Just a stopoff
Trip Start Oct 05, 2010
18Trip End Nov 24, 2010
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Not much to say about here. Phuket is a hub for the budget airline, Air Asia, so here was the next stop. The alternative was about 24 hours on trains and buses to get to Chiang Mai, so I figured the few extra bucks was worth it.
I took a (too long) bus/ferry/bus to get to the bus station in Phuket Town in the evening, which is the best stop-off point for early morning flights. So from there I had my first experience on a motorbike. Up until this point, there have been at least three of us, so a taxi has not only been more comfortable and logical, but also cheaper.
So moto it was. And there wasn't much to it. I just had to hold on tight, especially with my backpack strapped on to me. Although about halfway from the bus station to the hostel, I did notice the unmistakable smell of booze on the driver. Maybe that why he agreed to a lower price...
Hostels and Europeans
Had a nice conversation with a 50-something British guy that was in my dorm. He was traveling for about 6 months, through Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, India, Canada, and the United States. I have found this is actually common, to run into travelers that have very extended vacations of months to years long. And I guess why not, especially if you're going somewhere as cheap as Southeast Asia or India?
I should also note the fact that the large majority of travelers I meet, on extended travels or not, are European. So I have actually learned a lot about many countries other than where I am, by talking to the other travelers along the way.
I have run into hoards of French, loads of Brits and Germans, and quite a few Spanish, Irish, and Dutch travelers as well. And very few Americans. Very few. In our guesthouse in Phnom Penh, I was looking through the sign-in book at the front desk, and in about 8 pages (of about 30 entries per page), I saw maybe six Americans listed there (but of course it is a long way for us to go). So when I do meet some Americans (about a third of which have been from Colorado, interestingly enough), I tend to feel like we have more of a connection, and it's nice to hear a familiar accent.
I had an early plane, so it was an early night for me, after checking some email and catching a bit of Shutter Island on the TV in the common room. Now off to Chiang Mai.