I landed in Phuket quite excited now my travels were back on track and I was looking forward to backpacking the island life, although I was finding the heat quite difficult being approximately 30°C 24/7.
I’d done a little research on the island so I booked a hostel near Patong beach. And what a mistake that was! Not only was the heat relentless but I’d dropped myself right in the middle of commercial tourist filth!
I’m sorry, but bar after bar full of lecherous old men with much younger Thai ladies, over-loud pounding music and people forcing A3 promotional cards for ‘live f*ck shows’ in my face was not and never will be my idea of seeing the world — that was just the evening life! The daytime wasn’t so dependent on alchohol but again, the beach was full of tourist junk of which I could just about bear. After a couple of days of ‘seeing how this goes’ I moved south, enjoying the much calmer Karon beach area and also visiting the southern most peninsular of the island.
ABOVE: The beauty of hostels is the sharing attitude; the goggles I’m wearing here are in the ‘Thanks for sharing’ basket!
What a difference 3.5 miles made! Not only was the beach not jam packed with tourist sardines, but there was also less detritus and I didn’t have to be careful of where I stepped due to beer bottle caps in the sand.
Thankfully Karon allowed me to stop freaking out and helped to put off dark thoughts of returning to the UK. Phuket was such a huge difference from seeing history, culture and spiritual scenery such as the mountains of Nepal. I’d obviously got myself very settled into that way of life and I obviously wasn’t prepared for entering tourist extremism.
Before long it was time to start my island hopping so to finish on a good note, my last full day was spent on the island’s southern most point allowing for quiet, peace and simply astounding scenery!
As blown away as I was by my stunning surroundings, little did I know what more lay ahead…
Next stop: Koh Phi Phi Islands and ‘that’ beach!