Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Phuket – Land of Beaches & Islands

Every time as I relive the time spend at Phuket one of the most beautiful city in Thailand, it just lightens my heart with energy & joy. I believe we write our own stories and each time we think we know the end, we don't….I had only my dreams with me, I wasn't sure what the destination is going to be like, still I kept moving as I believe that the journey is the reward!!!

We took a government bus to travel from Bangkok to Phuket which is 12 hours of overnight journey.

Rain welcomed us as we reached Phuket early morning… could it get more beautiful? We shared a taxi with a lovely old French travel freak married couple.  As they shared their travel experience around Africa, India, Europe etc…. that’s when I realized how I would like to grow older with someone -experiencing life on the streets of Europe country side, adventuring in Africa , biking around the coast of Thailand & much more.

A sense of freedom when we hired a bike & reached Patong Beach which was just 10 min away from our Hotel. It started raining as we got into the beach, all you could hear is the sound of the distant waves hitting against the shore. I miss its beauty and serenity.

The bike made me feel like having wings & we drove to Kathu & Karon beach which were close by to Patong Beach. Picture perfect beach scene!!! I haven't been to any beach like these Beaches. The sand was so fine that my feet instantly buried in with each and every step I took towards to shore. The skies were so Smurf it blue and the white sand reflected the sun brightening up the beach.

But somehow I was in love with the Patong Roads rather than the beaches…

Patong’s Bangla Road has a vibrant night life which pulsates away till the wee hours of the morning. The 5 block long strip is packed to the max with bars, clubs, restaurants, and stores where Thai women sit with foreigners drinking beer and playing games. This place pulled a huge crowd just based on the amount of people sitting inside and to those standing outside for a free show.

The competition is so high within these pubs that they really work hard on the ambiance, appearance of the bar girls & the innovation they bring into the free shows. It was FiFa time & we could see street bars around a Poll with a big LCD TV screening the Live match – girls entertaining the guest with strip show & serving drinks. Great businesses model here – very less investment but high level of creativity.

Thailand is well known for its massage and spa services. Even India’s popular Spa “O2 Spa” couldn’t come any closer to the face/foot massage that the Patong street Massage shops offer at the best price.

We landed up at a very popular Super Market and we started shopping. At the end when we looked at our shopping basket, we realized we have picked up drinks, fruits, eatables lasting for a week. Our basket looked like we are getting all set to live in Patong J that’s the miracle this small city had done.

Last day in Patong was our tour to James Bond Island. After making our reservation and paying for a spot on the tour, we were picked up early in the morning from your hotel on the date of your tour and then taken to the departure point for your voyage out into Phang Na Bay. Got on the big boat, as we sailed through enjoyed the many strange, yet beautiful, limestone cliffs jutting up out of the water. There are around 45 such small islands. I had always seen these types of natural ocean formations in the movies and it was incredible to actually get to see them in person.

Sea kayak of the limestone cliffs around 2 beautiful Islands as it kept drizzling through. Thai guys were awesome hosts. They would answer any questions you had in their ‘Thai English’ or playfully joke around with the passengers. Their upbeat personalities really added positively to the trip as well.

If the name isn't enough of a giveaway James Bond Island was one of the key movie locations for the 007 movie, The Man with the Golden Gun. And of course, what happens when a place appears in a blockbuster movie? It becomes a tourist destination!
It’s a place to experience & my words will never be enough to describe it.

We reached the last island, the water was so incredibly clear and green in colour. The surface of the water was so still, so serene just slowly moving between, under, and around the cliffs…. and here one by one from our boat, went for a deep driving into the ocean for a quick swim.

The water drops falling from our hair, the wind smoothing our body & eyes filled with the reflection of beauty … our journey of Phuket ended with a desire to be back again to witness theses kind of miracles nature creates every min.

This one was the much needed break. So friends my only sharing would be – we get so busy in our daily life that we are missing out on so much....Life is short....go ahead and plan one long break – club long weekends, fake a medical leave, do whatever it takes – and slow travel. Go to a place you love, or one you know nothing about. Choose a homestay over a drab hotel room. Plan nothing else. Talk to the locals, be adventurous with your food, spend do-nothing days, and let the road show you a different way of life….like the new life I am encountered with!

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