I’m *finally* getting around to blogging about our trip to Thailand! I can’t promise that these posts won’t be sporadic (they most likely will) or that they will include any useful information (they probably won’t), but sometimes the point is to just start, right?
So, excuse these upcoming grainy camera phone photos because sometimes a real camera is the last thing you want to carry around while roaming the busy, hot, sticky streets of Phuket.
Phuket Night Life
Even though I brought my “real” camera with me to Thailand, I hardly ever took it out to photograph. It was too hot, the camera too heavy. But mostly, it was our anniversary, and I wanted to enjoy the moment instead of spending time trying to capture it.
It was our first time back in Thailand after nearly a decade and the city felt even faster paced than we remembered and with a lot more tourists. Tricked out, glowing, neon-clad tuk tuks and and songthaews blasted club music, enticing pedestrians to take a ride. “Tuk tuk? Taxi? Tuk tuk? Taxi” were repeated over and over as we walked from one cab to the next, adding to the rhythmic buzz of the city. As intrigued as we were, we decided to explore downtown Phuket on foot.
But first, dinner.
Patong Seafood Street
To celebrate our anniversary, we selected a restaurant on a street of seafood restaurants near Patong Beach called 99 Seafood. It wasn’t a fancy place, but that’s exactly why we chose it. We pulled up a few plastic chairs near the busy street, selected our fresh seafood from huge plastic buckets, and ordered pretty much everything off the menu. Our gender-fluid servers returned with seafood fritters (thord mun koong) dipped in a tangy sweet and sour chili sauce and a spicy, steamed, lemon ginger fish (pla nueng manao) served whole, and two large, cold bottles of Chang beer.
We marveled at how many amazing meals we’ve shared in our lives together that took place outdoors, sitting on a plastic stool, on a street, eating street food and drinking cold beers. There have been many, but this was by far one of the best. At that moment, the fanciest restaurant in the world couldn’t match the simple pleasure of a hodge-podge, street-side restaurant in Thailand.
A Stroll Down Bangla Road
After dinner, we walked off our meal by walking down Bangla Road. I had never been to Phuket previously, but according to Sly, Bangla Road used to be a pretty sketchy place back in the day. In it’s current state, it reminded me of a Thai version of Bourbon Street. Scantily clad girls and beautiful Amazonian drag queens beckoned from every corner of every club. Flyers advertising “special shows” were distributed by the fistful. Wide-eyed tourists stood in front of the clubs with dancing girls, transfixed.
Without a doubt, there was a certain energy here, but maybe one we were too old (among other things) to appreciate.
Phuket Night Markets
We waded back through the slew of gawking tourists and emerged on the other side opposite a night market. Somehow we were still a little bit hungry and regretted our decision not to eat mango sticky rice (my favorite) at the end of our dinner. Instead, we meandered through night market after a night market, peering into plastic buckets of mysterious wiggling creatures and perusing about a million t shirt shops. If you look hard enough, you can find practically anything. Street food and night markets: two of my favorite things ever. It’s a must do while in Thailand.
Our journey landed us at a fruit shake stand. We purchased two mango dragon fruit concoctions and sipped them while walking hand-in-hand back to the cool (quiet) comfort of our hotel.
The funny thing is, when I looked back through my photos, I discovered that a good chunk of them had already been edited. It was just a matter of uploading them and sitting down to collect and organize my thoughts. Buoyed by this, I started drafting up a series of blog posts hoping that I’d get to post them all before we left for Laos. As expected, that never happened. And when we returned, I didn’t feel like blogging at all.
Fair warning: expect these Phuket travel posts will drag on for a long time, like a never ending “look what I did last summer” slideshow. I know I always say this, but it bears repeating. I also hope to interject travel posts with a few daily life, and of course resume my “what I’m reading posts.” I’m also experimenting with different writing formats as well as possibly revamping the design of my blog. Whew! My summer of catch-up blogging has officially begun… For now, anyway…