After laying out on the top deck for the whole 3 hour boat trip (which resulted in quite the sunburn in Catriona’s case) we arrived on the island of Phuket. We hopped in a taxi, and after getting completely lost and Catriona having to pull in the help of some other taxi drivers, we arrived at our accommodation, the Orchidilla.
Phuket is one of the biggest islands in Thailand and is central to the tourism industry – the south of the island, is lined with expensive hotel resorts for the vacationing family. We in the small village of Mai Khao – lets just say it’s not an understatement to say that there was literally nothing at all around. As our German host described it, we were staying in ‘authentic Thailand’.
We arrived pretty late in the evening and headed to a small restaurant nearby, The White Tree, for a quick dinner. This wasn’t really a restaurant as such; you felt a bit more like you were in someone’s living room – but the food was good and we had a great conversation with the owner all about our travels.
The next morning we all woke up pretty late, still feeling the affects of Koh Phi Phi. We decided to take a wander up the road; this is when we realised just how much of an isolated area we were in. It’s definitely nice to be in a bit more of a ‘real area of Thailand’ but also pretty difficult when it’s hard to even find food to eat… We walked up towards the supermarket which was an experience in itself – I wish we had such a fantastic selection of vegetables and herbs on offer back home! I’m not so sure however about their refrigeration methods for meat…Herbs and vegetables however did not really a lunch make so we headed back towards the White Tree for a quick lunch.
That afternoon we had a bit of a chilled out time. The Orchidilla had a nice pool which we relaxed out at before getting our bags all packed for our early morning flights the next day.
This would be our last evening as a travelling trio; tomorrow Catriona and I were heading to Cambodia and Catharina was flying off to Bali. We all thought it would be a nice idea to have a good final meal together – we didn’t really fancy a third excursion to the White Tree. We looked up our transport options and realised that we could get a free tuktuk to one of the hotel’s further down the coast; Mickey Monkey – perfect! The tuk tuk driver picked us about at around about 7pm. After a very rocky (!) drive we arrived at the resort and enjoyed a few cocktails and some delicious spring rolls right out on the beach – this was more like it!
It’s safe to say by this point we were all in a slight grump and were craving the home comforts of western food (it’s bound to happen at some point). We knew there was a retail complex, Turtle Village, near some of the expensive hotels and decided to try and walk towards it. Error. We ended up getting completely lost within the Marriott hotel and ended up right in the middle of someone’s wedding – literally we were sandwiched between the bride and some of the guests – awkward! Luck did however eventually side with us and we managed to hop onto the Marriott’s free shuttle bus which took us straight to the doorstep of (turtle).
We headed towards Turtle Village (I’m even a bit embarrassed writing that down) and we enjoyed the home comforts we have been craving! It was a really lovely evening and after a taxi ride home we all crawled into bed ready for our 2am taxi pickup the next morning. Next stop – Siem Reap, Cambodia!