Short version of Phuket: Beach, sunburn, beach, pad thai, beach, pretty things.
Woke up feeling a little sinus infectiony ( yes, I know that’s not a word). It was overcast in Phuket but I resolved to go to Ao yon, where I had heard that that you can go paddle boarding.
But first, breakfast!
I went to a little corner bakery and had a delicious piece of bread, some coffee, and an omelette.
Then I asked the lady at the front desk how to get to the local shuttles.
She gave me directions and I headed in the right direction.
I got on the wrong shuttle, but eventually made it to the right one.
I quickly noticed that it was just local Thai people, and me. I could see their curious glances and bit of confusion and I found it quite humorous. The bus was PACKED. An older woman got on the bus a few minutes before we left and I tried to communicate (with hand signals) that she could have my seat, instead of standing. She insisted she was okay. It’s funny how you don’t have to have language in common to communicate.
I finally got to Ao yon beach and I discovered that it was a very chill . I walked up to a beach bar to try and ask about paddle boarding and the ladyboy said there was some down the road. I walked down and it looked like they had kayaks and canoes, not paddleboards. I decided that would do. So I rented one for 100 baht/hour ($3d/hr).
I headed off, stupidly, without a life jacket and without putting my valuables in something water proof. I risked it for a little while, and paddled around the peninsula. I noticed that as I got into a larger channel the waves got much larger, and more difficult to maneuver through.
But it was so beautiful! There was no one else on the water and it was an amazing experience.
After a solid 45 minutes of canoeing I realized I should stop by one of the few restaurant/ smoothie stands and see if I could get a plastic bag.
I walked up to an empty establishment and sawateka’ed asking if they had a plastic bag. After giving it to me for free I ordered a mango smoothie and then drank it with the store owner and the masseuse from next door. The store owner let me try one of her spring rolls. Yum. They were so impressed that I canoe’ed there!
Then I headed back towards to Ao Yon, hoping to get back and only have rented the canoe for 2 hours.
There was a 25 minute period where I was WORKING because the tide was majorly coming in, it was choppy, and I had to get around a section with rocks. Good thing I had been lifting in Taiwan.. I was actually huffing and puffing for quite a while.
Then I got into the cove next to mine and knew I’d be okay. I got back, paid the man and walked to sit in the shade for a spell and recover. I read and chilled until I realized I should probably eat something. Had a glamorized ham sandwich and then decided it was time to head back- I thought I was getting a sunburn and my kindle died.
Finally I got back to my hotel and had a relatively chill evening, did laundry, talked to my sister. Within 20 minutes of being inside, however, I discovered I had an UNGODLY sunburn.
I stupidly stupidly didn’t put on sunscreen because it was overcast when I first left in the morning. A week and a half later I would still be peeling.
Woke up and I went for a quick run before grabbing a banana and banana muffins for breakfast.
I showered and got my stuff together for Coral Island! I booked a tour to go snorkeling. They picked me up at 11. We didn’t end up getting on a boat till like 12:30. In the meantime I was essentially adopted by a Chinese family. They gave me ice cream. We chatted about a lot of things including why white people like to be tan, and Asian people like to be white.
Then we got on the speedboat and headed to Coral Island. I sat next to a European looking man and we talked a bit during the drive. I figured out that he was French. We got to Coral Island and it was like all of Asia was getting off of these boats and heading to shore.
The dock was made of buoys so walking on it made you feel inebriated. The French man walked with me. Then he and his buddies split off and went sea walking. I spent time with my Chinese family and we took turns watching our stuff. We took photos together and they shared their water and snacks with me.
I snorkeled with their son, and he was so funny. We chinglished. I also went off on my own on the far side of the beach and snorkeled. Saw a good amount of fish! It was fun. Wore my long sleeve shirt to swim to prevent skin cancer. Yay!
After the Frenchman was done sea walking he started chatting me up with his limited English.
He: “Boyfriend? You have? Boyfriend?”
He: “Why? Why no boyfriend?!!?!?”
Me: “I don’t want one.”
He: “I love you, I love you.”
Me: “That escalated quickly.”
He: “Please, I love you, I be your boyfriend.”
Me: “You sound like a 2 year old.”
Then it was time to go. We boated back to the dock then we all headed to our vans and drove home.
I grabbed some cheap food from Family Mart and ate it in my hotel. Debated going out, but decided to get a mango smoothie and read instead. #nerdlife #sorrynotsorry
Woke up so excited to see Julianna, Catherine, Diane and Joyce. They got to the hotel at like 8 or 9 AM and they all changed and we locked up our stuff (I checked out of the hotel)…then we grabbed noms at an incredible little breakfast place and made moves towards Patong beach. I introduced the girls to the shuttle bus system and it took a solid 45 minutes to get to Patong. Then we hunkered down and enjoyed the beach for several hours.
Eventually, around 3 we made for food and I introduced the girls to rotee, then we grabbed a bus back to the hostel. We all showered, I ran, and then we went to a local night market. It was incredible: live music, lots of people and delicious food. We got Pad Thai for 40 baht. YUM.
Later we went back to the hotel and passed.out.
I woke up BRIGHT and early and grabbed free breakfast with Julianna. Didn’t sleep well. That sucked.
Headed out at 7:40 for a very full day. We drove an hour to a pier. Waited for a while then headed out to James Bond island! The boat was pretty big- 2 …floors? We goofed off the whole ride there. They had complimentary water/coca cola/fruits.
After James Bond we went to a different series of islands and canoed through sea caves.
Afterwards we had lunch while en route to a private island where we swam and took photos for a long while.
Then we got back on the boat and got back to Phuket (eventually).
I really wanted to go to the area around the aquarium but the buses were already discontinued so we went to Patong to try and meet Sarah and Chia. We texted them when we got wifi and grabbed some food at a truly horrendous thai-indian food place. After washing down the meal with some ice cream we went to the beach and chatted for a while… Which is about when I decided I would go skinny dipping. So Diane joined me and we took a quick dip. It was perfect timing because after we got out and put our clothes back on a huge Chinese family came down to the beach. #whoops
Then we piled in a cab and headed back to the hotel.
Woke up so sleeepy. I finally rested well. Grabbed breakfast with Julianna and then we met up with the girls to head out to our excursion for the day. It was immediately clear that the organization of this program was not nearly as excellent as the day before. But I dove in anyway. Julianna, Catherine and I sat at the front of the boat, where we would be in the sun. Mercy, our tour guide, came out to warn us that it would be VERY bumpy and she wasn’t kidding. My back felt thrown out the next day. I’ve never felt like such a rag doll!
First, we went to Maya Bay, where “The Beach” was filmed. It was actually so gorgeous, but so unbelievably overcrowded. We did manage to take some shots that made it look like we were the only ones there though!
Next we went to a lagoon. It was unbelievably gorgeous. The water was so clear. I desperately wanted to jump in. Some European guys mooned us as we were taking photos. #classic
Next we went to Monkey Beach. I had bought peanuts to lure them into taking photos with me (mwuahahahahah). It was really fun! I even got to feed a baby monkey. Precious. We were only there for like 10 minutes though.
Next we went snorkeling. This was magical. I really really wish I had more time at this spot. I had bought bread to feed the fish and they SWARMED! It was amazing. It was Diane’s first time to snorkel so it started a little rocky for her, but other than that it was a great experience.
Then we headed to lunch which was some pretty mediocre tasting Asian food on the island of Phi Phi. Snapped some photos. Held a baby monkey wearing a diaper.
Then we left for another island! This one was for swimming and laying out. I mostly read and stayed out of the sun.
Then we headed back to shore, then the hotel, and I showered and started to pack, and instagrammed. *priorities*
Later I met up with the girls and we grabbed dinner at a local Thai place. It was pretty good! Got Pad Thai again! Then I returned to finish packing and looking things up for my first day in Bangkok while the other girls went shopping. Later they stopped by our room later and chilled for a bit. Then I died (or fell asleep, whatever).
That concludes Phuket!