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Phuket Travel Blog

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The Ladyboys at the Simon Cabaret

to Phuket.  Seriously.  I think I have a new best weekend of my life.

We flew into Phuket on Thursday evening at around 11 p.m.  The flight only actually took about an hour and a half but our hostel was in Patong Beach about an hour from the Phuket airport.  Where is Phuket?  Phuket is a fairly large island off the Southern coast of Thailand.  Its main industry is tourism and it is the richest area of Thailand.  And it is the most gorgeous place on Earth.  Forgot to mention that part.

However, you couldn't really tell how gorgeous it was when we got in.

Canoeing in Hong Island...my guide made sure to point out that this looked like a fish
  It was pouring pretty badly and getting to the hostel was a little confusing for the driver because of street signs and just generally navigating in the whether.  But we made it safe and sound and semi-dry and got all checked in by about 11:30.

The hostel was super-nice.  Nicest one we have stayed at I think.  They were 2 person rooms which was definitely different than the huge room full of bunk beds that we have been staying in and they even had a TV (haven't seen one the whole time I have been here...) and a mini-fridge.  And no shared bathrooms!  All for $6 a night.  Thailand is super-cheap.

The rain kept us in on Thursday, but there was a gas station across the street where we got huge bottles of beer for about 40 baht (about $1) and the hotel manager found a pizza place where we could order pizza.

James Bond Island...they call me Kerns, Kristen Kerns
  It felt like we were in the states for a couple hours.

Friday morning was elephant trekking.  We had reserved the tour beforehand because we knew we wouldn't have time to arrange anything when we got there.  The company picked us up at 8 a.m. and took us to a different part of Phuket, near the Chang Mai Bay and up a moutain.  We learned a little about the elephants before riding them for a couple hours.  The views were spectacular and even cooler from the top of an elephant.  It all seemed a little surreal.  I mean, we were riding elephants in the jungles of Thailand.  How often does that happen.

Elephant riding ended around noon and when we got back to the hostel we took some tuk-tuks to Patong to lay out for the remainder of the day.

Drinks at the Beach!
  Found a little place for lunch where most of us got seafood and again cheap drinks.  The beach was calm.  As long as you take out the people trying to sell us umbrellas.  Swam in the Indian Ocean and just hung out for a couple hours.  Very relaxing.  After a bit Katie, Marianna, Carlanna and I went to bargain for a day trip for the next day with one of the many travel agents on the beach.  We found the one we were looking for -- one day where you get to go both seacanoeing and snorkeling in the same trip.  Hard to come by because different islands are better for each of the separate trips, but there was one that went to both.  The price started at 2900 Baht - about $75.  We managed to get them down to 1300 Baht - only about $32!  There were 16 of us going, which helped with the price, I think.
Khai Island...Beautiful
  At the same time, we also got tickets for the Simon Cabaret...the world famous transvestite show!

The show seemed a little sketchy, but it was very entertaining.  The lady-boys (as they were called) didn't look like men at all.  I think some of the guys were weirded out but on the whole, a very interesting experience.  After the show, we walked across the street to the German Oktoberfest and watched the first game of the World Cup.  Very big here.  Apparently America is the only country where it isn't very big.  It was entertaining to see Thai people dressed in liederhosen serving sausage and bratwurst.  Only in Phuket can you see that and transvestites in the same night and even across the street from each other.

We all passed out to wake up super early for our full day boat tour that we had arranged the day before.

Elephant Riding!
  Left the hostel at 8 a.m. to go down to the pier.  Company was a little sketchy and we ended up paying a couple dollars more per person.  In the end, it didn't matter though because it was such a great day.

We went to 3 different islands - Hong, James Bond and Khai.  Hong was the place that had great canoeing.  The caves were so cool to look it.  The stalagmites were very well formed and everywhere.  We went in some caves where you actually had to lie down in your kayak to even get in.  Everything was so tropical.  The islands were these huge rocks just covered with plant life and greenery.  Looked like something from Jurassic Park.  James Bond was neat as well.  Apparently the island got that name because it was featured in Man with a Golden Gun.  Haven't seen the movie, but visiting the location made me want to.

Spent a lot of time at the last island, Khai.  It was the most beautiful place I think I have ever been.  When we got there, it was completely deserted save the couple people that had set up our full service lunch in a hut on the beach.  It was a full meal -- cashew chicken, fish, rice, even real silverware and plates.  After eating we walked around and waded in the very clear water.  climbed on some rocks and eventually went snorkeling!  I had never really been snorkeling and some of the coral was different than anything I had ever seen.  The fish were also very brightly colored.  Some neon, some black and yellow and even some that camoflauged into the ocean floor.  Katie, Kevin and I went on a snorkeling adventure around the point that ended us up in a place with quite a few sea urchins.  Little scary but we made it out OK.  Got a little sunburned from laying on the beach afterwards and spent about an hour on the speedboat getting back to the pier.

We were all wiped after the day of exploring and we took showers and went out to an Australian restaurant a couple of blocks away.  Highly recommended by Lonely Planet apparently.  Had some more fish, it was actually very good, and then got gelato and walked around the shops in the area before passing out.  I think I fell asleep by 10:30 p.m. last night...we definitely aren't an all night, every night clubbing group.

It was all probably for the best as our mini-bus to the airport left the hostel at 5:30 a.m.  Flight back was uneventful.  Passed out for about half a day before going down to Orchard Road for dinner and a movie.  Great Chinese restaurant Carlanna got from a guidebook.  Best Chinese food I have ever had, hands down.

Long week ahead....test on Wednesday, Project presenation on Thursday and then Cambodia and Angkor Wat this weekend.  It just keeps getting more ridiculous.  We only have about a week and a half left in Singapore before we fly to Beijing on the 23rd.  It is all going so fast...

Purdy says:
Oh you brought back wonderful memories - l was in Phuket this time 2 years ago and came away feeling the same l loved the place! Heather
Posted on: Jun 15, 2006
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The Ladyboys at the Simon Cabaret
The Ladyboys at the Simon Cabaret
Canoeing in Hong Island...my guide…
Canoeing in Hong Island...my guid…
James Bond Island...they call me K…
James Bond Island...they call me …
Drinks at the Beach!
Drinks at the Beach!
Khai Island...Beautiful
Khai Island...Beautiful
Elephant Riding!
Elephant Riding!
photo by: Aclay01