Monday, August 08, 2005



Phuket Town

After cycling round in circles I decided to ask somebody where I was. I'd skirted past where I wanted to be and had ended up a few kilometres away. So heading back I finally homed in on my guesthouse after circling in ever decreasing circles through some one-way streets.

Not too much to see in Phuket Town itself. Although there seemed to be a lot of artists close to the guesthouse, sitting outside on the pavement painting away. Mostly reprodution from photographs. I managed to eventually find a bike shop to get my wheels trued and broken spokes fixed. After fixing the front wheel, the guy replaced the wheel. Then while working on the rear wheel, there was a POP and a PSSSSSssssss as the front wheel mysteriously exploded whilst sitting unattended on the upside down bike. Strange, but if your gonna get a flat tyre, the best place is a bike shop!

That night I happened upon a nice little cafe, with only a few tables. There was a small stage where a guitarist was playing music so I popped in to listen. He was pretty good, and started on some accoustic blues. Nice change from the squeaky Thai pop that you hear and definitely better than the noises coming out the karoke bars! After a while a guy who looked like an Asian Jimmy Page joined him, playing flurries of jazz runs. After a few songs Jimmy Page left and another guitarist started playing more bluesy accompaniments. He was supposed to finish at 12 o'clock by law, but ended up playing till 1. Turns out the guitarist owned the cafe and was from Singapore. Me and an American, who was calling out requests half the night, chatted away with him for a while afterwards.

Ao Bang Tao

I then headed across the island to the West coast to a beach called Ao Bang Tao. Nice enough but nothing special. A bit cheaper than the beaches to the south, although when I asked the hotel staff how much a room was I got the reply "One Million Baht!!", hmmm.

As luck would have it there was a Halal food festival event on when I was there. Usually I find out info like this the day after I leave! I headed along at night and ate strange food. First up was something akin to a burger, but in a deep fried crispy roll, very healthy! Not sure what the meat was. Washed down with some apple juices from small apples, tasted not as sweet. Also some mangosteen on a stick, a strange pancake with what looked like a quail egg and ketchup and some fried chicken. I had a go at a game where you get 12 darts and you have to burst six balloons in a row to win a prize. Sounds easy, right, well two of my "darts" bounced off the "balloons". Very suspect!! Darts don't bounce off balloons, they go pop.

Hat Nai Yang

After going up and down a some big hills I got to the next beach. Supposed to be a national park around here, but there are a few private guesthouses and hotels. Quite pricey here, so I only stayed one night. I found a room, which seemed to be the cheapest I was going to get, although actually a nice room and a bit cheaper than the crummy room at the hotel on the beach and for a bit less.

As I walked out to have a look around I felt a jabbing pain in the bottom of my foot I keeled over and picked a big nail out of my shoe. Somehow it had gone straight in perpendicular to the the ground. Any longer and I would of had a real sore foot, as it was it just pierced the skin and no more. Then I managed to whack my ankle off the wooden bed, ouch ouch ouch! After that I hobbled off for some dinner.

Down at the beach lots of people appeared at the tables. The place had looked empty during the day. I opted for sweet & sour fish. I got a bit of a suprise when it turned up. A huge plate, with a giant fish appeared on my table after a rather lengthy wait. They charge by weight, 35bt/100g, so I think they ran around till they found the biggest fish to give to the tourist!
I valiantly battled to eat the whole fish (well except the head, eugh) but I couldn't quite polish him off. Still it certainly filled me up. Then again a kilo of fish will do that to you. Yep, the fish actually weighed in at a kilo!
I staggered back to the hotel to sleep it off.

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