Sunday, February 21, 2010

Phuket, Thailand

The flight from Medan, Indonesia to Phuket, Thailand took about an hour. I decided to CouchSurf again after having such a nice experience in Medan. Also I was traveling to Phuket in the high season, i.e. the most expensive time of the year there. So I figured that CS would be, again, another great way to save some money on accommodation. At the airport in Medan I ran into a guy named Greg, from the United Kingdom, who I'd met previously at Bukit Lawang. Greg was meeting someone in Patong the following day and ended up CS with me that night before continuing his travels to Patong the following morning.

My CS host, Josh, lived in a lovely, quiet Thai neighborhood in Phuket Town. Josh is from the island of Mindanao in the Philippines and teaches art to kindergartners at a school located within his neighborhood. It literally takes him 3 minutes by motorbike to travel to work. Josh turned out to be an amazing host, too. He was extremely kind, funny and accommodating, who loved to have a good time and party. Hey Josh, "I gotta feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night, that tonight's gonna be a good night, that tonight's gonna be a good good night..."

I initially intended to stay just an few nights, but ended up staying for 9. I really just felt the need to take it easy--which I did. Oh, and another CSer from Italy, Simone, had also been staying there for a few weeks when I arrived. He departed a few days before I did. My days basically consisted of reading, writing, beach hopping, viewing beautiful sunsets, watching movies, and, occasionally, going out a few nights. Of course I made sure to visit the infamous city of Patong where every other person is either a Thai prostitute, ladyboy, or a flamboyant homosexual--Hey, not that there's anything wrong with that!

While I was in Phuket I decided that the next country I wanted to travel was Myanmar (Burma). So I contacted Daniel, whose blog I'd been following prior to my travels, to see if he would like to join me, as he was in the neighborhood--India. After purchasing my plane tickets for Myanmar I realized that I wouldn't be able to stay in southern Thailand as long as I had planned, and I still needed to see Koh Phi Phi.

Short on time I decided to take a one-day tour to Maya Bay, Leh Lagoon, Koh Phi Phi and Khai Island. I really didn't want to see Koh Phi Phi like this but time was of the essence. At least Josh was able to arrange a discount for me, as he knows the staff at the tour agency. I'm sure he brings them a lot of business, hosting CSers and all. That said, I really had a great time. The people I met on the boat really made my trip enjoyable. I met a really nice couple from Cyprus and an Iranian family who live in Sweden. I ended up hanging out with the Iranian family all day.

The movie "The Beach" featuring Leonardo Dicaprio, was filmed at Maya Bay and Koh Phi Phi Leh. And it definitely lived up to my expectations! Maya Bay, I have to say, is the most beautiful beach I've seen in my life. Just stunning. It's a shame that I couldn't have stayed longer; I guess I'll just have to come back. We ended the day at Khai Island, where I was able to do some snorkeling. It was nice there but I was wishing we could have spent more time at Maya Bay and Koh Phi Phi. Oh, well.

The last night, Josh invited many of his Filipino friends to his house and cooked some Filipino food. Delicious. Everyone there suggested that I should visit the Philippines. And why not? Maybe I will. If people in the Philippines are half as nice and kind as this group, I can see the Philippines being amazing. Hmmm...the Philippines? Decisions, decisions.

I was sad to leave Phuket, as Josh really made my trip so enjoyable. But I had to be back in Bangkok where I would be meeting Daniel in a few days. Josh contacted a few friends in Bangkok before I'd left who said that they'd be willing to accommodate me for a few nights. Nice. At this point I'd gone two weeks without paying for accommodation. "I gotta feeling..."

Next Stop: Bangkok, Thailand



  1. Lovin' the blogs broski! Also, keep the Seinfeld quotes coming, lol. It's hilarious how Seinfeld relates to everything no matter where you travel to.


  2. ..and don't u know that The Beach is actually a story based on one of the 7,107 islands of the Philippines? the author actually lived in the Phils for years. :)

  3. @Alainsojourner: I did not know that, man. I still need to read the book, as well.