Last week I jetted off to Thailand to celebrate my best friend – Jenny’s 50th.
As I have discovered through a lot of research it is not cheap to fly anywhere from Hanoi – but I got a reasonable ticket through Air Asia. The price for this reasonable ticket was a 5 hour layover in Don Muang Airport in Bangkok – not too bad on the way to Phuket but the return flight layover from 1:30 to 6:30 was not so much fun. Added to which I left my ATM card at the cash machine on my way there – thank heavens I was meeting up with friends so could make alternative arrangements.
I made the mistake of arranging an airport transfer with the hotel we were staying at and this cost me THB 1000 (one way) – the airport minibus taxi is THB 160 (I learnt this when I landed – too late she cried) so I made this arrangement for my return transfer.
We stayed at the Patong Beach Hotel – the same hotel Ivan and I stayed at years ago on our first trip to Phuket – sadly I do not think any maintenance has been done since then. There were a few issues but fortunately management handled these adequately with the group being upgraded to jacuzzi suites!
We enjoyed a 2 hour ferry to Phi Phi Island where we stayed overnight on Jen’s birthday – heads up to those travelling to Phi Phi – there are NO VEHICLES on the island – my Garmin Forerunner though someone had stolen it – I did over 10 000 steps on each of the days we were there – the ambulance is a golf cart! Unfortunately we were unable to do our scuba dive as conditions weren’t good enough but we did manage a longtail boat trip and a bit of snorkeling.
The weekend night market in Phuket was – as always – fantastic with real bargains on all manner of items as well as great food. Of course bartering is essential and a rule of thumb should be to always accept that you are going to pay about half of what you are first quoted so start your bartering lower than that in anticipation of upping your offer. It doesn’t always work but worth a try.
It was really sad leaving my mates knowing that it will be a long time before I see them again – although I think some of them may be planning a trip to Vietnam soon 😉
All in all a great time was had by all and I look forward to the next adventure.