So far, this trip has been amazing. Sophie and I just completed our four day stay in Phuket. We spent all of Saturday on a speed boat tour to various islands around Phuket. That morning, we were not sure if we even wanted to go on the tour since we woke up to POURING rain. I thought we should wait it out for a bit, get breakfast, and then make a decision. We had woken up around 6am and the bus was set to pick us up at 7:20am. Although we had booked the tour the day, we made a deal with the tour company that we could switch our tour date to Sunday if the weather sucked. We just needed to WhatsApp them before pickup time.
Fortunately, the rain died down by the time we finished breakfast. We hopped on the bus and made the forty minute ride to the pier. The sun began to peak out from the clouds, and the air soon cleared up, though not entirely. When we arrived, we saw a ton of other people going on different tours with the same company. After an hour long wait, we finally boarded a speed boat with approximately 20 other people for a long day of fun!
As we traveled to our first stop, I felt the warm sea breeze on my face and enjoyed the views of the Andaman Sea. We arrived at Panak Island, and explored some caves. I felt as if I were in an Indiana Jones movie. When we walked through, we had to use our phones as flashlights, be cautious of slippery areas, and not bump into any stalactites. Afterwards, we headed toward James Bond Island, where, of course, a James Bond movie was filmed. I never saw it, so I didn’t care, BUT the view was amazing, so what did Sophie and I do? Have a photo shoot (:
A few hours later, we ate a buffet-style lunch at a floating market. All of the buildings stood on stilts above water and were completely detached from land. Some locals also set up some clothing shops behind the lunch area, and we shopped around a bit.
We went canoeing at Hong Island sea caves…amazing! Everyone got their own personal “canoe driver”– I don’t even know what you call them. We canoed around the caves, took pictures (what else is new), and took turns rowing. According to Sophie, I can’t row (:
We concluded the day with some relaxation on an island. Sophie and I found a tree swing to sit on, enjoy the views, and talk for a bit. At one point, we were just being funny and decided to do sit-ups to tone our stomachs while on the swing? Epic fail because we both fell off and got sand everywhere! It was so funny, you had to be there.
Around 6pm, we returned to the resort. Since the evening air was warm and not as humid, Sophie and I ate dinner at the rooftop bar at our resort. We were both exhausted, and I almost fell asleep at dinner.
As my trip continues, I am learning that the weather here is completely unpredictable and you just have to go with it. The sun will come out at some point during the day.
On Sunday, we rented a taxi for the day to explore a few historical landmarks and some shops. We only had to pay 2000 baht, which is about 60 USD. For those of you reading and have been to Thailand, I hope this was not a rip off because I think we got a good price for an entire day of getting chauffeured around town! Our driver, Wan, insisted that we make stops at the cashew nut and honey factories because the locals pride themselves on their homemade food products and enjoy sharing their food production process. I stayed away from any free cashew nut samples because ever since my peanut allergic reaction in Nepal, I do not want to chance myself getting sick! With Asia known for putting peanut sauce in most of their foods, I have had to be very careful and always let the servers know of my peanut allergy. Fortunately, I have my epi pen with me in case anything happens. Although, I’m hoping nothing does!! At the honey factory, I indulged in some delicious the honey samples. They had everything, including honey banana chips, honey chocolate, honey ice cream, and honey itself.
When Sophie and I finished, we drove to Wat Chalong, a Buddhist temple. I do not think I have ever seen a more intricately designed place of holiness. The architecture and interior design was impeccable. And this is one of the many temples I will be seeing on this trip! I could tell that Wat Chalong held special meaning and respect for many as I witnessed several locals make offerings and pray to their God inside the temple.
When we started sweating like crazy, Sophie and I decided it was time to go. I think we got really lucky with our taxi service since Wan was so amazing and accommodating, and drove us around in a nice big white SUV that had a AC. Wan then took us to Big Buddha, where we hiked up some stairs to the statue, admired the 360 degree views of Phuket, and I got attacked by a million fruit flies. Wonderful.
We made our last stop at Old Town Phuket, ate lunch around 3pm, checked out some shops, and headed back to hotel. We crashed at 7pm (:
Now, we’re in Koh Phi Phi for the next few days. Phi Phi has a much younger vibe, and I am now wishing we booked a longer trip here. Oh well…the local shops and restaurants are cute. I have just gotten back from a one hour back and shoulder massage that only cost…..$12!!! I know you must be thinking how is she back packing, but living in paradise?? Backpacking officially commences this Friday, so I’m taking advantage of everything before I have to get down and dirty!!