Flying to Phuket from Thailand was a pretty good commute. Both planes I ended up having 2 seats to myself, so I was able to just relax. No one really kicked my seat much either. :)
The flight from Singapore to Phuket I met a nice True French couple, who had been traveling for 30 hours to get to Thailand for a friends wedding. We chatted for a few minutes before taking off, and then in the air, both passed out and got some needed rest, I am sure.
In the airport, there was 6 or more lines to go through customs. These lines were long and not moving fast. The shortest line I could see, my new friends were in. So I jumped into this line and started chatting them up again. We all noticed a few minutes later that some people had to get a visa on arrival and neither of us knew if we needed that. The French guy went over to an officer and asked if Canadians or True French needed a VOA. Good News, we don't need it. That line is even longer.
About an hour later we all make it through customs and I say goodbye to my new friends. They are such nice people and wish me the best of luck in Thailand.
As always, in the airport you can buy a SIM card and so I get one right away. Having internet helps so much while traveling.
The SIM cost me 200 baht ($8 CAD) for 7 days unlimited internet. No calling.
My hotel for the first night is just over 1 KM away, and even now it is 10 PM, it is still 32 degrees out. I am not walking with these two packs in this heat. So I ask a few taxis for the price. They want 600 baht, which is more than it would cost me to taxi across the Island. I guess I am walking.
Well, there is a nice breeze when I get out of the Airport and the walk isn't bad. 12 minutes later I am almost at my hotel, but a van pulls up and asks if I need a ride. I kindly say no, and tell him my hotel is just up the road. He says OK and pulls away.
1 minute later he is back and says, "Please sir, get in, it is too hot and you have large bags. I give you a ride for free. No charge!"
I know he is not trying to trick me, he genuinely wants to give me a ride. However, I point to the sign 20 steps ahead and show him, that's my hotel. He than says, he is sorry, he thought it was further ahead. He also tells me if I need a ride in the future to call him and he gives me his card.
Are Thais all this nice! If so, I am in for an amazing time.
Well, I am at my room and it is very nice. They also have a brand new pool, which I use right away and jump in for 5 minutes. Awww, I needed that!
The price of this hotel is more than I want to pay and I see it is not close to any nice beaches. So the next morning I check out and head to Patong, the red light capital on Phuket Island.
This is another little venture that I will tell here.
I am told by many people the mini bus cost close to 500 baht and I have to find one at the airport, but I recall seeing a mini bus taxi place just outside my hotel. So I head over there.
The receptionist tells me the price is 150 baht ($6 CAD). Rather big difference from getting one at the airport where tourist get ripped off.
When the mini bus taxi pulls up, the driver has already picked up at family. The van seats 9 people and currently has 8 in it.
This is where my opinion on a country starts to change. During my travels I have met hundreds of Germans and I never really knew how I felt about them. Well, I do now. They are amazing people. I have yet to meet a German who is not nice, and did not treat me with the most respect. I now want to meet all Germans.
But this bus was not filled with Germans, it was filled with Russians and Russians I always thought were nice but straight forward people.
And this is how my opinion starts to change. The one row of 3 seats had two Russians in it, with the middle seat empty. The driver asks them to move over, and make the outside seat free so I can get in. The guy and girl refused, saying they are not comfortable without more space. The driver then tells them, mover over, or we are not going anywhere. A minute later, after a tone of bitching from the entire family, they make room and I get in.
Now they turn there attitudes on me, like I made this happen. The entire ride the guy kept pushing against me trying to get my to sit half on the seat and half off. I refused and asked him to stop pushing. He acted like he didn't understand English, when I already heard him talking very good English to the driver.
The other family members had the same attitude with me.
This isn't where it all ends. When I exit the taxi, I meet a Russian couple on the street and get the same ignorant attitude. I am now really starting to wonder if this is the culture or just bad luck. Please be bad luck!
Anyways, I am now in Phuket, which will be the next blog post.
Talk soon all, and keep your minds open!