©2012 Edward C. Lunnon
Written on Friday 3 August 2012: 5 years 11 months on … Advantage ED
It WAS already Thursday morning when I put my head down on the pillow.
We would have to get up earlier this morning, as later on Thursday we were flying to Phuket and needed to get to the airport.
I was first up and had breakfast by myself! The rest were either sleeping in, still cross with me or shopping!
At 09h30 we all met in the hotel foyer and waited on our taxi’s to arrive to transfer us to the Bangkok International Airport. There we checked in, explored the airport, and awaited our Thai Airlines Airbus A330 Flight TG211 to Phuket International Airport due to leave at 12h15. I found myself considering this strange breed of people in transit that, at any given time occupy airports and aeroplanes all over the world. A seething mass of humanity on the move – either on the ground locked into airport buildings or in the air locked into large tin cans traversing the skies over our wonderful world. Maybe, sometime I’ll write about the “Travelling Willbury’s”!
It was a short flight of 1 hour and twenty minutes, partly over the Thai Peninsula and some of it over the Gulf of Thailand. Very soon, I could see the bluish-green sea and the white beaches of the Island of Phuket (and even the causeway bridge that connects Phuket with the Thai peninsula mainland).
The camera snapped away as we came in to land from east to west. You come in over the sea on the western side of the island, see the water, see the beach, see the runway, touchdown, brakes … and by the time you get to the end of the runway you see the beach and sea on the western side of the island!
Phuket International is a smallish airport, and as it was a domestic flight for us, we did not have to proceed through customs and passport control. We collected our luggage, and were met outside the front door by our taxi driver to the hotel. The sign said LUNNON and it’s always reassuring to see your name and someone waiting for you!
Almost an hour long trip followed to Patong Beach and to our home for the next five nights – the Amari Coral Hotel situated on and overlooking the southern side of Patong Beach and Patong Bay.
We checked in, received our welcoming drink and our cold “lappie”(facecloth) to wipe down the face and leave on the back of your neck to cool down, and then went to our beautiful Andaman sea-facing rooms, with the waves lapping right below our balconies.
But no time for that – we headed straight for the hotel’s pool, happy hour and our first exotic tropical Island style cocktail cocorico drink served in a coconut in the pool. Heaven could not be better than this.
A few hours later, we left the pool, changed and headed into Patong “City” to see the sights and to find supper.
The tuk-tuk dropped us off at the famous Bangla Road. From there, we explored until we were “spotted” and stopped by a friendly South African couple who advised us to dine at a little Thai restaurant called Sabai Sabai (Thai meaning “all is good and well”). We would return there often, as the food was good, the atmosphere great and the prices very inexpensive – yes, all was good and well! SA and Aussie business cards, messages, names and signatures adorn the walls!
After supper, just a bit more scouting, shopping (!), and snorting (Singha’s) – until it was time for me to call it a night. I walked up the steep hill back to the Amari, had the obligatory midnight swim (it was 28 degrees and the water not much cooler!) and then dozed off to sleep in my lovely air-conditioned room at 17 degrees with the sound of the waves crashing on the beach below..
On Friday morning, we were to meet our tour operator at 11h00 in the “over-looking Patong Bay” foyer of our hotel.