Today I ran the perimeter of the Chiang Mai old city (I always try to run on travel days) and then hopped on a plane to Phuket, the place that almost everyone told me to cut from my itinerary. Instead of cutting, I changed my day trip to Phi Phi to an overnight trip, that turned out to be a very good decision which you can read about in my next post.
Landing in Phuket I opted to take a group shuttle into Patong beach where I was staying. It was only 150 Baht ($3) for an hour long drive. Well, how could I forget, you get what you pay for. After waiting for 30 minutes to make sure the van was packed full, we finally took off. We made a stop after 15 minutes at travel agency to “verify” our hotels. AKA to try and sell us tours which thank goodness no one fell for and we were on our way after 20 minutes. From there it was a 2 hour drive since it included dropping others off. The good news is that I was riding shot gun, had access to a charger and the driver was playing early 2000’s R&B hits.
It’s true what I was told, Patong is like Jersey Shore for Russians. Lots of young men in tank tops and older men in Speedos drinking on the beach. At night it turns into what I can best explain as the Las Vegas strip. You want bottle service amongst a techno DJ? You got it! You want to see a strip show for the cheap price of $30 a beer? Done! There were promoters on every corner offering you a deal to get into their club. To be honest, I probably would have had fun if I was with a group of my girlfriends and didn’t have a 7am wake up call.
Instead, I went and found some food, walked around and then packed a bag for my trip to Phi Phi tomorrow. I decided to not mess around with my large backpack for just one night. My carry on bag wasn’t very small, but I tried to cram in everything I thought I’d need. Mainly, a swimsuit, sunscreen and pajamas. Then, I climbed into bed (this hostel has the privacy curtain so it was like my own dark movie theater) and fell asleep watching Outlanders.