Phuket Trip: Day 1
Thursday, May 02, 2013

The 5 of us arrived at Changi Airport at 6 in the morning, had breakfast and hung around until it was about time for boarding. 

Here's a tip

Always go early and wait inside the waiting area if you're on a budget airline. We were the last 5. The last bus going to the plane was about the leave, the pilot was on the verge of leaving us behind. (Even though we were technically on time)

So yeah, we entered the transport bus sheepishly under the glares of 40 over passengers. As for the flight, we went with Tiger Airways, and as you expect from a budget airline, the interior of the plane feels like a bus, only with less space; it's almost like The Magic School Bus

After 1.5 hours of restricted leg movements coupled with intense drowsiness, we finally landed in Thailand, Phuket. 

The moment you walk out of the airport, you are greeted with tons of people offering you a cab ride. Having rejected the Hotel's expensive offer of 1200 Baht, we settled with another agency for 1200 Baht. How intriguing, I am most amused by how my friends make such decisions, but then it was probably for the better in hindsight.

Reason being that the greedy tour agencies decided to make the minivan drop by their head quarters and try to sell us packages. (tours/activities)

That is a good thing for us as we wanted to do flying hanuman* that day, if we tried searching on the streets would have taken too much time and it wouldn't have fitted in our schedules. 
*flying hanuman: ziplining across cables

Being cheapskates, we booked 2 rooms for 4 people when there are 5 of us. However, the hotel strong armed us into paying 1,000 Baht for the extra person, per fucking night. So we were down 4,000 Baht from the get go. Damn those money scrounging bastards!

Anyway, you may have noticed that there hasn't been any pictures yet. Couple of reasons.

1. Too damn early in the morning, didn't have the mood in SG.
2. Checked in Hotel at 12+PM, bus pick us up at 1:15pm.
3. There was a torrential downpour in the jungle. 

As you can see, I simply didn't have the time from the moment we flew until we reached the flying hanuman place. The ridiculous amount of rain also discouraged me completely from bringing any sort of electronics. Seriously, it's the type of rain that will drench you to your bones.

As such, I will try to describe the experience to the best I can in words. But before that, perhaps this video (by someone else) would help to explain most of the feeling. 

It was raining like mad, we thought that it would be cancelled or pushed to a slightly later timing. The guys there seemed to be checking around to see if it was safe enough for operation, after roughly 20mins, I thought the deal was off.

"Alright, let's go."

I was as much shocked as I was pleased. We hiked up a mountain jungle to get to the wooden platforms high within the trees, where we'll be securely tied to a rope and just slide along from tree to tree.

The first step is always hard. But the moment my legs were free of the platform, excitement overwhelmed me. It was unbelievably fun.

Of course, the first section was really short, probably just to let you get used to the feeling, you wouldn't want to jump straight to a 100m zipline, right? We proceeded throughout the many stations (28 in total), with 2 of them being vertical descend. There are many different kinds of ziplines and it ranges from as short as 10m, to a ridiculous 400 meters.

400m ziplining is exhilarating. You're hundreds of meters off the ground, look to the right and you'll see the town of Patong, beyond that comes the vastness of the sea and oceans across the horizon. Look to your left and you'll see dense forestation with greenery covering entire mountains. The skies are yellow with the slightest tinge of orange, the air is cooling with the rain splashing all over your body. It was perfect.

As perfect as they all are, I find the vertical descend the most exciting, because your life literally hangs on the line, and in the hands of the person holding the rope. I can't remember the height of the longest one, but he let you free fall for a couple of seconds, allowing you to fully appreciate that uneasy feeling of your balls floating. Immediately followed by a strong tug in your groins in order to stop you from landing *splat* on the ground.

There are just so many other little things here and there that would be hard to explain unless you experience them first-hand. Like how our bus* driver parked right on the edge of a drop. (drop where? into the abyss of mud and rocks)
*bus: writing minivan constantly is off-putting. So I'll just use bus. 

At the end of flying hanuman, we were offered fruits as refreshment. You wouldn't believe how sweet tasting their pineapples and watermelons are. Did they grow their fruits with honey?! I don't know, but the sweet tasting fruits followed us no matter which restaurant we ate at, it's amazing as hell.

After returning to the hotel and washing up, I finally had the time to whip out my rock hard, thick, black camera. We swept the streets of Patong Bay looking for a place to eat at.

Shot at 6:39PM, the weather is really hot there

It feels like a mini village

We settled for some restaurant that I don't even remember the name of, because it's their "happy hour" and quite a lot of their items are on discount.

Mango Fruit Shake

Of the 4 days of eating, I had fruit juice every single meal. It was that good.

100 Baht Pizza. Hawaiian, Pepperoni, Tuna, and something I can't remember

My meal, Pasta with.. meat? Forgot the name

"Side dish" Fried chicken slices. Garlic or something

Roast Pork (Pork Belly Phuket Style) | this was pretty good
We lingered around the streets after our dinner, looking for agencies to help us plan activities for the next 2 days, and we did, the details would be in Day 2 and 3 of the upcoming posts.

Evening shot of the streets

I fell asleep quickly after reaching the hotel, due to not really having slept the previous night and the long day.

It's a shame that it rained today, there will be a lot more interesting photos for the following days. For all the parts that doesn't have a picture, there's a video, though it'll probably take a much longer time for me to finish editing the videos so that will have to wait.

My impressions of Phuket after day one: It's a hot place with good food and lots of activities to do. Provided that you have the money for it. The air is nice and so are the people there. Most importantly, Caucasians flood the streets. No matter where you go you can't run away from them! On the contrary, the only thailand people you see are the workers there.

I find the change in racial distribution amusing, coming from a country that is mostly Asians. Well, that's it for Day One! A little disappointing in terms of pictures, but dayum, the experience of flying amongst the trees is awesome.

p.s. This is the 500th post. Congrats to myself.

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