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Phuket

Surprisingly not pronounced "Fuck it"

Before we left for Thailand, I did not have very high expectations for Phuket. This was mostly due to it being one of the most commercialized and touristy islands in Thailand being one of the few with a large airport. Nonetheless, I booked a few days here before heading off to the other islands to see what it was all about. The three of us were incredibly excited to get anywhere other than Bangkok. Though we had some good times there, there is something about ping pong shows, people constantly trying to rip you off, and being surrounded by tall dirty buildings that will get to you after a few days. Phuket, though every American I know pronounces it "Fuck-it" is actually pronounced "Poo-ket." There are rarely any tall buildings here, but the dozens of Thai men saying "taxi, taxi" or "tuk tuk tuk tuk" trying to get you to take a ride somewhere still exist on every corner. Our "resortel" though far from a 5 star hotel was immediately better than our last, having two king size beds and a bathroom where you couldn't see the person showering. We were a few steps away from the beach, so I was incredibly happy upon arriving. Though Phuket experiences the highest rainfall in August of all of the islands in Thailand, we were lucky and had a beautiful first 3 days. We spent the first two days relaxing on the beach reading and swimming in the ocean. We foolishly did not consult TripAdvisor for our first few meals and ended up having what we agreed was some of the worst meals of our lives....but I didn't have very high expectations going in. On Sunday, August 1, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and do a tour that included a visit to James Bond Island. Early that morning we were picked up by a minibus (air conditioned thank the lord) and were to be taken to Kasom Pier and travel then by longboat. Though the ride there was much longer (and more nauseating) than expected, the trip ended up involving a lot of cool things. First we stopped to visit Suwankuha Temple, also known as Monkey Temple. This temple is known for its monkeys that roam around outside of it waiting to be fed as the tourists go by. At first, we were all pretty hesitant thinking about what diseases these monkeys would give us, but then one woman showed us how you can feed it so we decided to give it a shot. I bought some nuts and made lots of monkey friends. They were incredibly friendly and it was super freaky how much they resembled humans. We went around feeding the monkeys for 20 minutes or so. While I was trying to get a selfie with one of them though, he found that as a perfect time to grab my entire bottle of food and refused to give it back. He kept trying to open it himself and when I tried to help he ran up into a tree with it. He finally managed to get it open himself and sat there staring at me while he ate the rest of the nuts....rude. Hopefully Tobey won't be mad at me for making some new animal friends! After that we got to go sightseeing by longtail boat around Phang Nga Bay, led by our guide Lena. It was absolutely beautiful. We stopped next at Talu Island to go canoeing. We were allowed two people per canoe, so I ended up going with another man. I tried to converse, but turned out he spoke no English....classic. We went and explored some natural sea caves on the canoes for a half hour before returning to the main boat for our next stop. Between the different placees we traveled every two seconds Christian would say "Is that James Bond Island?" to every limestone cliff he saw. It never was.......Finally our next stop was sthe infamous James Bond Island, which was renamed for tourists after a movie decades prior called "The Man with the Golden Gun" or something like that. Our final stop of the day was at Koh Panyee (Koh means island in Thai), a muslim fishing village. Here, we had lunch consisting of battered shrimp (which was mostly just batter to be honest lol), chicken wings (which consisted of barely any chicken) and a few other smaller dishes. That was our last stop of the day before heading back to the hotel.
One of my favorite parts of Phuket was finding the cafes. In China, Shaked and I would always find hidden cafes after Chinese class where we would grab lunch, meet cool people, and occasionally study our Chinese, so I was really excited when I found one here too. The first one I found was called Cafe Siam. This cafe is run by a woman from Sydney who decided to move here a little while ago. She gave me some tips for living and working in Sydney and also had a bookshelf for book swaps, which was perfect because I had just finished my first book here, Brain on Fire and was hoping to get a new one. I came here for the two rainy days we had by myself so instead of sitting in the hotel all day while it rained I sat in the cafe reading a new book and talking a bit with the Australian woman. Thus, the rain didn't ruin my day at all, but helped me discover something too.
One of my absolute least favorite parts of Phuket was getting my first Thai massages. I went in not really knowing what exactly a Thai massage involved and ended up experiencing the worst hour of my trip. I left needing a massage because I was in so much pain! A Thai massage basically involves a Thai woman going from your toes to your head pressing her pands onto every part of your body. She repeatedly put her entire body weight on one part of my body at a time and it was so painful. An hour had never ever ever felt longer. I kept trying to say softer softer please, but she did not understand that at all, nor did she realizes that my face was one of extreme pain and not pleasure. I was absolutely thrilled when the massage finally ended, and needed a massage to recover from my massage. It hurt to walk after and I swore I was going to have bruises over my entire body the next day. I should have learned not to be adventurous after my airplane food experience, but apparently I didn't!
Tonight, for our last night in Phuket we are going to the infamous Simon Cabaret Show, also known as the lady boy show.....so that should definitely be interesting!
All in all, I liked Phuket a bit more than I expected and though Patong Beach was a bit touristy, there was a bunch that I liked here.

Next stop: Koh Phi Phi :)

Restaurants liked: Arabia, Leo & Mas, Eurothai
Restaurants disliked: Patong Seafood {had a sign that said best seafoodd since 1979.....I would argue worst*}
Cafes liked: Cafe Siam, Ella

Posted by kellyenright21 02:55 Archived in Thailand

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