Published: March 7th 2008March 6th 2008
We are back.... and I have an apology to make ... I am SORRY PHUKET... Last year I never gave you enough credit... I hated you, but that has all changed after 3 short nights... :-)
From Phuket Town we headed straight to Patong.. and a few nights on much needed luxury at the Holiday Inn.. WOW! This place is really great.... as nice as Merlin Beach Resort was last year, it still seemed a little overpriced, and the remoteness (along with their taxi mafia) left me with a not so great impression... Holiday Inn on the other hand.. well.. it has my vote! It was smack bang in the middle of Patong Beach RIGHT across the road from the AMAZING OTop Markets, and the beach... the staff were fantastic, the rooms beautiful and we totally enjoyed every last minute.... and especially the 'to die for' pillows! Yes seriously... they had the worlds BEST pillows!! LOL... Doesnt take much to please me, after all this time on the road!
Sooo anyway I digress! What did we do in Patong..... well not much really apart from shop, drink, eat and shop... oh and more shopping! Our bags are packed to
the hilt (and we have bought a 2nd bag each), and we are both now officially broke (Thanks for the loan DAD! xx)
Bundaberg Rum... Oh Yeah!
On Day 1 of our stay, we arrived at the hotel mid morning, did the last blog while waiting for our room then spent the afternoon looking around the OTop Markets, and a small bit of shopping.. the disaster struck.... Reety went into an internet cafe to check on her funds (which was tragic in itself) and while gone Rinna (who was meant to be shopping) found a tiny bar in the OTop Markets called the Aussie Bar (not to be confused with the one in Bangla Rd)..... By the time I found her she was best mates with David the bartender, she was on her 2nd drink, and we were not going anywhere... what made it even more exciting was that David stocked BUNDABERG RUM!! Now that excited me, but for a rum addict like Rinna, well my chances of moving her at that stage were pretty slim.. a bit of a concern since it was only 3pm!
By 5pm we were both well on our way
to messy, playing Aussie tunes (Rinna even had a microphone, and yes I have it on video!) and loving our new Thai friend David. Everytime we needed to go to the toilet (which was a good walk away), Davids assistant Win would jump on a motorbike, we would jump on the back, and he would drive us there and back! David was also insistent we stay for a free BBQ!!
By 7pm we had been joined at the bar by two couples, a Swedish couple (cannot remember their names now) and a lovely honeymooning couple - Leisha and Scott from Melbourne... as you do on holiday, we were best mates within 20 minutes, eating a free dinner of Snapper, Chicken Wings, Steak and Rice by 8pm and the party really started!! By 9pm Rinna was behind the bar serving drinks to a couple of English lads, and Leisha and I were new best mates! LOL!
At roughly 11pm (this is where it starts to get really fuzzy) Leisha, Scott, Rinna and I were off for the girly bars down Bangla Road. Having seen it before I was prepared, but Rinna was pretty gobsmacked, and spent the next few
hours talking to the bar girls, drinking with them, and sharing tears with them. It is really sad to see, and I dont think Rinna expected the reality.. these women are gorgeous, and its hard to imagine their lives!
At the 2nd bar we went to, we had a lovely bartender doing the magic card tricks, juggling bottles etc, and then I taught him an Aussie trick .. the whole Jagerbomb lineup (where you balance the shots on the rims of the glasses and hit one in, causing the rest to tumble into the correct glass of redbull!!) ... He was pretty impressed and promised me that from now on that is the ONLY way he will serve his Jagerbombs!! They should be called Reetybombs! LOL
I knew it was a REALLY bad idea when Leisha bought a round of Tequila shots about 3.30am, but you know the feeling.. always a good idea at the time! We negotiated a tuktuk at 4am when they kicked us out of the bar (not because of misbehaviour.. because it was shutting!!) .. and let me tell you those bloody tuktuk drivers are SHARKS.. it normally costs 200 baht to go to
the Merlin Beach (where Leisha and Scott were staying) but they wanted 200 baht to drop us to Holiday Inn (just around the corner on the way to MB) and another 200 to go to MB! That was it... I fired up, put on my 'law student logic' cap, and went hard at the bartering.. My reasoning was to any of them that would listen was : 'you can sit here and wait another hour for someone to pay the 400 OR you can take us now for the correct price of 200 then come back and have gained 200 baht!' .. although at 4am in the morning, it was alot more heated, and long winded than that, but you get the point right?? Dont take my money... someone else will... and you will still be sitting here when they get back from dropping us off!!!
Soft Pillows & Hangovers
Anyway the next day was NOT pretty... both of us woke up with REALLY bad hangovers.. thank god for our luxury pillows and soft beds... we missed out prepaid breakfast buffet and spent the day in bed, attempting to eat some room service mid afternoon! We
ventured out of the room to get some Pineapple Fruit Shakes (great for a hangover) and to attempt to do some shopping... Back to the room pretty early to watch some of our 200 DVD's we have purchased! (yes that is not a misprint ... 200!!!) - a complete write-off of a day! Oops! Oh well, we will just have to shop TWICE as hard tomorrow......
Running Out of Money
Our last day was spent shopping up a HUGE storm... luckily more money had hit my account or I would have been in trouble! The shopping in Patong is fantastic... last year when I was here it was pretty good, but this year it had improved so much ... the boardshorts (Billabong, Quiksilver) were much better quality and cheaper... the tshirts had a lot of different new designs, and there was even a stack of the cool 'Ed Hardy' range. We shopped until about 3pm and then decided to head back to the hotel to drop off the many bags, as well as have a swim and drink in the pool at the swim up bar.... Our original plan had been to shop in the mornings,
spend every afternoon at the bar in the pool, and then head out each evening... unfortunately due to our big night out the first night, this plan had gone astray and so the first (and only) time we went near the pools was on our last day! We spent 2 hours in the pool (luckily for us it was Happy Hour at the time), had 2 cocktails, and then dried off and prepared ourselves for more shopping.... We were back to the hotel exhausted by 10pm, put on another DVD, attempted to pack our bags (it took some very creative packing), and collapsed in bed around 1am!
Reety's Day of Hell
The alarm went off at 5.30am, and sadly we were up to get ready for a 7am transfer to the airport. We had a big day ahead, where we had to fly to Bangkok (arriving around 11am) and then fly out to Chiang Mai at 7.45pm that night. 10 minutes into my day, and I knew something was definitely not right... I was so sick and vomiting by 6.30am! Great! Just what I need for a day of travel! Rinna went to breakfast by herself
while I attempted to shower and make myself ready to travel. We were picked up by one of Davids friends at 7am who drove us to the airport for 600 baht (bargain here in Patong). Once at the airport I was sick again, and we decided to pay for Express Boarding to get on the plane first and get me seated near the toilet... While waiting in lline the guy next to me asked if I speak English, when I said yes he explained that they had a tight schedule and would it be ok if they had the front row (his friends were behind me), no problems I said, as long as I am near the toilet I dont care... he then proceeded to tell me he was a doctor, opened up his bag, took out a massive bag of drugs, and filled my hand with pills "Take one of these now, and then every 4 hours.. that will help with your diahorrea... Take one of these now and one later, then two per day until they are all gone... they are a very strong anti-biotic that will clear up the bug".... LOL!
I piled the drugs in
my purse.. it wasn't until later that I thought that it is probably NEVER a smart thing to accept drugs from a stranger, or carry them unmarked through airports! LOL but at the time I was too sick to care, and very grateful for his help!
Everyone who knows me, knows how much I hate flying.. and I can tell you know that it is getting worse with each flight... I was pretty nervous when we took off, and once in the air used Rinnas IPOD to drown out any noises... but during the landing, I became a total mess.. I swear he was coming in way too fast and he was wobbling all over the place.. by the time we hit the tarmac in Bangkok I had tears streaming down my face, and was shaking.. an absolute wreak.. Once inside the airport I threw up and pooed twice in 10 minutes... it was at that point I knew my day was NOT going well! LOL!
We had to pay excess baggage on our flight as the limit is only 15kgs, so we made the decision to leave everything in Bangkok at my friend, Tongs place. We packed
in our new small Billabong bags enough clothes to last us the 6 days in Chiang Mai, took a taxi to Tongs husbands shop to drop off our bags, then found a cafe where I could get a Pineapple Shake to keep down... it worked... We then went to our favourite restaurant in Bangkok ROTI MATABA for lunch.. I ordered some food (way too optimistic!!) but couldnt do it, so watched Rinna scoff her face then we went to find an internet cafe to wile away the hours... As expected our flight to Chiang Mai was delayed (Air Asia are notorious for delayed flights) and our 7.45pm flight became 9.30pm!
This flight was not too bad, but I was still pretty nervous... but also excited as we were on one of the new A320 planes that Air Asia acquired in 2007.. very nice! AND this takes us up to now... we arrived in Chiang Mai last night late, went to our guesthouse CM BLUE (where I stayed last time) and collapsed in bed... I was REALLY sick still, but alive.... I have woken this morning to feeling pretty damn good, considering how I felt yesterday... maybe those drugs the
'doctor' gave me were legit after all! LOL!!
So that is all from us.. sorry it was so longwinded!! We are off to the Elephant Nature Park tomorrow so will blog again sometime after that! Only 10 more sleeps until we come home.. WOW!
Love to you all
Reet & Rinna
There are more photos below