Sunday, 14 March 2010

Journey to Phuket

We finally got to visit China Town, which was an amazing experience. The incredibly narrow alleyways were packed tightly with a mixture of people and stalls with mopeds and delivery motorbikes narrowly missing everyone. I think it would have been possible to buy absolutely anything you wanted and in any quantity. It takes a strong constitution though to cope with the smells of food, drains and people along with the constant throng pressing past you and towards you.
The rest of the day was spent getting some things sorted out. Changing money, getting some Thai sim cards for our phones and booking the trip down to Phuket.
Our plan was to go by 1st class sleeper train but unfortunately as it is a Thai holiday at the moment it was fully booked all week. We have already tried the 2nd class option and didn’t fancy that again so the option was to fly or go by bus. We opted for the bus as it was only £20 each compared to at least £50 to fly. The ‘VIP’ coach ride was a 12 hour journey that was a grueling endurance test which only took us to Surat Thani where we had to get a mini bus to take us the rest of the 4 hour journey. Fortunately it dropped us right outside the Talang guest house where we quickly checked in after a quick scare after being told that there was only one air conditioned room. After some persuasion we managed to change it to two, thank goodness. As after hauling our heavy bags up the steep stairs, with the temperature hovering around 35 degrees, to the 2nd and 3rd floors where our rooms were located, we were in desperate need of some cooling down. Rarely have we felt so filthy and sleep deprived.
By the time we had showered it was just 11am so we all collapsed into very basic but clean beds for a couple of hours sleep. It was so tempting to sleep on and on but we knew if we did that we wouldn’t sleep that night. So all feeling a bit grumpy we dragged ourselves out for our first decent meal in well over 24 hours.
What a treat! Curry, chicken, noodles and rice for all of us for 300 baht (about £6 / $9!) The little restaurant was obviously owned by a vintage toy enthusiast as there was a long cabinet down one wall with everything from VW Beetle corgi cars to an old Mickey Mouse toy. Our table had a glass centre with star wars toys displayed in it. The walls were covered with old advertising signs and Chinese medicine ads. With the front all open to the busy street it was a perfect place to watch the world go by and while away the hours till bedtime.

1 comment:

Brookes Venturetrails said...

Ah the sweet stench of the souk so reminiscent of our travels in Morroco in our series 3 landy.

This reminds us of Marrakesh, getting cramped by people speaking fast foreign language bustled along catching glimpses of herbs and oils you might have wanted to stop and browse at before being bustled along in swealtering dripping heat whilst dodging the central sewer and responding to alarming yelps as ass and cart almost skirt your hips. Nick and Georgia you have relighted our fire for travel - well done you. This blog is fascinating. Watch this space, freedom here we come! Love from us all, Ken, Jane, Tai, Gabriel and Valentin xxx