Saturday is a long a travel day. Up at 5:30am to make my way to the Chiang Mai airport and catch an 8am flight to Bangkok. Then a four hour lay-over at DMK. It’s a long time but not enough to get into town to do anything worthwhile. As soon as I get there I would have to turn right around and head back to the airport.
I use this time to do some photo editing and writing for my blog. I get my Kuala Lumpur post done and posted. I also get some reading done on To Kill a Mockingbird.
That afternoon I’m on a plane and by 5pm I’m in Phuket. I’m staying on the very southern tip of the island so I have to take the airport shuttle to get to my hostel. It’s not expensive but what is supposed to be an hour trip turns into almost two because of horrible traffic.
I check into my hostel in Phuket Town. I’m starving so I hunt down some dinner. I walk through the Old Town of Phuket. The streets are open to pedestrians only and it’s insanely packed. I struggle through the mass of people, at times unable to move, and find a little restaurant to refuel on some fried morning glory topped with crispy anchovies. I wash it down with a couple of Chang beers. I’m guess I’m getting used to the beer here - the fact that they’re not that great and there are only really three options - but I miss the vast selection of brews that you get back home in the States. The normally ubiquitous microbrewery is hard to find outside of the US and Europe. First thing I am gonna to do when I get back to Virginia is throw back an O’Connors Red Nun. Man how I miss that hometown amber ale. Yet another thing traveling has taught me: There are so many places in the world with so many different things to see, do and try. Every location has it’s unique offering to the world. Its own little spices that it adds to the global dish. You can’t get everything all in one place. You have to move around to partake of it all - to get a well-rounded diet, so-to-speak. Only when you leave your hometown do you see what unique little gifts it offers up. Perspective is an amazing thing.
I’m determined to find some board shorts before reaching Koh Lanta tomorrow. Around the market in Old Town I’m having no luck. I decide I need to go to the weekend market. The only problem is it’s about a half hour walk. I see no tuks tuks so decide to put on some music and hoof it. I pull out a very old album for the journey: From a late nineties Val Kilmer flick, the The Saint Soundtrack stuck with me much longer than the film did but I probably haven’t given it a spin in fifteen years. Electronic greats like Underworld, Orbital, and Daft Punk amp me up as I bound down the sidewalk towards yet another night market. There is even a kick-ass David Bowie track that I had forgotten all about: Dead Man Walking. The music is strangely synchronous with my ambulations through the Siam night.
Eventually I reach the huge market that is the Phuket Weekend Market. It’s pretty impressive. Stall after stall, selling pretty much everything you can think of. Tons of food stalls too, but having just eaten, I didn’t sample much but some weird doughnut-like pastry. It wasn’t bad, but nothing to write home about.
After searching numerous stalls and hundreds of board shorts, I finally find one that has a pair in my size. The pattern and colors are not my fist choice, much louder than my normal style, but I don’t have the luxury of being picky. At least I’ll have something to swim in.
Mission accomplished I’m back at my hostel and calling it a night. I’m only spending one night in Phuket, but I don’t mind. From talking to other people it sounds like of all southern Thailand has to offer, Phuket’s not the greatest. I’ll catch the ferry to Koh Lanta tomorrow at 8am. Hopefully by the afternoon I’ll be swimming in the clear blue water of the Andaman Sea…