With an afternoon flight to Bangkok, we decided to spend the morning enjoying Patong Beach. Last night it had been full of life, with rows of clothes and crafts and food and booze. This morning however, sunlight revealed how..gross the beach actually was. The beach front is grungy and crowded by bright plastic umbrellas and chairs that the locals rent out to tourists. The open stands were all selling drinks, and the restaurants were either chains or super fancy looking. This is probably because Patong Beach is one of the bigger beaches in Phuket, and thus geared towards tourists.
Our search for food was looking bleak, but we were able to catch a coffee cart. There are carts that scooter around attached to motorcycles, where vendors sell drinks and food. I’m a big fan of the iced coffee here, since they just use condensed milk, which acts as a creamer as well as a sweetener and complements the taste of coffee quite well. Fueled by caffeine (ok..it was probably the sugar) we charged ahead and finally found a restaurant that seemed a little less white-people-touristy and ordered some breakfast.
I got a yogurt while Amy got fried noodles with seafood (not like chow mein, but more like pad see-ew). It was quick and delicious and came with fruit (probably my favorite part) and a Milo malt drink. We scarfed it down, ran back to our hostel, and taxied out to the airport.
Phuket airport is not as up-to-date in the sense that it doesn’t have free wifi (actually neither did Don Meung International in Bangkok, but probably because it was older. Unfortunately Air Asia exclusively flies there). So we pretty much sat around for an hour, waiting until we got to Bangkok to eat because the airport food was not actual food (chips and Subway are not real food to me in an Asian country).
After an uneventful flight, landed at DMK and grabbed some lunch boxes from a coffee stand at the airport. Apparently tourists don’t do this because an old lady started talking to us in Thai, saying that the food looked good and asking what it was. Too bad we didn’t understand her, but I guess it was kind of cool that we fit in? (Minus the language barrier of course).
Transport from DMK is unfortunately not as good because its the older airport (and thus unloved), but we took a taxi for 700 baht (fixed price, though it was a company and not a meter taxi. We were tired though, and didn’t care that much). It was a little unusual when our taxi driver stopped about five minutes out of the airport, but he told us he needed a two minute pee break and it seemed that the river next to the road was a popular place for drivers to relieve themselves. We continued on our way and made it to our hostel.
For future reference, the place that we stayed at, Niras Bankoc Cultural Hostel, is somewhere I would highly recommend. It’s located in the old town area, about a 10-15 min walk from the Grand Palace and Khao San Road, a lot cleaner, quieter, and cheaper than places on Khao San, and the staff is extremely helpful. They encourage more of a local experience, and give you place names and directions in Thai so you can ask locals for directions or interact with tuk-tuk drivers easily. They also recommend local places to eat and drink that are extremely good.
After a long nap, we had dinner at Thip Samai which is considered the best Pad Thai restaurant in Bangkok. Not only is their Pad Thai delicious (we ordered the super pad thai which had shrimp and was wrapped in an egg), they had a great orange juice (the restaurant bottles it fresh, and the oranges taste different from your ordinary navel oranges in the US, almost a bit tangerine-y) and coconut icee. Our entire meal of pad thai and drinks cost only 120 baht.
We then took a tuk tuk to Chinatown (haggle dem prices down!!) and walked around. We had heard there was a night market, but we couldn’t find it, and we weren’t up for more food (though it was cool how some restaurants would fish up orders and bring out food on hooks and lines from the upper floors) so we explored around a bit and headed back. We had befriended the other girls in the room (two of which had woken up early that morning to get a tattoo done by monks with bamboo needles) and headed out to Khao San Rd as a group.
Khao San Rd is essentially the bar road where all travelers go to drink. It’s a loud and dirty place, but it does have a certain charm to it. There were a good number of vendors crammed between the bars, and food carts squished in the middle of the street (those were constantly on the move since people tried driving through Khao San). We grabbed a couple of beers, people watched for a bit (there were bug vendors, and it seemed like as the night wore on, more and more people grew brave, or drunk, enough to try a bite or two) then shopped around and ran home as lightning in the sky flashed closer and brighter. We missed the storm by a little bit and spent the rest of the night chillin in bed.