On Tuesday, the 27th of August we overslept and were packed up just in time for checking out at 12:00. We took a ‘tuk-tuk’ to Kata Beach.
A tuk-tuk in Phuket is a small van like a Daihatsu or a Suzuki mini-van, but in a pickup version with benches at the back.
We checked into our hotel first for only two nights and then extended it for another two nights. We mostly worked during the day as it rained a lot and was mostly cloudy.
For breakfast Caro just walked over the road to the 7-Eleven and bought packaged sandwiches which the teller then opens and toast for us. We also found their cheap ice-coffee on tap, which became another staple.
Every night for dinner we found a new street vendor or ‘night market’. We had more variations of similar soup, noodle and rice dishes. On evening we changed it up a bit and ordered barbequed pork ribs. It went down rather well.
On Saturday, the day we had to check out there were clear skies. We thus decided to rent a scooter leaving our packed bags at the reception. We went to visit the giant Buddha, which truly is giant and still under construction.
The road up the hill were also impressive with the lush green tropical forest surrounding it. Unfortunately, we had to see all the poor elephants that are kept tied next to the road for stupid tourists who want to sit on them.
From the Buddha we rode South to Nai Harn beach. The sun was still out so we went for a swim. The waves were a bit rough and it was a constant battle to swim, but still a lot of fun. Then suddenly it became dark and everyone started to leave. Monsoon rain coming again…
We put on dry clothes for some silly reason and started riding back to Kata, but we barely made it onto the pass connecting the two beaches when giant raindrops started to hit us. We found a shelter next to the road and hid underneath it. We watched as other tourists and local drove by on their scooters soaking wet barely able to see a few meters in front of them. We thought we were smart. After a few minutes it looked like the rain had calmed so we set off again, but it either started to rain harder again or we misjudged the ‘softness’ of the rain, because by the time we got to our hotel we were also completely drenched.
Turns out we are the stupid ones for not just staying in our swimming clothes or for not just waiting long enough. The receptionist was kind enough to open a room for us to shower and change clothes in. When we got outside again after a few minutes there were clear blue skies again.
Sitting on the local bus to Phuket Old Town we contemplated why we were leaving the beach behind just when the sun came out after days of rain and cloud cover. That night we asked ourselves the same question again while listening to the loud noise of the city, missing our quiet home of the past four days.
The next day in Phuket town however made up for it. We explored some local streets and had expensive but delicious coffee in one of the many ‘hipster coffee culture cafes’. Some of the buildings are said to be Sino-Portuguese architecture and there’s also lots of murals on street walls. It’s thus a welcome add-on to the typical beach image of Phuket.
We then hired a scooter and marvelled at Phuket’s mega mall, Central Festival Phuket. For two hours we just walked up and down the different floors and hallways and still didn’t even see all the shops. Just as we were about to leave a stranger gave us a ‘food’ card for use at the food cart. The 60 baht balance was just enough for two small pork skewers.
In the evening we went to the famous Weekend Market with hundreds of food stalls and twice as much goods stalls. We sampled a few of the food options on sale from Sushi to pork parcels in banana leaves.
Back at the hotel we found another night market that sprung up and did some more shopping and perusing.