the bottom and I almost did a summersault under water. It was extremely scary and would have been worse if I had been further out. I was close to the shore as I was trying to keep an eye on my stuff while the waves were crashing on the beach; further and further onto the beach - I was trying to ensure my stuff wasn't swept away or soaked.  IT got to be quite exhilerating trying to anticipate when the waves was coming, in order to ride it. But the French guy started talking to me so I wasn't watching so much, but then he said 'watch the wave!' and down we went. He scraped his knee and it was bleeding. I may be stiff tomorrow.   
I tried to put pics on this blog today, with my new camera and before I have hundreds on it, and my camera battery is depleted!  The internet guy here tried to power it up for awhile but it needs more.  I did get all my pics (15 folders) developed so far, in Bangkok. The only ones missing are those on my memory stick that was in my camera and were of Laos so I was lucky I had made disks.  I have sent the pics home with Brian (thanks Brian, I owe you) as sending them even by courier I thought would be dicey from here.  I have sent the disks to myself, again I wasn't thinking as I should have couriered them from Bangkok but I sent them regular mail so we'll see.
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