The first through days here we knew it was pretty hot, but these last two days, especially yesterday, have been something else. We had a bit to take in yesterday after a relatively quiet day on the 24th due to the young fella being sick so we got out and about in the sweltering heat and midday sun. But we’ll start off with two nights prior.
This is about a 30 minute drive from our resort and is a place I wanted to go mainly because having done a bit of research it appeared to be a reasonably photographic location. The problem was that the best opportunity for good shots was when the tide was low and the boats were beached. Sadly, none of the times that were suitable with our plans coincided with low tide on this trip.
The beach itself is definitely not what you’d class as a tourist hot spot (although a lot of speed boat ventures do depart here for some of the nearby islands). Rather it is more of a cast off location for the local fishing and long boats – and there are plenty of them! The beach itself is littered with rubbish and dead fish carcasses. There are definitely more scenic and swimmable locations available elsewhere (on the other side of the island) but if you are looking at experiencing more of Phuket then this is another option.
The shoreline, as with everywhere over here, has plenty of eateries, street food vendors and bars at which you can recharge and or refresh.
To get here we arranged a taxi for the hours of 5pm to 7pm, giving us just enough time to look around and maybe take some photos. The cost of this was 1350 baht return (or about $50 NZ). Again, there are cheaper options if you need but for sheer convenience and timing we just booked through the resort.
Old Phuket Town
We went to old Phuket Town the following day. We went by taxi booked through the resort at a cost of 700 baht but just had a drop off this time, deciding that we had plenty of time to arrange whatever transport we wanted back.
As you walk around the township you see some magnificent old buildings. Bright colours of some contrast against the decaying look and peeling paint of others to create a really picturesque scene. It’s quite a place.
One of the downsides is you are constantly harrassed by tuk-tuk drivers trying to get your custom (not really to take you where you want to go, more so they can take you where suits them so they can get a bit more money from local shops). Saying no isn’t an issue, but to be honest you still do get sick of telling people to fuck off all the time when you are just trying to enjoy a peaceful walk and take in the sights.
If you are an art fan, you are in luck. There are plenty of artists showing off their wares in local galleries and some of them are very good! I had my eyes on one painting but at an asking price of 10,000 baht (approx $400 NZ) didn’t proceed any further than asking. To be honest, you probably wouldn’t sniff about paying that back home given the quality.
We also stopped in at a local restaurant for a bit of lunch. A crab laksa style soup for me, Liz and Harrison split a chicken satay dish and a crate size bottle of Chang to wash it down cost us a grand total of 450 baht (approx $18 NZ). Again, food and drink is cheap when you eat away from the resorts and holy heck is it tasty!
Come time to head home we jumped in a taxi for 500 baht and head back over the hill, all completely drained from the heat and the walking with the young fella falling asleep (and me nearly) on the way back to the resort.
The Naka night markets were our final event of the day. We had a quick dip in the pool, Liz and I downing a Long Island iced tea each at the pool bar, prior to heading off to the markets at about 4pm.
The markets are quite the event!There are hundreds of stalls selling such goods as sports wear, sunglasses, music and DVD’s (pirated of course), bags, trinkets, t-shirts and polos, art, food and drink a-plenty. Thousands of people descend on the stalls and you can here the haggling and banter between locals and foreigners alike adding to the vibrancy of the pla
It is fair to say we went fairly mad on spending here. One thing we did notice is that people perhaps wouldn’t haggle as much (in which case you just walk away from the stall) but the prices were a bit lower than out at the tourist hub of Karon. So tip for anyone visiting phuket – save your money for here. When haggling, I generally started off at about half the original price mentioned – although wasn’t shy of going way down if I thought what was been asked was obscene. I am not sure if what we purchased would be considered a bargain by the better hagglers in the world, but we were happy with what we got and are going to Bangkok well stocked (where it is apparently even cheaper and we will likely buy even more).
To finish off the day we were treated with a stunning display of lightning overhead prior to the trip back and a good sleep ahead.