Day two in Phuket commenced as usual with sitting up in bed and assuring yourself that ‘yes’ you really are staying in 5 star resort overlooking the calm blue waters of the Andaman Sea – and work and responsibility are another world away! Carmel and Josie were still sound asleep so I made a cuppa and bundled up my laptop and sat outside on the balcony. It was about 6:45 and guests had already started arriving at the Malika Restaurant for breakfast. I leaned over the railing and yelled out that I’d be down soon and to make sure that no one ate all the bloody pancakes. No I didn’t do that, trust me.
The serenity is hard to describe. Probably best if you come on over and try it for yourself. And before you say that it’s too expensive, think again. We calculated that it’s actually cheaper for us to fly to Phuket and stay in this wonderful resort for a week, breakfast included and almost everything else ridiculously cheap, than to travel to Melbourne for a comparable experience. Of course we’re factoring in the cost of domestic travel but then when you live in inland Australia, that’s a given every time. Anyway, think about it.
With the breakfast experience over for the day (one does not simply say ‘we had breaky’), we waddled back to our rooms to get organised for the 11:00am pick-up. We’d organised a taxi for the day to take us to some of the recommended spots around Phuket Island. As it turned out, our driver Tess (again, another really nice bloke) recommended Paradise Beach, a privately owned stretch specifically set up for tourists. We’d mentioned that we were interested in doing some snorkelling, maybe a bit of swimming, a bit of lounging on a beach chair, maybe a cocktail or two – as it turned out he was spot on. The drive took about 35 min – he dropped us off and was back to pick us up at 4:00 that afternoon. Total cost for his services – $41 Aussie dollars, plus we like to throw in a good tip so let’s say $50 neat (of course you can opt to skip the tip – it’s not as if there’s any regulations on being a miserable tight arse). The water was pretty much crystal clear and the coral, although probably nowhere near the Great Barrier Reef standard, was still worth seeing. I saw a baby Giant Clam (or it could’ve been a grown up Baby Clam; not really that good with clam) and Josie saw a Clown fish. Of course we did see a lot of other marine life but hey, everybody loves a Clownfish.
And we did lounge on the beach chairs and the waiter did bring us cocktails – all in all it ticked the boxes nicely.
Back to the resort, showers, change of clothes and catch a tuktuk back up to the Patong Beach markets. These are basically the same markets we visited the day before except this time it was at night. “But isn’t a market still a market whether it’s day or night?” I hear you. I would probably tend to arrive at a similar conclusion but the ladies were keen so we tagged along without complaining……..out loud. By the way, a tuktuk is a small people mover that resembles something like a Sukuki ‘Bongo van’. You might remember them as the little three cylinder trayback utes that where fairly prevalent in the 80’s or thereabouts. They sound a bit like a shitty lawn mower when it hits a clump of blade grass in grandma’s back yard. Anyway, after a couple of hours of bargaining and bartering at the markets (Carmel’s the undisputed champion), we made our way to a nearby restaurant for dinner – $135.00 Aussie dollars for five people including drinks. Again – ya cunny beat that. So, sufficiently gorged with spag bol, steak and fried chicken (everybody knows that the fifth Friday of the month is always non-Thai food night), we grabbed a Tuktuk for the return trip to the resort – only this time it was a Tuktuk with attitude! Like a Chihuahua on steroids – it had a sound system more suited to a Sherman tank and enough lights to illuminate a gay mardi gras.
Man we woz blasting out Lady Gaga hits all over the Patong strip and just blowin’ away Mophead after Mophead down the Kalima beach quarter mile.
Reminded me of cruisin’ up West street past the Burger Chief cafe on a Saturday night in my mate’s Datsun 120Y – talk about prestige, man we just oozed it!
Man these babies can go just about anywhere! Here’s a shot of a typical Phuket Tuktuk taking a group of Russian tourists on a tour through one of the fish stocking ponds on the edge of the main markets.
Well that was just about enough excitement for one night so it was light’s out for me. Carmel and Josie stayed up for a while watching the only English language channel on TV (actually an Australian channel!) until they too succumbed to the bewitching aura that descends upon this island paradise late at night, slowly drawing its inhabitants into a deep sleep and leaving only the occasional sound of a cricket or the croaking of the tree frogs in the surrounding jungle.
Sorry – correction!! – got my stories mixed up again – apparently the TV show was about as captivating as a re-run of question time in parliament – they both crashed half way through a packet of Malteasers.