Phuket, Thailand - Day One

Travel Tips for Long Flights:
- Wear Black ... it never looks dirty and also looks more formal, even if simple!
- Comfy, loose pants, even if they are dress pants ... pants allow flexibility, feet can come up on the seat.
- Wear glasses .. I learnt that mid flight my eyes were drying out, and the in flight liquor was not helping!
- Carry Socks ... keeps your toesies warm and comfy!

... And although my daughter did not embark on this trip with us, she is quite the lil' traveller and once travelled with us to Amsterdam. Read my article, "Airports, Planes and Baby!"

Phuket, Thailand - Day On

My husband’s itinerary was for us to immediately leave Bangkok and head to Phuket, Thailand. That flight took an hour and the service on Thai Airlines was impeccable. The flight attendants still continuously served drinks and handed us a light snack box which included:

- a meat filled savory pastry, very similar to Hispanic pastelitos (savory pastries hispanics usually eat with their café cubnao/ cordito)
- a Thai sweet which out of respect I eventually got down my throat but, it was a hard chew and swallow. It was like a tasteless, gelatin like substance … white like coconut milk, yet did not taste any hint of coconut with a cherry of some sort in the center.
- a lil juice of various fruits that lingered on the back of my tongue. Loved it!
So before we landed in Phuket, the flight attendant gave the speech about drugs over the intercom. Never heard any kind of warning such as that before. And instantly I remembered the movie, "Brokedown Palace" with Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale, two women are arrested for smuggling while vacationing in Thailand. I thought, no way was I planning on getting locked up in any Thai jails. So that message flew right over my head.
The landing view in Phuket, reminded me of Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort, St.Lucia. The beach was adjacent to the runway. Anyway we got out our bags, and there I was already on my Blackberry and then realized that I was in the international arrivals, getting my bags and still was yet to get to Customs. So I instantly hid my phone since in the US, you’re not allowed to be on mobile devices until you’ve cleared any security areas. So noting my disrespect, I looked up and not a single customs agent at either of the 2 desks … and we ALL just slowly filed out and bang I was hit by the heat of Thailand.
Think Piarco International, Trinidad and Hewanorra, St.Lucia … white, completely open buildings. No fancy big city beyond ... just the view of scenery and very simple locals.
So the taxi hardly spoke English, so that was a quiet ride, although I tried to divulge that I was from an island on the other side of the world. I don’t think he quite got it, or even cared. LOL!
After about a half hour - 45 minute drive, we went up this hill, following and passing numerous people on scooters, taxis, etc. ... And then the sight before me was a city. For my St.Lucian friends, very similar to that view you first get when you drive up Mongiraud hill and see that first sight view of Rodney Bay. I saw roof tops and out into the distance, the horizon … this was Patong Beach, Phuket! The very area hit by the tsunami a few years ago that dreadful christmas! Once we drove along the steets to get to our hotel, more and more scooters. Some with 3 passengers. Babies, children, between 2 adults. Adults on handle bars. Who knew? … And totally fearless as they drove by.
My heart started to race with excitement, this is where I wanted to be … all of a sudden. I felt like a child ready to discover and run free! There was something I had to uncover. I’ve felt like that about any other place I’ve visited before. So not quite sure what that feeling was about …. And at that point I was not thinking about The Lost Symbol that I just read, nor was it excitement 'cause of 32nd birthday in days.
It was interesting to see the locals and then the “dirty whites” … you know those who’ve made Phuket their home too. They almost look brown, slightly dirty blond but those blue eyes, never lie!
Our hotel was Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Phuket at Patong Beach, Thailand. The hotel was lovely. Let’s say luxurious compared to the environment we had just driven into. So I start taking pictures of as usual, of the things which catch my eye. ... And don’t you just love how they framed those small pictures in this huge frame? I absolutely, loved this idea!
… And now hungry, a quick shower and we were out to explore. Walking along the streets of Patong Beach, and being harassed by tuk tuk drivers, taxi drivers, vendors on the road and Thai masseueses who sit outside the massage palours. I began to wonder “Why on EARTH did my husband ever bring me here? … It’s so not me, not my thing!” LMAO. It felt sleazy and dirty! Even the sand did not look white, it was brown.
So back to, ... Thai massage palour masseuses were in hoards, there are just so many. With Thai women young and old standing out front, like prey, calling and beckoning us to enter as we walked by. I recall one situation that stuck in my head. Three white boys, probably army guys, were walking down the middle of this street that was riddled with lil bars. One guy, the shirtless one was hot. … And in that instant when I noticed him, it was all like slow motion after that … a female thai bartender noticed him too and started to call and heckle them. In my best Thai accent, “Come here honey! Have drink?” she shouts that out in to the streets. And then it was a chorus as if all the women had also taken notice! Hard to believe I studied all this since I was walking away but my head was turned as far back to catch all the hooting and hollering. The guys totally flattered, smile … and wow, they did look good, especially that shirtless one. LOL! And it was in that instant, I realized that Thai women are in control, in control of something. … Still to be discovered! (Ahh ... still more to come!)
“Why did my husband bring me here?” … they keep following me, giving me prices every time I ask to look at something. When I shop, I like to be left alone and if I ask for help, then I expect to be doted on!  They don't only speak Thai, or English ... they're speaking to me in French!  ... And I think, "I dressed the part for Halloween, I'm certainly not French!"
Ok, I really need a drink … there are bars everywhere. Why do they all look sleazy with dirty whites, old and young … with Thai young women by their sides? I almost feel like I may catch some thing! Is it prostitution? Is it those 20/20, Dateline stories of foreigners visiting, involved and participating in the sex trade?
“This is so not me!”
Time to eat. Once again, I pick up and study the weirdest things … so I noticed our waiter touching his face, almost like picking it and I thought and soon he’s about to hand me a plate of food … “Good God!” So I immediately draw Charlie’s attention to it.
… And I can tell you now, that I don’t know if it’s a Thai thing, but they do it every where, at all times, in public. They are always examining their face in windows, mirrors, etc … touching, squeezing pimples and black heads. I saw more than 10 people doing this on this trip, just too many not to believe that I’m not unto something!
Anyway one lil drink ... a Phuket cocktail, really it could have been stronger! Slightly tired … I just enjoyed my meal and laughed it all off. Really not in the mood to clash with the culture, I needed to get back to the hotel and rest. Thinking that we're only a few hours in, we needed to find something to do with our time, and that evening, we booked a day tour to Phi Phi Island and the surrounding islands for the next day!



2 comments

  1. Sounds interesting. But exactly what where u for halloween? Just wondering.

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  2. Wow!! Can't wait for to read about the rest of your trip. I'm sure it got better after Day one! Great pics!

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