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Monsoon Season in Phuket

Phuket, Thailand

We received our rental car bright and early this morning since we couldn't pick it up last night. Everyone is so friendly here so far - the culture is amazingly hospitable and sincere! Thailand, or at least Phuket, is nothing like I have ever experienced before. Kris and I are just baffled at all of the crazy things we have seen today. I think Kris said it best, it is a ghetto paradise. Unbelievably beautiful, but also almost third world looking.
Driving is definitely an interesting experience. First of all, yes, they drive on the left hand side of the road. And Kris has been challenged with not only that, but also driving a stick with his left hand. We keep making 'wind shield wiper' left had turns because the turn signal is also on the other side. Driving anywhere definitely takes a while because the roads are very narrow and we are sharing them with scooters, tuk-tuks (little taxi truck thingies), elephants, cars, buses, people, you name it. It's really not that crowded, it's just a lot of things going on, plus pouring down rain here and there. But without a car, it would be difficult to see a lot of things in the short time that we have here.

Since it is monsoon season, it has been rainy on and off all day - and like 100% humidity. This is truly a jungle!! But that didn't stop us from getting out today.
Here is a snapshot from our hotel room. It is so humid that the camera fogged up as soon as we stepped outside.

We headed to the Big Buddha, which everyone said we had to see. No matter where you go around Phuket, even out at sea, you can see the Big Buddha from high up on the hill. We got there in just enough time to see Big Buddha, make a tile donation since he is still in progress, and we even got some fresh made coconut ice cream, all before it started pouring down rain.

We drove a little farther on the east side of the Island to Phuket Town and walked around the town a bit. We grabbed lunch at the a place called Kopitiam where we got some tom yum soup, more coconut ice cream, and the best ever fresh almond milk.

To watch the sunset, we drove to the southern tip of Phuket to a vista point. We hiked to the bottom of the rocks, where we spent a few hours watching the sun set, even though it was very cloudy and ready to rain again!

There was also a Buddha shrine nearby. It's amazing how there are just random Buddhist displays everywhere with little trinkets, offerings and incense. Sometimes there are beautiful elaborate displays in front of the most run-down looking buildings.

We finished off the night eating pad thai at the Pad Thai Place for 120 Baht, which is $4 USD. The operation was totally outside, and very basic - eg the dishwasher was a person 30 feet away using a bucket and a sponge. Although the food was good, I truly wondered how in the world they weren't losing money on two pad thai dinners with two drinks all for that price... and then my mind started to wonder if we were going to have stomach or other issues in the morning :)
I guess we'll find out.

permalink written by  blondie on June 8, 2012 from Phuket, Thailand
from the travel blog: Asian Persuasion - June 2012
tagged Thailand and Phuket

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Love the random elephants !! And can't believe you passed on the shoe arcade -- and always wondered about driving a stick shift oppositely (I think it might be easier if you'd never driven one at all) Love you both -- MOM

permalink written by  MOM on June 9, 2012

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