Travel

Thailand trip part 1

21/04/2015

In January this year I visited Thailand for the first time and I must say I was pretty astounded.

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I only explored the island of Phuket but from what I saw for 7 nights was enough to convince me to want to return in the future.

My voyage

I arrived in Shanghai with hours to kill. My flight was at night and I was anxious to get to the big city and stroll about for a while. In truth, I wanted to make the last minute purchases of beach and hot weather attire – but after a disappointing experience going to H&M and Forever 21 and still finding they had winter clothes in January, I lurked around the city pretty happy for a change of scenery.
Note: when I worked in retail, after the big Boxing day sales, Spring season clothes were coming out from the stockrooms. Naturally, I thought that happened globally, but I quickly found out it does not.
Anyway, I eventually boarded my plane and off we went to Phuket. Took about 5 hours to get there. Now, bear in mind it was January when I left China so it was pretty chilly – no, it was cold.
When I landed, it was nearing 25 degrees at 3 something in the morning!
Despite that, it was nice to be wrapped in summer time’s arms.
I met my friend at the airport after spending ages looking for my suitcase. We journeyed to the hostel we would be staying in for the next 7 nights.

Phuket Town

We stayed in a hostel called Ananas Hostels. Unfortunately, I never took pictures of the hostel but it was beautiful! The couple who owned the hostel were so friendly and helpful especially when it came to helping us around town and going on excursions.
The hostel itself was clean and in a good location. My friend and I like to walk so it was a good location for us to walk and see a little more of the town and how the locals lived.

 

What did we do?
Be tourists! Everything was pretty exciting and new. We’d both been to the Caribbean but although Thailand and the Caribbean islands were similar, it was still an exciting adventure.
Both of us have been living in China so to hear English spoken somewhat naturally was soothing to our ears.

Day 1  We landed pretty early and arrived at the hostel by 5am-ish. After some sleep and freshen up we researched some of the places to go and mapped out the coming days as best as we could.

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First day’s experience of Thai food. Since we’ve been eating lots of Chinese food it was a nice change but something we both noticed was the small portions! We were like ‘hold up, where’s the rest?’ Though that sounds kind of like we had no belly bottom, it was and still is expected to get more than you can eat and be full!  

Day 2  We ventured to Kata beach and chilled for the day. A pretty quiet beach calm waters and golden sands.

20150122_161626 20150122_154720 20150122_171008 20150122_171015 20150122_200812These photos are a collection of Kata beach.  This bowl of soup was amazing! It was a good blend of Chinese and Thai seasonings and even months on I can remember this meal was good. Only had it once though as it was such a popular dish. Came with some chicken, noodles and some greens. Thai food, to me anyway, seems like they care a lot about the presentation of the food. That is the least of my worries. As long as it smells good and tastes fabulous – adding decoration to a dish is a bit pointless, hehe.

Day 3 – We journeyed to the Phi Phi islands. The Phi Phi islands are a popular destination trip for most if not all tourists who go to Phuket. It’s about an hour away by speed boat from the main island of Phuket but once there it is a beautiful uninhabited space that looks just like a postcard. On this excursion, I stopped and thought of what an amazing and creative Creator we have.

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Day 4 We had yet another chilled day. On this day we began to make preparations for our trip to Malaysia like exchanging money. We went on one of our daily strolls to explore the area and came across a nice little café/restaurant. Twas pretty nifty as it looked as if it was formally a workshop. The owners kept the look and feel of the previous purpose of the shop, keeping some of the tools and adding other vintage possessions which made the environment feel as if we’d gone back a century or so. This was also a notable place for me.

I’d heard a cover of Maroon 5’s Sunday Morning sung in a jazzy rendition. I didn’t know what style of music it was but I liked it a lot. In this restaurant, I finally got a chance to ask about the music they were playing – Bossa Nova. Totally cool to find out another type of music since I’ve gotta musical mind. Most places I went after here, I heard Bossa Nova songs playing here and there. Oh the song was sung by Sitti.

 

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Day 5 We ventured through town stopping off at a cool little place called Pancake Corner. After that, we drifted to yet another beach. To be honest, I don’t remember the name of this beach but it was pretty popular with tourists from French speaking realms of the world. This beach, in comparison the ones on the Phi Phi islands and Kata beach was ok. It was calmer than the others – no tide and pretty shallow too. I’m 5’6 and I was able to stand up for at least a quarter of a mile (maybe further) from the shore.

20150125_11444020150125_11450220150125_153654 This was a temple on the walk back from the beach. The beach photos I’d taken, I weren’t feeling to be very honest. But I’m not trying to hurt your imagination, it looked pretty much the same as the first photo of the beach. 

In the evening, we went to the night market. I didn’t bother taking photos as my main goal was to buy some pressies for my family and what a success it was. Purses, t-shirts, key rings, souvenirs, bags, watches – and a bag of chips – were all available in this night market. The prices were unbelievable when converted back to British pounds! [Not that should be how you go shopping abroad as you’d end up spending more money, but the comparison was natural and a very bad habit since living in China].  Had we’d not booked a flight to Malaysia leaving the following day, I would have purchased more but oh well. There was more to see on this strip of land consisting of three countries – Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore – and we’d at least witness two.

So that was pretty much a summary of the first five days on our holiday. I regret not writing this sooner but when busyness and tiredness pops up instantly, it was hard for me not to bow down to it. Overall, Thailand had made me feel at home. I like sunny days, the summer, warmth anything associated with heat. Unfortunately, the UK doesn’t get a solid block of heat as other places do so when in places like Thailand it’s only natural for me to absorb it.

The next post will be on our two nights in Malaysia.

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