Sand In Our Hair
About 6 weeks ago, I pulled a bonehead move and booked the wrong flight for a long weekend to Chiang Mai. Since I couldn't get a refund, I just rerouted my flight for a different weekend. The weekend finally came and I was on my way to Phuket.
After sleeping in the airport to catch our 7am flight from Bangkok, we finally landed in Phuket around 8:15am. We were able to get a van directly to our hotel in Patong for 180 baht each. It was about an hour long ride from the airport to Sukcheewa Place (the hotel we were staying at). A private room with a double bed ran us 600 baht total. Man, was it worth it. It was a beautiful room with AC, hot water, free (amazing) breakfast, and very good location.
Once we got to the hotel, we ate breakfast, changed into our bathing suits, and headed to a place called Freedom Beach. When we mapped it, it said it was only about 2 miles away. We didn't mind walking! After all, we had been sitting in airports for the past 12 hours. Little did we know, it was uphill the entire way. The majority of the journey was on a backroad with small houses few and far between. When we were about halfway up, a Thai man called out to us. He offered us a ride to the beach for 100 baht. At that point, we were so exhausted we decided to say yes. We started talking to the man, who also offered us bananas from his garden. His name was Yew. He went on and on about how badly he wants to visit America and how he would love to help us in any way that he can. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met.
After some time talking to Yew, he took us in his old truck to the entrance of Freedom Beach. Because it is a privately owned beach, we each had to pay 200 baht to go. It turns out that the 2 miles we walked uphill went back to sea level in about a half a mile; it was a walk straight downhill through the jungle. They even had a rope for us to hold on to so we didn't fall.
The beach was gorgeous. Turquoise water and plush white sand with rocks and mountains surrounding it.
One downside is that there weren't any chairs that you could rent like on other Thai beaches. So Deanna and I decided to lay down right in the surf. It was a good idea until sand got into my one piece.
After about 3 hours, we decided to leave.
When we passed Yew's house again, he gave us water and more bananas from his garden. We sat down for a good 30 minutes and talked to him about his life on Phuket. He even showed us his 7th place trophy from a race he ran the weekend before. He then drove us back to our hotel for 200 baht.
After he dropped us off, he offered to take us to the airport the next day for 300 baht. We accepted.
We then went back to our hotel room, rinsed the sand off, changed bathing suits, and headed to Patong Beach, only a 5 minute walk away (and luckily on flat ground). Unfortunately, the chair rental places were only open until 5pm so we only had an hour to enjoy them. We paid 100 baht and took full advantage of that hour.
After returning to our hotel that night, we showered, napped, and then headed to dinner. After dinner, we went to Bangla Road, the road infamous in Phuket for its nightlife. We walked up and down the street and then headed back to the hotel. We were too tired and poor to completely enjoy it.
The next morning, we woke up and enjoyed our free breakfast at the hotel. We then packed up our stuff, stored it in the lobby, and were on our way to Patong Beach.
We found chairs a little further down the beach, away from all the people. We stayed at the beach playing in the ocean, basking in the sun, and enjoying some brews from 10:30 until 4pm.
Towards the end of our day at the beach, we noticed something in the water. It was one of the young Thai men who rented the chairs to us playing in the ocean with either his little brother or his son. They were having so much fun together it made my heart melt with happiness.
Later when we went into the ocean, the young man began talking to us about our time here. People here are so friendly and eager to learn about different cultures. It is such a refreshing feeling.
We changed, picked up our stuff, and called Yew to head to the airport.
We got back to Bangkok around 12:30pm. At that point, I went straight to the Ekkamai bus station to wait for the 4:30am van. I got back to my apartment around 6am to an ant infestation in my bathroom. I took care of that, took a shower, then went straight to school; it was back to reality.
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