29 Apr

PHUKET – PATONG BEACH

Beach Bus

Colourful Taxis

It is not far from Krabi to Phuket, and the famous Patong Beach.  I thought since I was so close I would make a quick trip to check it out.  I left Krabi in the pouring rain and took a van bus to Phuket.  Young fellow from the hostel came to pick me up on his motorbike.  I was very very reluctant to ride with no helmet but he assured me it was just a few blocks, and he would drive very slowly and carefully – and he did.  I stayed at Poshtel and it was one of the best hostels of the trip.  There was a big long table to sit at,  and lots of interesting travellers  – so great social time.  Phuket itself did not have much to see.  I did go to a big temple high on a hill.  It was interesting, but nothing different from many others I had seen.

Patong Beach

Sunburns & Speedos

Patong beach is about 15 kms from Phuket.  There is frequent bus service in the back of large open air trucks with as much bench seating as they can fit.   We were dropped off at the head of a short street that led to the beach.  The street was lined both sides with bars and “Men’s clubs”.  The sex trade was more blatant here than I had seen anywhere – even in Bangkok.  I felt so sorry for the young Thai girls trying to get ugly old men to come into the bars and have drinks with them.  I walked to the beach and was impressed with how big it was, and how nice the sand was.  I was not impressed with the number of people.  There were many Europeans.  Most wore swimsuits that fit them twenty years, and thirty pounds ago.  Old guys in speedos do not impress me.  I spent a short time on the beach and took the bus home.  There is a famous ladyboy show in Phuket so I decided to go.  It was awesome.  Much better than the one I saw in Bangkok last year.  These “girls” were so beautiful, any one of them could have competed in a beauty contest.  After the show you could have photos taken with them, but I was not willing to be overrun by the Chinese tourists so I passed.  I was glad I went to Phuket – but I was also glad to only spend a couple of days there.

Ladyboys

Beautiful Costumes

21 Apr

KRABI

Beds on the Boat

Beach at Last

Leaving Koh Tao for Krabi I was told there was a night boat – with beds.  I certainly thought that would be interesting, and it was.  The boat was similar to our big car ferries.  There was one large room with about 50 sets of bunk beds.  No privacy here, but we all slept well.  I was constantly surprised at the cleanliness of the public washrooms, and the ones on the boat were spotless.  We arrived at Surat Thani early in the morning and had time for breakfast before the bus trip to Krabi.  I had booked a bungalow at a rather remote resort and was thrilled to see how cute it was. Pine Bungalows was all little bungalows with lovely seating areas on the front patios.  The resort was on a decent beach and seemed to cater to families with young children.  You could only swim at high tide as the water receded far out at low tide, and there was a lot of old dead coral making walking difficult.  The resort had an excellent cafe so I was fine just staying there.  The gal I met going to Koa Tao was coming in a couple of days.  I spent my time catching up on email as there was decent internet access.  The resort was built on the side of a hill going down to the water.  The landscaping was beautiful and a huge variety of tropical plants.  I had to change some money one day and the manager told me I would have to walk about 20 minutes to an exchange place near the 7/11.  I walked past a housing area of local

Local housing

Fishing Village

fishermen.  Housing was pretty poor – mostly just tin shacks.  I changed my money and decided to stop at 7/11 to buy a bottle of wine to share with my friend.  They would not sell me wine as Thailand has rules as to the hours alcohol can be sold – and 9 am is not one of those times – oh well.  After she arrived we stayed a couple more days then moved to a hostel in town.  Krabi is all about seafood with some excellent cafes.  One night we went for a nice dinner and our male waiter had on a lot of great makeup – false eyelashes, eyeliner, blush etc.  Neither of us were wearing any at all, so we felt pretty plain.  Lots of action on the river – longboats take tourists for sightseeing trips.  The water was not nice so we did not go.  The local buses here were interesting.  Each colour bus had a different route.  We wanted to go to a big shopping centre, so had to flag a blue bus.  The bus was actually a little truck with bench seating in the back. 25 minute ride cost 15 cents.  Local transportation in Asia is always an adventure.

Waiter with Makeup

 

Beautiful Sunsets