I spent the past three weeks traveling for work. I was in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. Now I'm excited to spend a week of vacation with Corey in Phuket. I've been here for about 2 days and spent most of that time on the back of our new Honda motorscooter. We rode all over the island to the north yesterday and today my butt should have a break as Corey is working for the local dive shop. The only problem is that I am still on my butt, writing you this blog. No worries, I'll be out and about shortly. It does happen to be very cool in this lovely internet cafe. They serve coffee and even beer. I like Thailand.
Just to mention, Phuket is HOT. On a variety of levels... mostly the temperature. It is heading into summer here near the equator so it's about as hot as it gets. It hasn't started raining yet but that should happen soon. Rainy season is also slow season for tourists for good reason. Have you ever spent time in Florida and seen it rain? It's similar here. In two weeks Thais celebrate the festival of Songkran or Water Festival. I won't be here for it this year but look forward to it. Basically the entire country enters into a huge waterfight! If you want to stay dry, don't come to Thailand! Considering the heat, it's a grand idea for a party!
How to describe Phuket... difficult for sure. It has the spectrum you would see in any third world country with amazing natural resources. I hope that oxymoron is not lost on you. Lots of people challenge a lacking infrastructure. Beautiful green covered mountainsides, acres of coconut palms and rubber trees, lovely palm fringed beaches with powdery white sand and lots and lots of people. Did I mention the motorscooters? Lots of those. They are the primary means of transportation and are everywhere you look. Phuket is quite developed in a few areas but still has some amazing natural spaces. The towns are densly packed and full of places to stay, eat, shop and more. To truly enjoy Phuket, think about what you want to do on your vacation and choose your location on the island accordingly.
Some of my favourite foods are easily found here. Fresh mango, pineapple or jackfruit, cut by a roadside vendor is a great snack. Yummy food is everywhere! Grilled meat, noodle soups, seafood, curries and even coffee, just to mention a few. Most of it is spicy but they don't go crazy unless you ask. For the most part, if you eat from the roadside vendors or local style restaurants food is cheap, usually well under $3 AUD a person. Of course, we always get charged the "farang" or foreigner price but that is ok based on that price. For those of you that are not so adventurous, Phuket has many western style restaurants and even some chain fast food. We even have a Starbucks which I have not visited as I love the roadside coffee- plus, the roadside guy is about 1/5 the price! You will pay much more in the western style places and resorts but unlike some other less developed areas you really have a wide choice of options.
Corey has been renting a cheap 1 bed apartment in Patong for $200/month. It is basic and doesn't have a real kitchen but did come fairly furnished. He is looking at relocating down the street for about $375/month. We will look at the place this week. Until we figure out my gig, he will stay in this general area. Patong is the primary tourist destination. It has a big beach and all the "action" but not where we would stay for the long term. If anyone is looking to vacation in Phuket, please let us know and we will give you some excellent advice depending on what you want to do.
I have asked work for a transfer of location to SE Asia. We will certainly keep all of you updated as to what happens and what that means. In the meantime, I will enjoy my week here and then be heading back to Australia while Corey keeps flogging Adrenaline Adventures along.
Oh, and I think I need a snack...