South Sea Resort， Karon Beach， Phuket， Thailand
17.04.2009 - 18.04.2009 30 °C
The start of the holidays, and 17 hours in Phuket to relax...
Discovering that the hotel was 1 hour away by taxi from the airport wasn't the ideal way to start off, but then the drive down to Karon Beach was spectacular, a mix of jungle-like scenery, ambitious signage ("Joe's Construction Company" billboard out the front of a shanty town that looks like the cubbys that I built when I was five...) and daredevil drivers made the drive well worthwhile.
Driving feats that we witnessed on the road included the guy who obviously decided that occy straps were too dangerous, so instead he left the tailgate of the ute down and stood on that to hold the load of wood on while his mate drove at 100kph down the winding hillside, and the lady on the motorbike complete with welded metal frame like a sidecar, with a kid sitting on top of the frame, holding his baby sister in his arms....jeez I'd hate to be an ambo in these parts!
We went through Patong Beach, it looks like a great party town but since we were aiming for a relax, we were pretty happy to find that Karon Beach is a slower paced, almost resort town - resorts lined along a flat, white sand beach with a scattering of markets and restaurants in between - perfect. South Sea Karon Resort was perfect, everything you could want in a place for $66 a night - swim up bar, decent sized pool with perfect temperature water, restaurant opposite the beach to sit and watch the sunset, day spa, great rooms and a balcony with a view to both the ocean and the hills behind - we're coming back!
We had already fallen in love with Phuket but I'd have to say the clincher was discovering a) that they still have happy hours (not like stingy old Perth with its "oh no we might encourage binge drinking" wipeout of drink specials) and b) the happy hours are not really hours, the drinks are half price for at least three hours at every bar! In addition, we got two massages for the price that you'd pay to drive to a physio in Perth, can't ask for better than that.
So, after combining that health and safety favourite of drinking and swimming, and working our way through a good part of the cocktail menu in the process, it was off through the markets to a streetfront restaurant. Thai Red Curry in Thailand was a must have, and of course, we were served by a shemale which made the whole process much more authentic in my opinion (how do they get their make up so good?!).
We had to leave for the airport at 5am, so I made sure I set my alarm for 4.30am - too bloody early, and especially when you realise that you haven't actually changed your clock from Perth time, so instead of getting up at 4.30 you actually got up at 3.30am - doh!