©2012 Edward C. Lunnon
Written on Saturday 11 August 2012: 5 years 11 months on … Advantage ED
On Friday morning, we were to meet our tour operator from World Travel Services, Mr Pombat, at 11h00 in the “over-looking Patong Bay” foyer of our hotel.
So, it was breakfast at ten. Then we met to confirm the arrangements for our trip back and to discuss any other tours that we would want to do whilst on Phuket.
There are a myriad of tours available and the prices – like everything else here – are negotiable! We tend to think that if anything is cheap then there must be a catch to it. But I guess the price of whatever you buy here in the line of tours and excursions is directly linked to what you get: the cheaper the price, the less you get and, of course, vice versa! The more you pay, the more frills and fancies are attached to the excursion.
We agreed and paid to do an orientation island tour at 09h00 on Saturday morning – BHT600 for all nine of us. Atrip to the famous Phi Phi Islands would cost (negotiable, of course!) BHT 2580 cash(!) per person.
For the rest – we got the run-down, got the pamphlets, took the names and the numbers, would consider our options and get back to them in due course. Of course, that simply meant that we would see if we could get it any cheaper elsewhere, bearing in mind that excursions are offered on sale along with every street vendor and on every other street corner!
But now it was swim time in the hotel pool, and in the Andaman Sea! Then some walked from the hotel along Patong Beach and back. A snooze for us followed, whilst the rest “kuiered”. We were scheduled to meet in Patong Town for supper at 19h00.
My usual radar device went faulty and we took the wrong turn, so we were hot and sticky and late by the time we met up!
Shop, ‘squabbling’ supper and a show followed (suggested to us by Joggie Viljoen, ex-Grey boy and Stormers rugby player – now in New Zealand – who was eating at a table behind us and came and introduced himself).
The show – Moulin Rose – was on the street where everyone lives in Patong, Bangla Road. A normal vehicular thoroughfare by day and a pedestrian precinct, a theatre land, pub land and entertainment centre by night – a seething mass of people who have come to see and to be seen. Young and old, young and young, old and old, and in many cases old Westerner male and young Thai female – all coming in search of Paradise, whatever Paradise may be for them!
The show was enjoyable and far sexier than the one seen in Bangkok. It was a musical revue and the actresses all actors – a bevy of lady-boy beauties lined up on stage, off stage and afterwards – at a price – for photos and whatever else the heart desires.
It was time for me to return to the hotel – the old man and the stick! It’s quite an experience to walk alone through late-night Patong …
… Beach Road, Patong, lead us not into temptation but straight back to the Amari Coral Hotel at the southern end of Patong Beach on the Island of Phuket in the Kingdom of Thailand!
As usual, the nightly routine was a late-night swim before a well-deserved sleep. Saturday would be another early morning for our island tour.