We’d originally booked an AirAsia flight up to Langkawi from KL during our stay at the Shangri-la, the idea being that we start there and then use the ferries to head up through the Thai islands. A good plan, but one that didn’t take into consideration Mr Jobs’ super buggy iPhone alarms and the farting around that it takes to get from KL Sentral to the airport..
We slept peacefully until about 10:30, our preset iPhone alarms right there next to us, silently denying all involvement in the business. When we woke, having missed breakfast again, we got our shit together and headed down to check out.. I suppose we could’ve packed a little faster or just got a taxi straight to the airport, but we opted for a taxi to KL Sentral and then the train/bus to LCCT. Pretty much doomed to miss the bugger from the start, we even got off at the wrong stop on the train and, finally making it to the bus leg of the trip, the coach itself nearly rolled on a pothole strewn track that we were driving down for God knows what reason…
By the time we reached the airport, the flight was taking off and we’d already decided to ditch the Langkawi idea and head straight for Phuket and make our way from there round the islands. No flights to Phuket until the evening, so we pottered around the airport, hopping from free wi-fi to free wi-fi. We cancelled our hotel reservation in Langkawi and desperately tried to find somewhere in Phuket to stay that night. Finally got it done with only a small amount of stress and panic, checked in and caught the evening flight into Phuket.
Phuket wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined – to be fair we never really saw Phuket Town itself as we got ourselves into Patong beach, but I’ll assume it’s not too dissimilar. The fat old European with young lithe Thai girl count wasn’t as high as expected, but horrifically present at the same time. There was, however, a hell of a lot of younger guys paired up with Thai girls (and ladyboys) wandering about – the holiday romance almost a career choice for many Thai girls. We found our hotel – my pre-cached google maps proving more up to date than the driver’s local knowledge and checked in. Comfortably sized, quiet, clean and not a terrible distance from the beach – we sighed relief and went out for dinner.
Our second night there, we headed out for a couple of drinkies in a nice, chilled bar, got a couple of coronas in and watched the steady stream of tourists flow past. The nice, chilled evening wandered slightly off course as it progressed thanks to the subtle application of Jaegermeister shots here and there and we found ourselves in the Rock City bar up the street, where a Metallica covers band was rocking out onstage, accompanied at the side of the stage by a couple of the most uncoordinated dancers I’ve ever seen. Flailing arms and the worst horn throwing known to man, I just hope they weren’t part of some ‘Make a Wish Foundation’ excursion as we ripped the piss out of them both lengthily and heartlessly 🙂
One of the strangest things for us was the fact that smoking was allowed inside restaurants and bars. In the UK we’ve had a good few years to get used to the whole no smoking in public places idea and having a night out and having the reek and remnants of cigarettes on your clothes, mouth and lungs in the morning is (thankfully) a thing of the past. Not so in Thailand.. With packets stacked high on tables next to us, we suffered a steady fog of smoke all night – pretty much to the point that we stopped noticing it..
The next day was pretty rough for me.. Emma wasn’t too bad, but both of us kinda felt as though we’d had a solid night of headbutting things, licking armpits and snorting coal dust. The day had pretty much escaped us, dragging ourselves back into consciousness around 3pm – we’d got in around 5am and probably passed out not long after.. Bacon sarnie, coffee and the saltiest lemon juice ever had us feeling a little more human, so we made the usual ‘never again’ vow and pottered down by the beach for a little while and made plans for where to head next.