Oh Phuket. You were supposed to be so beautiful. A stunning island paradise, bustling with culture and excitement. Instead? You were more than a little grim. With your street side sellers shouting mild abuse across the pavements, ‘TUK TUK TUK TUK’ they screamed. ‘TAXI’ if we shook our heads. ‘MASSAGE’ wherever else we went.
We chose to stay in the more local Old Town, for both convience and price. Instead, we found neither. Yes, the hostel was far cheaper, but the extra we payed to hop across town to the beaches more than made up for it and that doesn’t even take into consideration the sheer discomfort of their ‘bus system.’
Its all part of the trip, the experience, you say. Yes, true. We embraced it with open arms, never once opting for the air conditioned taxis. So you may say it was our own fault when we found ourselves sitting atop oneanother in pick-up-trucks crammed with an average of 30 people. Air conditioned? I suppose. The breeze was refreshing if you simply didn’t breath through your nose (the stench of the sewage canals in 40 degree heat took tropical to a new level). Looking back we may laugh, the songathew driver beeped his horn well past capacity as Thai men clung onto the sides. We watched at first in disbelief. Then frustration. Then Outrage. Then sheer hilarity. The epitome was a beach seller climbing on with a 4 square foot wooden sheet covered in earrings, scarves and travellers bracelets. He made number 36.
Needless to say, we wern’t fans of Phuket. It was far to dirty, abusive and overwhelming for our liking. Saying that, I could certainly see the appeal should you be heading there for a wild night of flaming shots and ladyboys: for those there are plenty. But for a couple in search of adventure and beach sleeping, it did not live up. We had planned a whole 10 days. We stayed 3.
It went something like this....(but much worse)
We felt more like this...
But less happy.