25 Days in Thailand – Phuket


This is the 2nd part of my Journal

For travel advice and general experience, check out the main “25 Days in Thailand” page where I wrote about my preparation and what I did before my journey.

In the menu above, you can view the other parts of my journey.

DAY 2 – 22.NOV.2012

Hat Yai to Phuket

At about 3 am in Hat Yai, my bio-clock had me up and eager to continue my journey (Yeh… bloody early I must admit!). The receptionist at CS Apartments was still resting somewhere, woke up with a sour face and had to refund back my THB500 deposit. By 3.30 am, I was out of the hotel looking for a place to have my breakfast.

Hat Yai is a place that has many road side stalls that caters to people who works late into the early morning, so I managed to locate one such stall along the route out of Hat Yai.

A road side stall that served some sort of Wonton noodles.

A road side stall that served some sort of Wonton noodles.

I had some noodles and coffee for only THB48. A few customers came for takeaways whilst I was eating.

With warm food in my stomach, by 4.15 am, I was on my way out of Hat Yai on Highway 4 to Phatthalung. With the cold wind brushing over my face, a sure way to remain awake, my eyes had to constantly adjust to the infrequent flashes of vehicle head-lights coming towards me. A good thing about Highway 4, between Hat Yai and Phatthalung, were the trees and ditch separating each side of the road, so the oncoming head-lights were not so much a problem as a sudden appearance of vehicles coming out from side roads.

Gingerly riding at about 80 kph with my small and less than perfect head-light (note that I use singular since my bike has only 1 head-light) shinning on the dark road, I reached the turn-off to Phatthalung at 5.40 am. At this hour, I was not counting on Phatthalung to be bright and beautiful for photography, so I turned left towards Trang and Phuket. Going straight meant going towards Bangkok, which was not my next destination.

The road from this point onwards were narrower and at some places, hilly and winding. Had a closed brush with death when a crazy lorry sped past me at a narrow and winding section of the hilly road, almost pushed me into a ravine.

Around 7 am, I reached Trang. It was quite big, about the size of Ipoh. Not knowing where to explore in this town, I just flowed with my instincts which lead me to this centre-piece of Trang.

Interesting looking roundabout and monument in the centre of Trang

Interesting looking roundabout and monument in the centre of Trang

A close up of the monument

A close up of the monument

Not far thereafter this monument was this Trang Municipal Office

IMG_3109 IMG_3110

Basically, this town do not have many building above 5 storeys and most of the buildings were old but well maintained. Asking around, people pointed the way out of town to Krabi.

Soon, I was passing roads I recognised from my “9 days in Krabi” trip that I made in November 2011. I was still very early and looked up friends I made during that trip after revisiting the Giant Crab monument as shown below.

IMG_3118

Saw some kinder-garden kids playing at the monument.

Saw some kinder-garden kids playing at the monument.

After this, I was out of Krabi and at a Phang-nga police road-block, a policeman stopped me and admired my bike and asked me where I was going? I replied that I was on my way to Phuket and he advised me which road to take.

By 11.30 am, I was already on the Sarasin Bridge and I took the following photos.

Sarasin Bridge for south-bound, i.e. going into Phuket Island.

Sarasin Bridge for south-bound, i.e. going into Phuket Island.

The old bridge now converted into a pedestrian bridge and the north-bound bridge

The old bridge now converted into a pedestrian bridge and the north-bound bridge

I will bet that not many motorist will stop here to capture this bridges.

Since I was still too early to check into the guest-house in Phuket Old Town, I toured the western and southern side of the island. Since I last toured the island more than 20 years ago, there were lots of development which made it impossible for me to recognise any landmarks.

Phuket is now a major tourist centre and buildings just kept on sprouting up. I could see big shopping centres, new sea-fronts, tall buildings and monuments to make tourist come back for more. On the roads, I could see foreigners riding scooters without helmets, T-shirts and slippers.

Making my way to the “Old Town” was not an easy matter. I had to stop many times to ask for directions. Finally after an hours search, I managed to locate the D’s Corner & Guesthouse. After paying a THB500 deposit and checking out the big and airy room, I went out looking for food.

I found a shop selling Chicken Rice ran my a young couple not far from the guest-house. The rice with a bottle of Coke only costs me THB56. The food served was substantial and even had a half of an egg with gizzards and kidneys in addition to the “White” chicken over steam fragrant oily rice with a small bowl of chicken soup.

With a full stomach, I walked back to the hotel, retrieved my camera and took my bike and found a place that sold me a 3-pin plug adapter so that I could charge my NetBook and handphone. (Please note that a standard 3-pin plug cannot fit into a 3-pin socket in Thailand.) After that, I went for places to shoot photos. Not far from where I stayed was this lovely roundabout.

This roundabout is at Phuket "Old Town"

This roundabout is at Phuket “Old Town”

After this I went to the famous Patong Beach where I stayed most of the time when I was in Phuket.

At sunset, I took this picture

Sunset at Patong Beach

Sunset at Patong Beach. Note the approaching rain clouds.

At around 6.55 pm, I went to a restaurant near the beach to have my Fish Tomyam Dinner that costs me THB230 with a Tiger beer and tips included.

Fish Tomyam Dinner and beer

Fish Tomyam Dinner and beer

OK… the following picture was taken not on the day I arrived but on the day I left Phuket but I included it here for easy reference.

The building with my bike in front was where I stayed. Taken on 23.Nov.2012 at 6.30 am

The building with my bike in front was where I stayed. Taken on 23.Nov.2012 at 6.30 am

As usual, I went back to the guest-house and had some difficulty locating the building, but with my great sense of direction, I finally located it after a few rounds around the “Old Town”.

As usual, went to sleep early at 9 pm.

— End of 2nd day’s journal —

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1 thought on “25 Days in Thailand – Phuket”

  1. Jeffrey said:

    Phuket is sadly way over crowded and the people are just not friendly. Prices are double than anywhere else and traffic is miserable. So this not easy to get to location, stays off all my future rides when I have the choice

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