Today is the 4th and final post sharing Thailand photos, along with some other bits of information and answers to some questions I’ve received. You can see part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here. This is another photo heavy post 🙂
Day 7 – This was a big day! We had a 7am pick up for our day trip, and didn’t get home until about 7pm! Our day trip began with a long bus ride out to Island Safari, at Phang-Nga. Here we went on an elephant ride and fed a baby elephant and a cheeky monkey who stole Mum’s sunnies and ran up a tree, and played tug-o-war with my hat! We had our feet soaked in a tank of fish who eat away any dead skin on them (this tickles so much!) and went for a ride on some ATV’s (mine broke down and was deserted it!). We also watched an elephant show where the elephants could stand on their front legs or back legs only, bow, throw darts to pop balloons, throw a ball in the hoop, and hula hoop with their trunk, and a monkey show where the monkey’s walked around with umbrellas, rode a tricycle, dropped coconuts and dribbled the ball and threw it through the hoop… It’s amazing what these animals can do! We had another bus trip to where we had lunch, then went white water rafting from there… 7kms of awesomeness, especially the last 2kms where the rapids were strongest! It was Mum’s first time, and even she loved it! We stopped at a fruit market on the way back to the hotel. Once back at the hotel, we got ready to go to dinner at Number 6 restaurant, before exploring Bangala Rd and heading back about 10.30pm.
Day 8 – This is the day we headed home. We spent a little time doing some last minute shopping, before packing our bags and checking out at 12pm. Since our hotel pickup wasn’t until 3pm, we spent the afternoon relaxing by the hotel pool, and had lunch at the hotel restaurant, which was one of the best club sandwiches I’ve ever had! Our transfer to the airport was scary… He drove extremely crazy, and it was pouring with rain, so it was a relief to arrive in one piece! We checked in and sat around the airport for what felt like forever. There are very few shops in Phuket International terminal, and the ones that are there are ridiculously expensive! The first flight went smoothly, apart from the dodgy fried rice and satay on the flight that made me sick! Our stopover was in Kuala Lumpur for a few hours, and we left on the second flight a little before midnight. We ended up arriving home at 10.45am on the 28th, just in time for Michael’s birthday!
- We stayed at the Amata Resort in Patong. Although this hotel is only 3 stays, it’s far nicer than half the 4 star accommodation I’ve stayed in before, and we were only in the standard rooms! The hotel had 2 pools, a restaurant, multiple bars (including at each pool!) and free WiFi throughout. It was in an awesome location, only about 10 minutes walk to the beach, surrounded by shops and tour desks, plenty of food options within walking distance, yet far enough from all the clubs that you didn’t really get any noise from them. We managed to get our accommodation pretty last-minute, about 2 weeks before going after all our issues with booking, and it only cost us $840 for the week for 2 twin rooms, so it was plenty affordable!
- To get the best priced flights, we flew with JetStar on the way in, and Air Asia on the way back. Both are pretty standard for budget airlines. With JetStar, there were plenty of snack and meal options on the flight, but no food was included with the flight, and what you could buy worked out pretty expensive for what it was ($3 for the tiniest instant coffee, $15 for a tiny reheated airline meal, $8 for a stale wrap, $4.50 for cheese and crackers, etc). When it’s a 9 hour flight, you need to eat something on there! With Air Asia, the meals were pretty standard, and you had to choose them and pay for them when you booked. The meals only worked out to be about $3 each though, which wasn’t too bad at all. Since we had a stop over and it ended up such a long flight, we had 2 meals on there. I do NOT recommend the fried rice and satay skewers… It has anchovies, and made me sick for about a week!
- Thailand is pretty cheap. $1AUD was equivalent to 28.5 Thai Baht. We did tours most days, and they cost between 1200 Thai Baht and 1900 Thai Baht ($42-$67) per person, and for how much they included, it was great value. Our dinners worked out to be around $50-$60 at a time, and that is for the 4 of us together… Me and Michael pay more than that for just the 2 of us in Sydney at some places, and for less food even! A lot of the shops were based on bartering, and in a lot of them, you could get usually around 50% off the original asking price if you were good at bartering. I was warned to watch the colours of the bags you were given, because they apparently give different colours for different levels of bartering (if you are really good or really bad at it). I brought Michael a couple of brand name shorts (Billabong and Ripcurl), and they cost me around $25 for both.
- I didn’t end up writing on my journalling cards while away. I had every intention, but there was too much happening, and to be honest, I found it easier emailing the information back to Michael each day as my version of a travel diary. I do have all the information I want to use typed up and ready to be transferred over when I start assembling my pages though, so it’s still all ready to go.
- Don’t buy a photo album while over there… We brought some nice ones to put our trip photos in, thinking they were just made from normal parchment type paper like the one I got in Bali and the one Bec got in Fiji, but apparently not. We all had them confiscated at Customs on the way home, because apparently they are actually made from elephant dung, and the shopkeepers won’t warn you of that!
- One last observation is how rude we found a lot of the tourists while we were away. They showed no respect for other tourists, and even worse, no respect for the locals! People, if you visit someone else’s country, please show the people there the respect they deserve! They may not speak your language and it may be hard to communicate, but often they are the loveliest people, and will still try to do anything they can to understand you and help you! This was especially true in Thailand… The Thai people are so amazingly friendly! #RantOver