A lot changes in 10 years....

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Where I stayed
Crystal Guesthouse

Flag of Thailand  , Phuket,
Saturday, November 6, 2010


Day : 176
Temperature : 30 degrees
Weather : Hazy sunshine

Our flight left on time at 5pm from Udon Thani. Two hours later we landed in Phuket International Airport.  Our bags were some of the first to arrive on the conveyor belt. As the exit doors opened the touts descended on us like vultures. Somehow we found our way to the "public bus", paid our 85 baht each and clambered on board.

We guessed we'd arrived in Phuket town when we passed several HUGE shopping malls and a cinema complex. We passed a couple of massive home ware stores. We passed Starbucks, Swensens, KFC, Pizza Hut and plenty other well known outfits. We passed an enormous Tesco, the size of the stores back home. Wow! Were we driving through Birmingham??

Our bus pulled into the bus station just after 8pm. We walked around with our backpacks on but the area seemed a bit dodgy. There were umpteen massage parlours with pictures of young girls on the front and we were approached by strange men who loitered around us and followed us down the street. We didn’t see any guesthouses. We were starting to think that perhaps we ought to check into the nearest hotel we could find when stumbled across a little guesthouse called Crystal Guest House.  Fortunately, they had rooms available and we checked in with relief.

After a good night sleep we headed out for breakfast in a café across the road. We planned on going to Tesco to stock up on supplies before we went to the islands. The tuk-tuk drivers all refused to take us anywhere for under 200 Baht! What was going on?! Tesco was really not that far away. Jeez, prices really seemed to have gone up. We decided to walk in the direction of Tesco anyway. Kevin was walking behind me muttering random insults towards tuk-tuk drivers in general. I managed to catch the odd snippet of what he was saying….something along the lines of “greedy!”…..”life’s too easy for them!”……”scum”….”parasites….that’s what they are….parasites!!”….ok Kev, take a deep breath….

We eventually gave up on the idea of Tesco and decided to head back to our guesthouse and pack our bags. As we walked to the local bus station, a number of tuk-tuk drivers who we had tried to arrange a price to Tesco with, approached us eagerly saying, “ok, Tesco…40 Baht?” Yeah right, as Kev says….”you had your chance….and you blew it!”

We clambered onto the Songthew and waited until all the vegetables, bags, boxes and the odd bike had been loaded on. We met a Scottish chap called Andy who was also heading to Ko Yao Noi. Our journey took about an hour and we sat sunning ourselves enjoying the views. We finally arrived in Ko Yao Noi and caught a tuk-tuk (the price was absolutely non-negotiable… 160 baht for a 10 minute ride) to the other side of the island. Eventually we found a little guesthouse which had several charming bungalows in a row, just across from the beach. We dumped our bags, ate some lunch and ventured out. At last…sun, sea and sand. Happy days.
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