Sunday, 10 November 2013

Talking Thai- Day 5 & Day 6: Slowing down

We were half way through our almighty adventure at this stage and we had 'hit the tourist attractions hard' in the first few days.  At this point, we were completely settled into this wonderful place.  We had experienced the weird and wonderful attractions of Phuket and were well adjusted to the tropical climate and Thai food that was so very different to home.  The second half of our holiday was spent at a much slower pace and there was plenty of shopping and lazing by the pool.  At this point, we were also much more familiar with the town centre, its shops, bars and restaurants and knew which ones were our favourite.  We had established a pretty good routine.
We had heard about how fantastic it was to go shopping in Thailand and how there were many bargains up for grabs.  This was true, however you had to pick and choose carefully, for some items were well over priced and the locals had no hesitation in inflating the prices of some things for the unsuspecting tourist.  One of the main shopping centres in Patong was a place called Jungceylon and it was very big and well air conditioned.  This always provided a great relief from the heat outside.  The shops there were glossy and very Western and clearly catered for the tourist market.  We bought a couple of things from there but found many more bargains from the street stalls and smaller shops.

When we left for Thailand, we weren't entirely sure what to expect when it came to our safety.  We had visions of 'pick pockets' and thought that surely we would get 'ripped off' by locals giving us the wrong change as we were so unaccustomed to the currency.  Well, this couldn't be further from the truth.  You were only likely to get 'robbed' by paying a highly inflated price when you bought something!  The Thai people seemed gentle and respectful, to a point, and we had absolutely no worries about our bag or wallet being tampered with.  We always felt very comfortable and the locals always gave us the right change, always!  No matter where we shopped or stopped for a drink, you could rest assured that you would be charged the standard prices and would always be given the right change when you paid for something.  This was a wonderful thing and we compared this to some places at home that were not always so obliging.
After picking up a few things that day and enjoying time swimming in the spectacular pool at the hotel, we wanted to go back into town that night and headed for Nicky's yet again.  Nicky's was a place that was free from the usual 'drama' of Phuket, namely hawkers and the Thai 'girls' that were everywhere, especially at night.  Nicky's Handlebar was a place we could go and not be 'hassled', eat great food, you were always guaranteed a good drink and the music and Harley memorabilia would keep you amused for hours.  The staff were friendly and the service was brilliant.  That night I also enjoyed the mixed grill for dinner and it really hit the spot after having eaten so much Thai food in the last few days.
After dinner, we went for a walk around the town and found another magic little bar that we fell in love with called 'Dreams Bar'.  It also had lots of interesting posters and memorabilia in it and the lady who owned it was lovely.  The language barrier was certainly more of a problem here, but that didn't matter, for her warmth and hospitality made it so worthwhile.  One thing that I will always remember about this place was the bar and the wall behind it.  Here there were the usual bottles of spirits lined up, but also what looked like a place of worship.  It was covered in statues, pictures and ornaments that obviously had very special meaning to the owner.  There were vases with incense and here is where she would 'pray'.  It was the most spectacular and beautiful image and I could not help but be fascinated by it.  Thailand and its people were so 'busy' and worked hard, yet their beliefs and culture was also so very peaceful and tranquil.  Dreams Bar certainly made a big impression on us also with its relaxed atmosphere and amazing hospitality.
We went back to the hotel by tuk tuk that night feeling very relaxed and enthralled by what we had seen so far.  The night life in Patong was always busy, the bars and restaurants were always full, the weather was always hot and by the end of the day, we were always more than ready to hide away for a few hours in our cool and comfortable hotel room and refresh ourselves for the next day.

By Day 6, I was starting to get home sick and thinking about my family in Melbourne very much.  We were having a wonderful time and I was loving it, but I would have given my eye teeth at that stage to feel a cool breeze in the morning.  In Phuket, it would get much cooler at night but nothing like at home.  In Melbourne the weather changes all the time, but not here.......it is constant, it is hot, day and night.  That day we were winding down and spent much more time at the hotel, taking it easy, swimming and soaking up the sunshine.  We did go on yet another walk that afternoon and found a place not far from the hotel called '5!5! on the Beach'.  This was a groovy little bar/ restaurant and here we had some unbelievably good chicken satays and Thai green curry.  We gazed out at the ocean view and sipped some cool drinks.  The staff there were also wonderful and we would always be blown away by just how friendly and helpful the Thai people were.

That night we had dinner at the hotel and I just had to take a photo of a very special friend that I had made there.  His name was Supiya and he was the best waiter I have come across in a long time.  When we first arrived at the hotel, we immediately 'clicked' with him.  Supiya always had a smile on his face and nothing was ever too much trouble.  His waiting skills were perfect and he really helped to make our stay so memorable.  Supiya was a kind and gentle man and always went out of his way to make sure that we were happy and had everything that we needed.  For me, he was a classic example of the Thai ethos, he was very special and I'm glad that we met.  David and I will always have very fond memories of him and how he helped to make our stay so enjoyable.

After a lovely meal and a couple of cocktails, we were ready to sleep, knowing that we only had 1 full day left and then we would be heading home :) xxx