An Unexpected Layover in Phuket

Our lackadaisical, non-committal approach to planning this holiday has  backfired a bit already: we decided last night that we were ready to move on from Bangkok to Ko Phi Phi, but all flights from BKK to either Krabi or Phuket were fully booked. BKK-Samui-PhuketThere were plenty of flights to Samui, but we aren’t ready to go there just yet, as we have a flight from Samui to Chiang Mai eight days from now. Our Bangkok hotel offered to book us on an overnight bus, but we politely declined. We finally settled on a flight to Phuket through Samui, which is a bit crazy (it’s like flying from Seattle to Los Angeles via Phoenix) and takes twice as long as a direct flight, but it will get us there.

The only real downside is that we’ll be arriving in Phuket too late to catch a ferry to Ko Phi Phi, so we’ll need to wait another day. But I suppose there are worse things in life than being forced to spend a day on one beautiful tropical island before moving on to another (high class problems). If we like Phuket, we might spend two nights.

I’m not really sure what to expect out of Phuket; many of our friends have told us to skip it, proclaiming it “the Miami Beach of Thailand.” But it looks like there are quite a few different beaches, and we may do just fine as long as we avoid Patong (and thinking about it, Miami isn’t such a bad place…)

Bangkok in one Day

We only have one day in Bangkok – at least for now, we’ll be here again in two weeks for our departure back to Seattle – so we tried to hit the major hotspots today. We spent the first half of the day at the Wats in the historic part of town – the Grand Palace (home of the Emerald Buddha) in the morning, followed by Wat Pho (home of the Reclining Buddha). We experienced our first Thai massages at the massage school in Wat Pho – highly recommended! We will certainly be getting more – at these prices we could get massages every day.

After lunch, we took a cab to Chatuchak Weekend Market, which was huge and crazy and like nothing I’d ever seen before. We weren’t in the market for anything in particular – we ended up purchasing a couple pillow covers and Thai pants – but it was fascinating just to walk through the maze of stalls selling clothing, kitchen appliances, food, puppies (!), and just about anything else you could imagine.

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The Grand Palace


Kids playing at Wat Pho


The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho


Papaya salad stall at the weekend market.