Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chinese New Year - Phuket & Kho Phi Phi

After 2 days in Singapore, it's time for some holidays!!!! It's Chinese New Year weekend, Monday and Tuesday are bank holidays and we have decided to make it 1 day longer.
First Tiger airways flight (the local ryanair/easyjet) of the season, it is a direct flight from Changi to Phuket, an island on the west coast of Thailand. We are staying in Patong, about 45 minutes on the west coast of phuket island, we reach the hotel by taxi after an argument with the taxi driver and his lady (hmm not sure...) friend at the tourist information. It is a local technique apparently to pretend not to know the hotel to try to sell a room in another hotel where they get a commission.
Patong is hard to describe but I'll try: finding a restaurant is hard but finding a wife if you are white old fat and sweaty (and with some cash) seems to be pretty easy! The main road is full of "girly bars" as we used to call them in Korea. No restaurant in sights!
After some food (finally found in a corner), we head to the big rave party on Patong beach where the people who are not too busy with the girls (still not sure here...) in bars are. It's full of Scandinavian backpackers, good fun! We finish the night watching paper lantern taking off from the beach (I'm so annoyed I don't have a photo of them)

Sunday, we rent a scooter (borrow a scooter might be a most appropriate word as no contract, no assurance policy, no driving license ever appear)
and go around phuket island. 3 main stops: a temple where the tourists are non existent and where the temperature must be approaching 50C, big Buddha who is as his name says big and half finished and finally sun set at the southern cape of the island.

And this is it for our time on Phuket island, now it's time to head to paradise, I mean Kho Phi Phi. Kho Phi Phi is famous especially because of Leo (Di Caprio, come on!) and the film "The beach" which was actually filmed on Kho Phi Phi Leh not Kho Phi Phi Don (the main island). So after spending 1h45 roasting on the top deck of the ferry from Phuket city (with sun cream 50 for my poor skin coming straight from England), we arrive (with 5 millions other tourists) to Kho Phi Phi Don. We take a long tail boat to go to Long beach where our hotel is, think white sand and little bungalows on the beach...

Lovely evening, lovely food, we have lost all the other tourists (they are all in the village 10 minutes away by boat).

Next day, we take a boat (slightly bigger than the long tail boat) to go swimming and snorkeling around the nearby islands, there are fish of all colors and shapes, monkeys and a splendid sunset seen from a sort of cave.

Final day, Thai massage on the beach and just enjoy the surroundings...

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