18.02.2012 - 19.02.2012 29 °C
Having been to a few Thai places now I have got to recognise the abundance of cages hanging outside people's homes and shops homing only one small singing bird. Initially I thought they were a sign of good luck or maybe a sign of prosperity, ok, that's not true, initially I thought it cruel and wanted to let each bird out to fly free into the tropics. I then correct myself and consider if the owners think they are actually doing some good by looking after their birds? Well....I have found out first hand, in Koh Tao I spoke to a local man and asked him about his bird in his cage (the cages are all very pretty is large golden hooks to hang them and yes the birds sing beautifully and in the evening they are covered and taken down and into the building). Charlee told me that he loved his bird but was still mourning the loss of his previous bird that died 6 months ago, he continued to tell me that the previous bird (he hadn't given them names ...merely bird) had only one wing and he had it for a very long time. Charlee then went into his shop and came out with a coffee jar full of cotton wall and unscrewed the lid. I was wondering what he was doing but I thought....go with it.....he gently put his hand in and scooped out a very dead bird with one wing....a six month old dead bird. You wouldn't have thought so though...it looked like it was asleep a but the sad part of all of this was the loss in Charlees eyes and for me this confirmed.....they love their birds and they look after them although some bet on whose bird sings the loudest with the largest bet being thousands.mmyoure supposed to have a licence to own one too but hey this is Thailand! I think they would be mortified if any one said it was cruel. I have since found out the type of bird....a Red whiskered Bulbul that sings when it is agitated...even though the song is beautiful, so is it cruel?
We were looking forward to some vibrance after a few days chilling out and all of us had been told about awesome Phuket....'it's great'. 'I love it there'. 'we go there every year'. Loads of recommendations so we were very excited and knew we wouldn't be disappointed especially as we picked the busiest place Patong. I didn't even mind packing and getting up for the 630 am transfer..... see I was excited!
The journey was painless - sitting on the deck of the boat in the hot sun again with a lovely warm breeze. Arriving into Phuket Town we got on board into our mini bus to take us to Patong, so far so good! Then a strange thing.....radio one in then mini bus.....odd....reminded me abit like Tenerife or some typically sea side infested town. We arrived at our hotel and were pleasantly surprised how nice it was for the bargain price we paid...air con, tv, mini bar etc.
We decided to go out in the evening and then spend the following day on the beach, so we glammed up and off we went. A few steps down the road and the thunder started to rumble....then it POURED with rain and I mean poured! There was more water than my shower and it showed no signs of stopping. We jumped in a tuk tuk and was taken to town and dropped outside a restaurant. But the rain kept coming and we refused to get out not wanting to ruin our dresses and hair. Eventually the restaurant brought out brollies for us giving our tuk tuk driver a lucky escape from our new shelter! We had a lovely meal in Savoey Restaurant albeit a fish restaurant it was good veggie food however it was still raining....now the streets were starting to flood and that's no good when you're wandering round in flip flops.
The heat is still on so the cool rain isn't too much of a bind only it is a killer for the hair! We walked to the main strip where there was bar after bar and you know shopping precincts well they have them too but they are not shops but bars and clubs all with go-go girls up on the bars dancing. Oh and I forgot to mention the old men lusting after them walking around with their eyes at above bar level. Walking down the street past tout after tout asking if we wanted to go to a sex show and still the rain came down. We sat in one bar and a very drunken Indian man stopped to have a good look at us and then came into the bar and persisted into trying to buy us a drink, we completely declined his offer, he had taken a liking to Gee even though he was far from her type....semi concious is far from anyones thpe i imagine! If they ring a bell in the pub it means someone has paid a price for all to have a free shot and we were there when this happened.....two OAPs had rung the bell! When I went to the toilet I saw the bar girl stood with two guys with their hands down her top having a good grope, after they put a few notes down there for her. It was awful and I've been to some places but this has to be the worst. We decided enough was enough and went back to the hotel ready to meet early for breakfast to discuss the plan....should we stay or should we go? I already knew we would be cutting our losses and going......to be honest there wasn't any other option but to get out and go to one of the other beautiful islands here. Had we been spoilt with the other beaches?....Now we were missing Phi Phi.
We met for breakfast and has a brief conversation and decided to leave, a unanimus vote and within minutes our boat ticket was booked so we had only 45 mins to get back, get packet and get going! It was a surprise how quickly we did this and then I had the task of trying to get our money back....a very hard task which I failed at to cut the story short...a hotel manager hanging up on me telling me to call Agoda (a booking company).
We boarded our mini bus and left with big smiles on our faces.....off to Krabi.....I know shame about the name but I have it from Christine and Gee that it's a lovely place.
End of the Phuket story......don't tell me....you should have walked around and seen some more.....well that's maybe but driving past the completely packed beach which reminded me of home made me feel so much better to leave. AND I have seen some beautiful places in Thailand and Phuket is a very poor reflection on the place so if you are one that goes there year after year you are missing out so much....go see real Thailand....it is amazing.