05.10.2011 - 19.10.2011 31 °C
We arrived in Phuket after 3 weeks in NZ where we had some great times catching up with friends and family and sorting out the fiasco of moving of our shipping container from Sydney to Mel’s dad’s farm in Morrinsville.
The move went fairly well. It ended up costing a bit more than we expected/more than it should have (thanks to an administration error by our removal company) and we were forced to learn how the process worked on the fly but we got there in the end (thanks for all your help Rusty!).
Our first night in Phuket was pretty dodgy. We stayed in a $22AUS twin share hotel with a rock hard bed and had kids exploding fire crackers outside our window until 5am but being awake for 22hrs and a pair of ear plugs allowed us some rest.
We then jumped on a boat to our first resort - Paradise Koh Yao on Koh Yao Island. For those who don’t know we scored a deal on the internet which gave us 6 nights’ accommodation with breaky, massages, spa, yoga, snorkelling, cocktail party etc for $265AUS each. Let’s just say we are pretty darn happy with the deal. The food and service was amazing and the scenery was no less than paradise.
Our activities and highlights included kayaking around vertical limestone islands, night fishing - which itself was pretty lame and we later discovered was super expensive but good to see the sunset out on the water while watching thousands of huge bats fly from their cave. We got to go on a tour of the local village where we saw rubber plantations and how all the little rubber plantation people live. In the town we discovered a 7Eleven that sold beers for a quarter of the price of the resort, so Luke naturally stocked up. We were then treated with a delicious lunch of fish in the middle of a rice field to finish off the tour.
The isolation of this resort meant a lack of any local pub to watch sport, however together with a kiwi couple we managed to watch the rugby via dodgy internet streaming - real edge of your seat stuff when you are waiting for the buffering to catch up! We also got to partake in a pretty good Thai cooking class, (both) enjoyed complementary meditation, Yoga class, sauna and a nice massage with the sound of pouring rain - despite the odd surprising drip from the leaky roof that turned into quite the flow... and quite entertaining for the Thai massage ladies before they eventually decided to push our beds to a dryer spot!
The next resort was cheaper and a bit more hotel-like, although we (well Luke) was pleased to observe the pool bar and was relieved to discover a fitness room.. as three delicious and generous Thai meals a day plus cheap beers were (is) starting to make a negative impact on our photos.
We spent the first couple of days checking Kamala and Patong towns out. We choose one of the plenty of Aussie pubs to watch the Rugby games. Mel generously gave Luke a Wallabies defeat for his birthday, then we hit Patong town to celebrate (?) with another friendly Kiwi couple.
On our last day we decided to take the risk and hire a scooter motor bike and go for a further explore. This ended up paying off as we discovered some pretty random things including an elephant and its trainer playing in the surf at a beautiful beach. We also managed to navigate our way to a waterfall and had a very welcome cool off before stopping at a random Bob Marley bar for a refreshing beer. We became new friends with the owners 3yo little girl who was more than happy to show us her latest toys despite not speaking or understanding a work of English. She was quite upset when we decided it was time to leave and we rode off with our hearts torn out watching her crying from her Dad’s lonely little bar.
From there we rode back to Kamala and handed back the bike – thankful that we had no injuries (physical at least) and decided to treat ourselves to a sunset cocktail and an hour long massage on the beach before having our last dinner at our favourite little beach side.. hmm you wouldn’t call it a restaurant.. more like a little hut with a few tables and bar, complete with pet monkey in a tree!
Here we found the most delicious, cheap Thai food we have both ever had, conveniently located over the road from our accommodation. We ate and watched the night’s minor storm roll in, which has been one of only a few since we have been in Phuket. It seemed to rain only heavily at night and only on occasion. Days have been mostly sunny and only our last day was really stinking hot and threatened us with sunburn.
Next stop, Hong Kong...