We arrived mid morning in Phuket and went through our airport routine before exiting and finding a way to get to our hotel. The first thing we noticed was the insane humidity, and that prices were much higher than what we were used to. We also noticed that the people who work in service or sales were a lot quicker to dismiss you if you had questions about pricing or if you tried to bargain. The taxi ride to our hotel was about an hour and ran us 200 baht each (yea they charge per person, don’t even ask how or why). Everyone in our bus was just as surprised as we were at the uncaring demeanour of the driver as he tossed our luggage into the trunk and crammed us all into the van. We hoped it would be an isolated incident but the days rolled by and we noticed that almost everyone in those industries treated us the same way. As put off as we were by this fact, we were still determined to have an amazing time. We quickly found a scooter for rent and started exploring the neighbouring towns to take in the sites of beautiful Phuket.
Bangla road and Phuket Old Town were our main destinations and each as unique as the other. We visited the old town during the day which is a heritage town that has been retrofitted with neat little cafes, art shops, galleries and much more. Colourful exteriors and vintage interiors came together to create a very unique atmosphere as you wander through the quiet streets.
Bangla road on the other was just as bright at night as anywhere during the day. The amount of neon lights would give the Vegas strip a run for its money. Ladyboys, sex shows and open front strip clubs made up the main street. We walked in awe at the sights and sounds of the nightlife here, music flowing out of the bars and clubs on to the streets, constantly bombarded with flyers and people yelling at us to “come this way” or “ping-pong show”. We spent the night wandering, shooting BB guns at targets, eating seafood, listening to live music and watching the dancers from afar.
We spent one morning driving to and visiting the big Buddha and the rest of the day finding the viewpoints scattered around the area. We ended our day on a rooftop patio that overlooks the bay and had comfy bean bag chairs to sit on, the place is aptly named Foto Hotel and lives up to its title with the incredible view it offers.
We spent one very special day at the Phuket elephant sanctuary, the day was special for two reasons, the first, it was Rachel’s 24th birthday and the second because we got to take part in feeding and witnessing these rescued marvels of nature be rehabilitated. We got to see the oldest elephant they have sit and stand back up on her own for the first time since she was rescued. She had open wounds on her legs around her knees when they rescued her and have since taken tremendous care for her. She is blind in both eyes from the cruelty of the previous owners and seeing her sit and stand is no small feat, the people working at the sanctuary were overcome with joy as we all watched this amazing creature healing right before our eyes. She proceeded to go for a swim and then cover herself in mud to keep cool. It was a beautiful and special day for more than just Rachel and I and we couldn’t be happier to have been there to witness it.
To read more about this organization click here:
I urge anyone who wants to go to a sanctuary to do thorough research beforehand because a lot of places are calling themselves sanctuaries when in reality they are just as bad as the circus’ and elephant trekking companies. Many places in Thailand will offer daily trips to ‘sanctuaries’ where you can bathe, swim, and feed the elephants. DONT! Really, do yourself and the animals a favour and help fund places that actually rescue overworked elephants.
Live Life With Passion