Finally arriving at Phuket international airport
Phuket Travel Blog› entry 3 of 12 › view all entries
It's about an hour and half flight from KL to Phuket, all flight attendants are male and they wear the red hat for the Xmas. I don't know if they're Malaysian or Thai. The plane is small, and the flight attendants just sit with passengers. Interesting thing I found during the whole flight, there's no announcement in Thai. I thought they would have destination country's language announcement. My pre-order flight meal Nasi Lemak tastes awful. Thinking about soon I can eat yummy food in Thailand, I couldn't care less. Approaching the airport, I can see amazing endless ocean and mountains at background. At least here in Phuket airport, they provide transfer shuttle bus to the terminal, so you don't have to walk much.
Following the crowds I walked to the custom area. Having absolutely no idea what the procedure is, I went to the visa window, thought I might need to fill some forms. The lady at the other side of the window and I looked at each other for a second. She was full of surprise and I was totally blank. Then she broke the peace and said: "Australian passport don't need a visa." and pointed towards the queue to the custom desk. Oh I see, I walked to the queue, lots of Korean and Chinese tourists in my queue. The other queues were full of westerners.
It took a while to go through the busy custom but without any drama. Then I went to exchange some money. Soon people approaching me trying to sell me tour package. I searched internet before I left where people said exchange money in Thailand you get better rate than in Oz.
About 10min drive, it stopped at a tour office like place. I figured this was the "ticket checking" or "tour package selling" thing people were talking about. A dude approached the van and asked everyone get off for ticket checking. Some people were astoned with the hijacking and refused to get off, they're keeping argue with the dude. I jumped out and walked inside the office, a girl asked if I have booked my accommodation and the name of my hotel. Then she tried to sell me some speedboat package deal, but wasn't very pushy when I showed no interest. Then it took a while for the dude to ring up those hotels for people in the van and to confirm the address. Only mine and another guy's hotel had people answered phone. The other passengers just agreed with them to be dropped off somewhere along the beach street due to no one at their booked hostel answering the phone.
Finally the van started off again, no dramas along the rest of the roadtrip. I was so tired, took a nap in the van. When I woke up, saw all those motor bikes beside us rushing through the winding mountain road.
I checked in with my booked hotel and paid key deposit, but the guy at the hotel bar told me the previous girl didn't return the key yet and it was almost 4pm. He told me that I can get in my room, but had to wait for the key till the girl get back, and he had no idea what time she'd be back. I was like are you serious? That's really inconvenient to me. Oh well, what else can I do? I was a bit tired, so I followed his guide to my room, said hello to my Aussie roommate Will and started to unpack my stuff. Hopefully the girl with the key will come back soon.
Chritmas night, I didn't do much, just walking around to farmiliarise myself with the city. I cannot see any big English street sign. Most words are in Thai, only those commercial ads have English writing. This place is full of western tourists. I found the population of westerners overtake the local Thai. Although some of them may be living here teaching English or Scuba diving. Lots of restaurant menus are in Russian, Greek, German and English. Some clubs have Japanese and Chinese signs.