View Larger Map
Mean: 28°c Max: 31°c Min: 24°c

Our first week in Phuket

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

As we settle into our mid holiday break, it's been great to be able to kick back and relax into a daily routine whilst soaking up Phuket's laid back life style. For the next few weeks the blog will be slightly different as we will be doing less, so we will blog about a few notable events.

The most notable things to happen this week include:

The rainy season has arrived!

After dodging the rain for 4 months it has finally caught up with us! We have to remember that this is the rainy season after all and it now seems quite happy to fall on a daily basis. It has to be said that the rain in Thailand is akin to someone turning on a massive power shower in the sky. With flash floods being a daily occurrence everything we do has to be planned around the weather as even making the short trip to the local shops is just not possible in the rain.

Another day another power cut

The first power cut in a few weeks but this one was a biggie, it might have only lasted for an hour and a half but it was the biggest in Thailand's history affecting the whole of the south of the county, covering 14 provinces and affecting 8m people. If only we knew the extent of the blackout at the time and then we wouldn't have walked up and down the streets in the darkness looking for a restaurant that might have electricity. D'oh!

Visakha Bucha Day

Ross finally came off his tablets and after 8 days without alcohol we were both in need of a light refreshment. Luckily there is not a shortage of places to get a beer in Phuket.... except on the full moon of the 6th lunar month, which happens to be Visakha Bucha Day. This is the most venerated holiday on the Buddhist calendar and marks the beginning of the Buddhist era 2,556 years ago. Amongst other things, the sale and consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden for 24 hours. As soon as we found out about this we made the decision to head out on the eve of the big day earlier than we normally would so that we could still enjoy a few Chang's before the bars closed at midnight .... but .... midnight came and went and with the police turning a blind eye to the hundreds of people still out partying so did 1am and 2am and 3am before we decided to call it a night. In the partying we also got an invite to a pool party the following night as no bars would be allowed to open on the actual holiday. The pool party was on the 8th floor of our sister hotel where a UK rugby team, who were competing in the Phuket Rugby 10's tour were staying. As you can probably imagine it wasn't a dry night at the bar or by the pool as the more the players drank the more people ended up in the pool. Another memorable night in Thailand. It's a good job the team weren't playing the next day as we are sure there would have been some sore heads to add to all their lumps and bruises. And even though one player tried to convince Ross to be a sub his answer was a firm 'no'

Ditched the camera

We have been nursing our camera for many weeks and a day doesn't seem to go by without something going wrong or it causing us problems. For weeks it has been taking washed out photos but more recently it started to discharge the battery for no particular reason and the zoom kept freezing or extending to full length. After a bit of research we settled on a Samsung WBF250 a great budget 'smart' camera with some nifty features such as the ability to control it and use our Samsung mobile as a view finder, great for taking self-portrait pictures. Watch this space as we hope to get some more great photos.


We finally got to go on our second snorkeling tour of the holiday as we visited Raya Island, one of the few tourist islands we haven't visited around Phuket. We have mentioned many times before about the benefits of travelling in the so called 'green season' and this was no exception as we managed to haggle the price down from 2500B per person to just 950B! Cha Ching! The morning started with a speedboat ride from Phuket to Raya island followed by snorkeling, lunch and then time to relax at Siam Bay. The snorkeling was fantastic but the coral wasn't the most impressive we have ever seen and the fish were not as varied either but putting this aside we both had an amazing time. To encourage the fish towards the boat they baited the area and as a result we literally swam with the fishes and most of the time they were within touching distance. An amazing experience which unfortunately was cut short as somebody managed to cut his foot and had to been taken off for medical assistance, for once it wasn't Ross. After lunch we headed over to Siam Bay for what was supposed to be a relaxing couple of hours on the beach. However the sea was so rough that swimming wasn't possible! In the end Ross, along with many others hired a body board and tried his hand at surfing. It's been many years since Ross used to go surfing in Cornwall and he had forgotten a) how much fun it was and b) how difficult it can be! In the end Sonya had to drag Ross out of the water as it was time to head back to Phuket, just after the speed boat left the pier we were warned 'at this time of the day the sea is a bit rough, you might get a little bit wet so protect your electrical stuff'. Well we weren't expecting what happened next, we had only been going a few minutes but as soon as we sped up and were in open water we were drowned by wave after wave. We don't know about a little bit wet, we couldn't have got any wetter! It was border line if the speedboat was even safe to be at sea as people had to shuffle round to balance the weight against the oncoming waves.


Since we started travelling we have been committed to staying active (objectives update blog coming soon) and although we are walking massively more than we do at home, sticking to any sort of workout regime just hasn't been possible. So with staying somewhere for longer than a week we promised each other we would take out a gym membership. With no induction and no forms to fill in it re-defines the meaning of a pay and go gym! We have both taken out a monthly subscription and aim to train as often as possible. We do have a few complaints about the gym, firstly they never seem to turn on the air-con and training in 30° upwards is just painful. Secondly the view from the running machines has too much temptation. At our local gym back in the UK the view from the running machines overlook the sport centre roof and then rows of terrace houses, nothing that distracts you from working out. In comparison the view from the running machines here overlooks 7, yes 7 bars and any time after 4pm they have lots of people drinking ice cold beer. Also if you are lucky you might even see somebody parasailing in the distance. Neither of which help you stay focused on running!

That's all for this week folks.

Team Chip

Video Format Player Size Download
Snorkelling at Raya Island
Media Player

© 2014-2021 All rights reserved.
All images and logo's are licenced. Please contact us before copying any content or linking to our blog - Thanks! :-)