On Sunday we embarked on our way to Phuket from Bangkok. This was no easy fete, we had an 11.5 hour train ride and 2.5 hour bus ride ahead of us and a ton of luggage that had to make the trip. Since we are flying by the seat of our pants on this adventure it never occurred to us to book a train ticket in advance…big mistake! The Thai New Year is coming up this weekend and everyone is trying to get out-of-town and to the beach to celebrate…who knew?!?! With that in mind travel agents buy up all of the train tickets and make you buy them back at a higher price…very similar to what scalping companies (like StubHub) do for concerts in the U.S. After we were overcharged by about $60 (not too bad all things considered) we finally had our tickets in had and were on our way, what a relief.
The first class sleeper car was my first choice, where we had two bunks, a sink, luggage racks, a window out to the open tracks and a door which locks and an offer privacy. In the future the second class sleeper car could definitely work, they would not afford the same privacy but would cut the cost in half and still allow a comfortable sleep. We just couldn’t do that with all of our luggage…there would have been no place to store it. But in no way am I complaining, the ride was not bad at all and to be honest it flew by. I had high hopes of playing cards and watching the countryside go by…but in reality we were both asleep within two hours and woke up freaking out that we may have missed our stop. We didn’t miss our stop but were just one away, very fortunate I had woken up when I did.
So, after what turned out to be a 13 hour train ride, three-hour “lay-over” in Surat Thani, and a five-hour bus ride we finally ended up in Phuket…exhausted, sweating and ready for some ocean water. I had reserved an apartment on the Phuket sea, a few miles outside of Phuket town, for a week to settle in and learn our surroundings. Once there we absolutely loved the apartment and threw on our bathing suits to head out for a swim…only as soon as we stepped foot in the water it disappeared. Seriously! It turns out we are staying in a cove and the low tide comes around 1pm each day and literally dries up the entire cove until around 10pm at night when it starts coming back in. I have never seen anything like it!
We have been swimming every morning since and the water is shoulder-high before it heads out to who-knows-where. I really cannot fathom how much water moves in and out each day.
We have settled in nicely, love our “landlords” and plan to stay here for a month in total. We have rented a scooter to get around on, and plan to explore the island, apply for jobs, and figure out what our next step is. It is so refreshing to have this down time and relaxation after the craziness of Bangkok. In hindsight I do think we missed out on some key things while in that city…floating market, weekend market, the “new” mall (apparently we went to the old mall, MBK) and the Grand Palace. I am sure we will be back there sooner than I know, and will have a chance to see it all.
In total I have been in Thailand for two weeks now and our visa allows up to stay for 30 days before a need to extend, border cross or get a working visa. We decided to take a trip to Singapore, explore the country and renew our tourism visa. There is still so much we will do before then, but that is the next big adventure…stay tuned and thanks for following me!