Thailand Day 4: To Phuket!

Day 4 was a travel day.  We had our hotel schedule a van for us in the morning and piled in.  It was one of the times I was grateful not to have any carseats, though we missed the two babies the whole time.  When we got to the airport I did as I normally do: stand back and let the children lead.  The four of them navigated security and found their way to the gate.  Then we went hunting for food and came back with this weird spread:
Pastries of various sorts.  Mostly good.

Btw this is what my arm looked like three days later. Tiger bite bruises.

Our flight to Phuket was about an hour and a half.  The airport down there is very small and not in great condition, but it was effective and we were met by our AirBnB host's driver who drove us the hour over to our place in Rawai.  There is tons of road work going on in Phuket right now as the government is building a hotly contested tunnel instead of a bridge.  Government excess is international.
When we arrived we were greeted by our American and Thai host and hostess.  Their home is fantastic, really the most beautiful AirBnB I've ever stayed in.  We stayed 3 nights for $309 for the six of us.  There is a pool in the court yard and it's super fancy.  I wanted to buy it but they said only Thai people can own property.  The kids were in the pool within 15 seconds of arrival and hardly got out unless it was pouring rain or I forced them out.
The hosts set up a car rental to be delivered right to the house and I had to pay for it on the spot in cash.  It's called credit cards, Thailand.  Start taking them.  I got really sick of having to take cash out all the time.
The crew in our elephant pants.

Last day of being 8.

Me plus my big three.

Here's the deal on spending in Thailand.  It feels like I spent a million dollars because every bill (dinner, massages for everybody) costs like 800 baht and you carry a lot of bills.  But 800 baht is $24.  So I'm doling out bills all day and feel like I'm going to be in the poor house when I get home but in reality, the whole trip for four of us doing nine days including transportation and accommodations (not airfare, which was $560 each out of SFO) was $2500.  That's about $75 per person per day, with hotel included (we did get a free couple of nights at a wonderful relative's home in BKK, for which I am very grateful!)  The most expensive activity we did happened the following day and the experience was worth triple what we paid.  When I went to the ATM I would get out $300 US which is about 10,000 baht.  Then I'd just peal off bills to whatever child needed a treat/drink/massage right then.  It would feel like a lot of cash but it'd really only be less than $10.  I just can't do math on 30:1 exchange rate in my head.
Anyway, we got our car and the hippie was the designated driver because I was far too scared to drive on the other side of the road.  He did great though he frequently hit the windshield wipers instead of the blinker and then would be very confused.  Were I to do this trip without such an adventurer I would have relied on drivers in Phuket which would have cost more.
AirBnB paradise.

Giving thanks for the fabulous pool.

Our first voyage from the AirBnB palace was to Rawai beach.  Looking for parking we accidentally followed a supply truck down a one way street that turned out to be an outdoor market.  Imagine backing up 200 yards driving on the wrong side of the road thronged by locals and trying not to hit anybody.  The hippie deserved a prize.
We went out on the pier at sunset and watched little kids fishing with plastic bottles on strings.  It was cool to see the children set free to roam with no parents.  Not once did anybody ever beg from us.  I assume their parents were running the nearby shops.  The scenery in Phuket is incomparable.  We couldn't wait to get out on the water and explore the islands.
Just off the pier was our first exposure to souvenir shopping and we all bartered for little trinkets and gifts.  The people were friendly and the tourists few.
Watching the local kids swim and fish.

Local kids just hanging out on the curb.

Back at the house the hippie went walking to find us sustenance and returned with, once again, the best food I've ever eaten for practically nickles.
Our host provided us with a list of tour boats that take you around to the islands of Phang Nga Bay, a National Park, we sent some emails and we had a plan for the next day.
"Take a romantic one!"
"Take a romantic one of me and Blake!"

1 comment:

laurel said...

Love all the pants! And so true about the baht - we felt like we were spending so much cash but it was all so cheap!