Phuket: The Quick and Dirty

“Imagine a place that defines graciousness, tolerance and aesthetic ideals. You’ve just imagined Thailand.”

-Insight Guides Thailand

I need to update these posts more often. I’m sitting in an internet cafe in eastern Siberia, bundled-up to the point that it probably looks as though there might be two of me inside all these clothes, writing about the time (not so long ago) I was wearing flip flops and a bathing suit on the hot, humid beaches of Thailand. It’s a little bizarre.

But I’m finally out of China and into a country that allows freedom of blogging, so I can update. Better late than never, yes?

So let’s get to talking about Thailand. My first taste of Thailand, actually. To that much-revered place that you always hear about.

Everyone has a story about Thailand. Full Moon parties, beautiful scenery, turquoise beaches, cheap food and even cheaper drinks, low-cost beach-side accommodation, a rich heritage, mountain tribes, vast jungles, flora & fauna, and its close proximity to the rest of southeast Asia makes it a prime destination for many travelers. Ever making our way north, the three of us took an Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur (delayed ridiculously and perhaps not surprisingly by over an hour) to the Phuket International Airport.

(Airplane sugar high. Anyone for a Reeses?)

We arrived in Phuket late at night and took a minibus from the airport to Kata beach. And here are my first impressions of Thailand.

1. It’s Monsoon Season. Deal with it.

2. Lady Boys. They’re everywhere. Our travel agent has a penis and her name is Kelly. And she is AWEsome.

(This isn’t Kelly. Not sure this Lady Boy’s name, but we found her in Patong (see #7), and she’s hot so obviously I took a picture.)

3. Kata Beach. It’s the only place to be for surfing in Phuket. A surfboard will run you 100 Baht for 1 hour (about $3), so you’re probably at least partially retarded if you don’t give it a try. (I’m awesome at surfing by the way, in case you were wondering).

4. Power Outtages. They happen (see #1). Suggestions to make the most of them: flashlights & duty-free rum & coke. Or, (see #3) – surfing – monsoon style.

5. Pad Thai. Nowhere else in the world are you going to have such a delicious meal for less than $1.

6. Old White Men. They’re here. Oh boy, are they ever. So are young Thai girls. And you’re smart, you can read between the lines.

7. Patong Beach. It’s 15km from Kata Beach, and it’s terrifying. Go here if you want to be afraid. Come back if you’re eager for ping-pong shows. Stay here if you like meeting interesting friends at the strip-club.

8. Garbage. It’s a problem. There’s trash washed up on even the most remote beaches, and you know what? That sucks.

9. Food. Tom kah kai. Subway sandwiches. Street corn. Thai pan cakes. Love.

10. Cheap Internet. 15 Baht/hour (50 cents) . Slow slow slow, though. It’ll take you four hundred days to actually get anything done. (Hence the delay in blogging updates).

11. Take-away Coffee. It comes in cups. With fold-out handles, so you can sip, pinky-up style, like Her Majesty herself.

12. Jenga! Connect 4! Games galore in all the bars. This alone made me one unreasonably happy overgrown child. Nothing goes better with games than beer. And nothing goes better with beer than games. (Melis and Joanne will disagree; for the record they have no idea what they’re talking about). ;)

13. The Roxy. Half way ’round the world, and I’m afraid there’s still no escaping it…Damnit. ;)