Friday, December 2, 2016

Day 9 Phuket, Phi Phi and Krabi

Well, it's been eventful. Those expecting a 'travelling is so incredible' post, prepare to be somewhat disappointed...

Phuket. For those who have been there, you will understand. It's a party town...and somewhat, overwhelming with its hard sell on cheap bars, ping pong shows and the usual street-side trinkets...never have I seen so many men beat up a pair of sunglasses to show their worth... We were only staying two nights and, thanks to some thorough TripAdvisor research, we stayed in an exceptionally nice hotel, not far from the main strip or the beach, called Summer Breeze Hotel. It was clean, staff were friendly and our towels were laid out as little swans...

Anyway, leaving Gatwick at 09.40 and arriving in Phuket at 08.00 local time, having not slept on either plane on the journey meant that we felt we should do our best to stay up...which proved difficult. We took a wander down the beach, had some lunch and a drink, wandered a little more but started waning early afternoon, and I gave into sleep at 16.00...Ben following an hour or two later. We managed to sleep right through to about 8 or 9 the next day somehow, beached it up properly for the day and hit the crazy night scene of Phuket later, staying in a bar that had a live band on and a bell that, if rang, meant shots for everyone, courtesy of the bell ringer. It suffices to say I was not on best form the next morning, which is how we ended up having a Burger King breakfast before boarding the ferry to Koh Phi Phi.

I LOVED the time I had spent on this island with my sister 6 years ago, but my 25 year old self is not my 31 year old self. And two sisters travelling is not the same as travelling with your, gulp for the adult moment, husband. And, we left Phi Phi only yesterday, convinced that the island, for some reason, hated us.

Firstly, when we arrived, it rained. Really rained. No way to walk in this rain, kind of rain and it went on for ages. We eventually decided that it was 'light as it was ever going to be' and braved it for the fifteen minute walk to the guest house we were planning to check into. Some streets were flooded and impossible to walk down, and, despite the fact I had spent maybe 3-4 weeks there with Fiona, there had been so much development that I wasn't sure of the way. This wasn't too bad though, and we got there and, thankfully, they had a decent enough room available.

5 nights were spent in total. We were planning four but a serious bout of something for me took out a whole day after I spent the night clutching a painful stomach in between, lets say, 'eventful', trips to the bathroom. It was a bit of a shame as we had spent the first part of that night out having dinner and going to the Reggae bar, where often-inebriated tourists can get into a boxing ring and swing punches for three rounds to gain a free bucket of Samsong, redbull and coke. Most entertaining. Though a drunken Englishmen trying to start a ringside fight with an indifferent ringside tourist added a sour note to the evening. Ben and I left for banana bar where we chilled one floor up from the beer pong (well, if we couldn't play then we weren't about to watch) and enjoyed the view from the rooftop bar.

A day after my being ill, we braved a visit to the PP Princess infinity pool. I was still a bit delicate and the walk down was slightly exhausting  but once I was on a sunbed, it was very relaxing. And I enjoyed a pool swim immensely.

We decided I was well enough to book the snorkelling trip we had our eye on for the next morning. Shark watch. Irritatingly, though we had asked twice, the tour didn't have enough interest to go ahead, so, running out of time, we booked the Phi Phi Ley snorkelling trip instead. This snorkelling trip was to be the changing point for our travel plans.

The day started early and overcast. We got to the first snorkel point and enjoyed looking at all the little fishes...even if I will sneakily admit that after a half hour we were a little bored. By the time we got back in the boat, the sea had become quite choppy, and Ben, who had struggled a little with the breathing through his mouth bit, had swallowed some yummy sea water.

The next snorkel point was very wavy, and Ben promptly threw up in the sea. On the following bumpy boat trip, Ben threw up spectacularly off the side of the boat. Some other passengers joined him in taking a sea sickness tablet, if they hadn't already, and Ben braved the last snorkel stop and got into the water again! This last stop was sadly the choppiest area of all, snorkelling was difficult as you couldn't really float, you were being bumped about too much, and the visibility was terrible in any case. I did, however, spot a jelly fish, about the size of my fist, which freaked me out no end as I bloody hate jelly fish. So I spent a nervous 20 minutes in the water, and, though it was cool to see a turtle, I was glad to head back to the boat. Keeping a keen eye out, I spotted another jelly fish about the same size and, looking forward, one that was about the size that Dory dubbed 'squishy' in Finding Nemo. Cute to some, to me, not so much. I became convinced I was swimming through a sea of little jelly fish so I took my head above the water, pretty sure I felt the little one give me a farewell nip as a turned to head to the boat, and yelled at Ben to get in the f****** boat as he hovered around at the base of the ladder. I mentioned the jelly fish to the Austrian guy once we were all back aboard and he responded with, yeah, did you see the massive one under the boat? No I had not, and was grateful for it when he held his hands a fair distance apart to indicate the size and I myself started to feel a bit seasick.

In all this excitement, once aboard the boat, a wave knocked it and a stumbled, stubbing my toe and cracking the nail vertically. Back on dry land and attempting to get the wood out that had creeped under the nail, I couldn't tell if I had got it all and so, Ben and I took a trip to the med centre. With people sat around with drunkenly attained injuries, I was in for a broken nail. To rub salt in the wound of my minor injury, i was given anti biotics and told to, wait for it, abstain from alcohol for five days (boo) and stay out of the sea or pools for 5 days (what?!).

Since our plans were previously to head to another beach and then onto Koh Toa to do some diving (already on its way to the scrap pile after our snorkelling experience), we sat and rethought and this is where things took a bit of an upswing as we are currently awaiting our taxi from Krabi where we have spent one night to fly to Chiang Mai, where I have never been.

So the plans to follow the vague route I did with my sister are tossed out which I think is for the best. Those days were spectacular and I don't need to revisit the places and undo the good memories associated with them. Ben and I are heading into new areas together where everything will be new to the both of us. And hopefully, Chiang Mai won't hate us. Ben already found an Irish pub near our guesthouse that's showing the England rugby game so it's going well so far! Even if I'll have to enjoy a cup of tea instead of beer while I watch it...

I won't mention Krabi. We arrived yesterday and while our guesthouse is lovely, it has done nothing but rain. Constantly.

Goodbye for now, we're heading North!

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