Sawasdee kaaa everyone! That’s hello in Thai. Here at the Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort the entire staff has been well trained to say it often, say it loud and the female staff say it with a prolonged “kaaa” at the end.
We woke up in our luxury hotel room after a great sleep: air conditioning and high thread count sheets, ooh la la, we’ve been living like colonial princes. Headed to our garden-facing balcony for some early morning laptop time to start researching and booking hotels and transportation for the next country of our yolomimo trip Myanmar. Little black birds (the same ones that Maurice posed with in Singapore), came up very close to us and serenaded us.
Actually from the corner of the balcony you can see the beach, if this were a Manhattan apartment, the brokers would certainly advertise this as an oceanview room!
We decided to get breakfast first, choosing the buffet option rather than a la carte. We sat in the restaurant directly next to the pool. This was an attempt to optimize by tucking in both breakfast and lunch. Big mistake, big. HUGE.
I ate about four plates and drank two coffees and four fruit juices. Maurice claims he ate eleven plates of food. He was doing not-so-hot. Me on the other hand, I was DYING. For the next two hours after our long breakfast, I was writhing in self-inflicted belly pain. Maurice took the opportunity to write the Day 6 yolomimo blog post.
In Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort, we noticed Chinese guests everywhere and Russians following in a close second. This was a very different vibe from Ko Jum which was mostly Western Europeans. At breakfast, I observed a large Chinese (Shanghainese) gangster being super-rude to the wait staff and intimidating other guests who were apparently sitting in his favorite table. Separately, Maurice also noticed a woman from this same gangster’s family spitting out food directly onto the floor of the restaurant. Other members of his party were peeling eggs onto the floor as well. How obnoxious. Something I learned from many summers and vacations spent in Shanghai or other parts of China is that money does not buy class!
Once I was feeling better, we swam at the resort’s beach and took photos of the crystal clear waters and fine white sand with the underwater camera.
Walt Disney could not have designed a more pristine, manicured beach. Other than one or two small stray fish, we didn’t encounter any rocks, seaweed, crabs or any other wild elements at Le Meridien’s beach.
I couldn’t resist the hair flipping shot made famous by my sister Lucy and friends.
Maurice was smart, taking a cue from the many Chinese guests, he kept his t-shirt on to prevent sunburn.
We attempted to work on more yolomimo blog posts during the early evening. Always carrying around that Macbook for whenever a free hour passes by.
Then we took the resort’s shuttle to Patong city center only a few km north of our resort. This was a truly different experience. Patong is known to be the center of Phuket’s seedy and well-touristed nightlife district.
We started off at the relatively new Jungceylon mall, a very family friendly indoor/outdoor shopping plaza with restaurants, fast food and even a supermarket. Here is Maurice in front of the Jungceylon pirate ship.
Me stopping to smell the roses.
We stopped into the Big C Supermarket hoping to buy some sunscreen, tiger balm and dried mango, but the line was way too long. It was 9pm on a Monday and the supermarket was mobbed by tourists (like us). Check out my spooky teeth muhahahaha.
Then we left the huge shopping plaza and made our way through endless rows of massage parlors where women of all ages stood or sat outside their store fronts alternating between soliciting potential customers and just generally looking bored. Hmm I don’t know about you, but I’ve never chosen a masseuse based on her looks…
Also, no matter which city or village in Thailand we have been to thus far, every evening we hear the sounds of the ubiquitous muay thai truck announcing over tinny loudspeakers the next scheduled fights. This truck has two fighters demonstrating their moves.
Drawing closer to the tourist hordes, we walked into the infamous nightlife street Bangla Road which is pedestrian only at night.
Here’s our video of the hectic intersection crossing into Bangla Road. At one point in this video, a guy is nearly clipped by a scooter.
We shuffled through the road pretty quickly as there were people surrounding on all sides. I didn’t get to pause, pay 100 THB and take a photo with a ladyboy like I wanted to. There were about six ladyboys standing in the front advertising the Simon Cabaret pageantry show nearby in Patong. In my opinion, all but one of them were really beautiful and feminine.
Here’s Maurice in front of one of the larger bars on the road. The vibe I got from this area is pretty similar to nightlife areas in Cancun and Key West with loud music, neon lights and way too many bros.
We headed back to the shopping plaza. I got a small milkshake, this was my dinner. Maurice didn’t get anything, he was still running on his eleven plates of food from breakfast. Then we were picked up by the Le Meridien shuttle and headed back to the hotel.
Patong was worth seeing but wasn’t all that fun for us. I had originally booked a small hotel near Patong beach before I decided to use my Starwood points to upgrade to Le Meridien, I’m glad I did! For our yolomimo trip, we mixed high and low-end accommodations, with this hotel and the Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa (going there Feb 22nd and using Marriott points) being our high-end options.