On leaving our hilltribe trek in Chiang Mai we were deposited at the local airport, luggage in hand wandering how we would make it to the Southern Islands. The train route was partially closed due to the severe rainfall during the rainy season meaning that maintenance was due making the trip from Chiang Mai to Bangkok for a connecting train from Bangkok to Surat Thani approximately a 24 hour trip. So we decided to pay extra and fly south to wherever we could get to whether that be Koh Samui itself (but with its high airport tax we felt this would be too much additional expense) or to Phuket. So, in a way, quite by accident Phuket, the tourism, commercial and not really ‘my cuppa tea’ location became included in our trip.
Decending through the nights sky onboard the Boeing-747 Thai Airways flight lightening lit up the sky beneath us. I became quite unnerved at the thought of flying through a thunder storm in nothing more than a sky-high tin can. As we descended lower the rain began to pummel the aircraft and the lightening once again set the nights sky to almost day. We descended lower and with a thud we landed on the largest of all the Islands ‘Koh’ of Thailand, Phuket.
On emerging from baggage collection we ventured out into a touristic blur of taxi drivers trying to sell you their service for prices grossly inflated from that in Chiang Mai. After the peaceful nature of the hilltribe trek and plodding through the jungle on elephants, the madness and commercial exploitation of tourists in this new place just gave me a headache! I started already to long for the paradise which was the basic life of camping out on wooden floors in the hill trek tribe huts way up the mountain side.
The lightening flashed again in a sheet across the sky and the tropical rain fell from the sky splashing into the puddles below whilst thunder grumbled and erupted from the clouds above.
Once again we had no idea where we were going to sleep tonight. We hopped into an overpriced taxi heading towards Phuket Town with the hope of staying at the Old Town Boutique Guesthouse, a bargain price of 750 baht in low season for a pleasant room and the cheapest that the travel guide book recommended. We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best. Please, please have room at the inn for us!
It was now gone midnight and as I am writing this post I am sat in the back of my over priced taxi, still seething over the few pounds extra we have had to pay, even though by English standards it isn’t all that much. And headed off into the night in search of accommodation.
Tomorrow we needed to find out the timings for the 8 hour bus journey we have from Phuket to Surat Thani where we can catch the boat to Koh Samui to start island hopping our way north.
I hope and pray in my heart for calm weather tomorrow so that our travels will be safe and our boat trip hopefully less turbulent – but who knows! This is Thailand after all and it always had surprises with resulting challenges….
Wish me luck for our hunt for accommodation!! Hopefully this guesthouse will have space for little old me for just one night!
Hoping for Sweet dreams (especially after spending the last two nights sleeping on the floor of a wooden hut!)
With love from a rainy Phuket,
Miss Hampshire xxxxx