Asean Trip Day 1 (continued): Phuket Old Town
For those who missed the part one of Asean Trip Day 1, please click here.
Apparently, there were no train or bus service available at the Phuket International Airport. You could use public tricycles or cars, however you'd need to exit the airport area to access them. As for us, Nana had previously taken the initiative to use the hotel's pick-up facility so we didn't have to worry about the transportation. It was around 10PM when we got in the car and the driver took us to our first lodging, Rucksack Hostel Phuket located in Phuket Old Town, where we were gonna stay for the night. FYI, the driver who picked us up from the airport was from the second hotel in Patong where we would stay for the next couple nights. Thus in exchange of escorting us to the first lodging in Phuket Old Town, we had to go to the next lodging in Patong by ourselves.
As our driver was a Thai native, of course we were eager to ask him abundant questions about the country. Too bad his English was very poor. We ended up speaking in Sundanese and left the driver alone. Throughout the 50-minute ride from the airport to the hotel, we tried to enjoy the view of Phuket town. Unfortunately, there weren't a lot to see. The town was quite quiet. Apart from the billboards, banners, signposts, and street signs whose alphabets were mostly written in Thai scripting (I was literally illiterate in Thailand. Seriously.), the town was not significantly dissimilar to suburban areas in Jakarta. Some even were pretty slummy, I reckoned. Even so, the road was seamless, I didn't feel any bumpiness at all! (but that's perhaps because we were getting picked up by a Camry LOL)
|One of the corners in Phuket Old Town.|
The driver dropped us off in front of Phuket Backpacker Hotel which was not our destination. There were no signs of Rucksack Hostel around, so we got confused why he stopped at another hotel. Were we being kidnapped and soon going to be the victims of human trafficking? No, I watched too much drama. Apparently, Rucksack Hostel was a brand new hotel, it had no name sign or reception yet, even we had to check in via the receptionist at Phuket Backpacker Hotel!
|It's where we bunked in!|
Anyway, after checking in and putting down our luggage in the room, we went out for a walk. It was almost midnight, we were exhausted, however we agreed unanimously that it would be a waste of time if we just hit the hay right away. Embracing the adrenaline rush within to explore another country, we brought along our cameras and took off!
Phuket Old Town was very empty at night. Thank God, there was a 7-Eleven store next to our hostel and we went inside to buy some drinks. FYI, 7-Eleven Thailand was slightly different than the ones in Indonesia. They didn't have a set of stools by the glass windows or metal chairs under green umbrellas, which is a familiar sight in 7-Eleven Indonesia, therefore you could not hang out in 7-Eleven Thailand like many Jakartans usually do. Or maybe you could, but that would be weird!
Then we promenaded through the Old Town aimlessly; sightseeing, taking pictures, and most importantly capturing any possible moments of revelations in our heart and mind. Although it was not the first time for each of us to go abroad, but it was the first time we all came to Phuket. I personally experienced that traveling to a place I had never been going has always ignited this indescribable feeling of gratitude and tranquility. Needles to say, we really enjoyed this midnight walk.
One thing that I noticed was despite being dominated by many old buildings covered in ancient dust, the roads in Phuket Old Town had a fine-textured and smooth surface. I would say that it was an impressive accomplishment for a developing country! We also found a traditional night market that was pretty tidy and clean.
|Old Phuket Night Market|
After walking for a while, without a doubt, we got hungry and decided to rest our feet and feed ourselves at one of the restaurants that was still open at 1AM, Yoy Pochana restaurants. Nana ordered a portion of Pork Vermicelli, while Gina and I shared a bowl of Tom Yum. I'm telling you that it was the most delicious Tom Yum I've ever had! All sour and spicy with a rich taste of lots of spices in one!
|The authentic Thailand Tom Yum, 120 baht. Slurp.|
I also ordered a bottle of Thai signature beer, Singha Beer. Nana took a sip and hated it, Gina refused to try it, while I quite liked it. It tasted rather bitter compared to Heineken. The beer cost me 90 baht.
|No, it was not Singha on the rock LOL. The ice cubes on the back belonged to the tea Gina ordered.|
It was around 2AM and we went back to the hostel to get some sleep as the journey had just started. As we are nearing the end of this post, I hereby would declare that the Asean Trip Day 1 blog is wrapped. See you on the Asean Trip Day 2 post!