Exploring a southern home on the island of Phuket
22.08.2011 - 22.08.2011 31 °C
Landing into Phuket blue skies and tropical turquoise waters were not immediately apparent. With the monsoon season firmly underway dark clouds were rolling across the horizons. They were to bring both welcoming shade clouds and unwelcome sporadic showers throughout our first day on the island.
The taxi ride from Phuket airport to Kata Beach would take an hour. Having visited the island before this southerly location would remove us from the hedonistic, loud and for want of a better description slightly tacky town of Patong. Kata Beach would prove to be a commercialized but relatively quiet Thai beach town complete with all the prerequisites we had grown accustomed to in Thai beach resorts – a preponderance of Island Tour touts, tourists on scooters and a personal favorite street hawkers selling a variety of pancakes from wheeled carts on every street corner.
With our hotel located a very short walk from the beach a quick dip in the ocean was soon suggested. Whilst the water was relatively warm a lack of sun provided a certain chill factor for Trey and myself. However, for our American friends this was the equivalent of swimming in bath water. A few brave surfers rode the waves as we jumped them, careful to avoid a vicious rip current that threatened to pull us all out of the secluded bay.
With tiredness apparent from a combination of jet lag and sea based exercise our evening excursion was limited to the immediate vicinity of Kata Beach. Yet this small beach town had plenty to amuse with tuk-tuk bars and pink VW campervans proving to form the basis for excellent drivable cocktail bars. As is typical in Thai beach resorts a strong emphasis on Scandinavian tourists and expats was also apparent. Supper consisted largely of Thai food cooked at a local restaurant by a Swedish chef, whilst a myriad of tailors and retail stores proclaimed their services in both English and a variety of Scandinavian languages. Good food was supplemented by an excellent guitar playing singer, happy to take requests ranging from Abba and Elton John to Westlife and Lady Gaga.
Returning to our hotel we signed up the following day for a tour of the islands, by speedboat. Tomorrow would see us crashing through the Andaman Seas visiting many of the sets seen in the movie ‘The Beach’ as we observed the beautiful limestone landscape that radiates outside of the more populated beach towns we had seen so far.