BootsnAll Travel Network

April 5th – 8th Busy Doing Nothing


Originally uploaded by roupiesontour

Because of the poor uncomfort of my sister we took it easy. Needless to say the beach was not our top destination. She looks like a lobster with stripes and the aloe vera gel has been slapped on religiously. To amuse ourselves we did other things………..
Let’s see as I am trying to remember
Played a round of golf. As my Dad had to bring his Sunday morning round to an early stop due to a snow storm in the UK we played 18 holes of mini golf amongst the dinosaurs in blistering heat. Despite getting a hole in one I lost to Josh who just kept on managing to get the ball in – he made it look so easy. We took the bus home and found a market to have a browse – it was so hot inside no wonder the stall holders were all a bit arsey. We managed to find one nice guy and found 2 pairs of jeans one for O and one for Josh. Once we got back O had to try on everything she had to work out her “Airport Outfit” for going home.

Took in a show. We paid a lot of money to go and see a Thai extravaganza – complete with 30 elephants, Thai dancing, illusions and acrobatics. The kids really enjoyed it but the animals left me feeling a bit uncomfortable. The elephants were all lined up as you went in and you could pay extra to have your photo taken with one. I swear one of them looked like he had contact lenses in – may be to protect against all the flashes from cameras I don’t know. During the show the elephants perform and stand on their hind legs putting their front legs on the one in front of them in a long line if that makes sense, it just looked a bit cruel. There were also tiger cubs in the entrance for that “photo opportunity”. They were being distracted with a bottle of milk, they looked so out of place. We did not have our photo taken as did not really feel this was right – the queue for that unfortunately was massive. The tickets did include a buffet dinner as fortune favours the brave I got my first taste of sushi. The little rice rolls are yummy but although the texture of the salmon was quite surprising – it’s a bit like very moist cake – it’s not for me.

Toured Patong. Patong Beach is famous in Phuket for the clubs, Go Go bars and general seediness set next to a beautiful beach. You can imagine why we didn’t stay here but we thought a wander around the town had to be done. The evening did not start well when a local Tuk Tuk driver decided to vent on us. The Tuk Tuks here are like little open vans and the prices seem to have been fixed to be extortionate – basically on a par with UK taxis. I understand that locals have to make money but what they seem not to understand is that every farang (Westerner) is not made of money and some of us are on a budget. We started walking down the road towards Patong and flagged down a TT, this guy on the edge of the road said “no no, I take you” and waved off the one we had flagged down. When we asked him how much and he said we said “sorry, too expensive” and continued to walk on. We were not confrontational or rude but this guy then just raged on at us about the price of gas in our own country, that we come here and don’t want to pay and he has to pay the same price for bread that we do. Well – I very politely said that the price of gas is 3 times more expensive where I come from but the taxi is the same price as here (with a polite smile) and left it at that but he still raged on. It really spoiled our experience and is not the only example I have heard of. It feels like if you ask how much something is, you have entered into a contract to purchase already – despite what the price will be. This is also the same for shopping. Talking of shopping Patong is a nightmare. You get called by every stallholder to come and see – “just looking, I give you good price Madam”, it’s exhausting as you try and smile as I know people have a living to make but OMG. O got called Miss Harry Potter by someone trying to get her attention which did not go down well at all! As the stallholders all try to guess your nationality we got so fed up we ened up pretending we were from Sweden, Australia, Canada and even Chile. The evening finished with a huge downpour so we got into a Tuk Tuk daring not to say anything about price and watched the torrents of water wash down the hills and the lightning in the sky on the way home.

On our last day we did a tour to Phi Phi Lei island. A fleet of sleek shiny new air-conditioned minibuses tours the island picking up the tourists and arrives at the pier en masse. There were so many of us you get given a bingo sticker and your number gets called for your boat. The leaflet for the tour states the max no of people allowed per boat – put it this way we were 9 people extra so a little bit cramped. The first stop was Maya Beach – the beautiful sand where the film “The Beach” was filmed. The reality was somewhat different from the film. We counted over 40 boats parked up in the small bay and there were so many tourists you could only stand – there was absolutely no room to sit. This was mass tourism at it’s very worst I have never felt more like cattle in my life and just feel quite sorry for my sister as it is not like we have experienced this anywhere else.

The day also includes passing by scenery from the film “The Man With A Golden Gun”, a trip to Monkey Island where there were so many people at the front of the boat you could not get a look in, lunch at Phi Phi Don (another number calling cattle market) and a stop at a small island in the afternoon to snorkel. Don’t get me wrong the scenery is still amazing – turquoise waters with cliffs that just rise vertically out of the water topped with green trees. It is just all the tourists that ruin it! It was exhausting being shunted from pillar to post and not very enjoyable at all. The only highlight was the snorkelling – we saw some great fishes and black sea spiky anemones.

Karon is a lovely little village and has a cozy atmosphere. It is full of Scandinavians and nowhere more than at the lovely Little Mermaid restaurant. The menus here come in about 8 different languages and do the best ice cream milkshakes. We took an overnight bus back to Bangkok – a government one which was direct and took 12 hours. We had a small wait at the bus station so O and I amused ourselves guessing names of foreigners and their life stories. As Josh was sitting far away from us we thought he looked like a “Marcus” from Germany who had come to Phuket to go clubbing and wore neon clothes when he was out! The bus even served food on board and entertained the kids with a Mr Bean video. The humour translates into any language.

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