Arriving at our 2nd destination the Movenpick Hotel in Phuket was exciting. Firstly it was very fancy, with a Middle Eastern theme about it I thought, but also I could see the number of massage places just outside, so that pleased me no end. Walking into our rooms we were both incredibly impressed with the decor and had to check out each others rooms to ensure they were the same.
We had a couple of activities we booked in to do. First we did a cooking class at a well known Thai cooking school and aside from the fact by this time I was feeling really quite unwell, the class was a lot of fun and we made several yummy dishes. Recipe books and cooking headscarves in hand, we left feeling like we could potentially set up our own cooking school on youtube! First things first, I needed a nap. I would not allow feeling sick to defeat me and soldiered on like the queen that I am!
We also did a boat trip and a little island hopping. My favourite being to Monkey Island because travel buddy had been once attacked by a monkey in Bali and had to undergo $7,000 worth of preventative rabies treatment, so I knew this would be fun. I coaxed him off the boat and suggested he get closer to the monkeys for good photo opportunities, however, he would not indulge my wishes. I got to sit up front on the boat ride, I think because they knew I was important and travel buddy sat below with all the unimportant, normal tourists and was unfortunate enough to have the child next to him vomit, to his absolute horror. The last island on this tour was a small party island. I found a black cat wandering around the sand that I was enamoured by and travel buddy found 3 African men that he was enamoured by. I took on the role of trying to take sneaky pics of our fellow travellers, which was easy because they were near the black cat. Anyway somewhere in my photo gallery are several photos of a scrawny, dehydrated black cat and 3 large African men!
Now the massages. What can I say, I averaged two a day and was bemused that my mate had never actually had a foot reflexology massage before. One particular foot massage had us sitting side by side messaging each other throughout the whole thing. Why? Well the lady doing his reflexology seemed to have incredibly large hands and feet and also appeared very taken by my buddy. She kept giggling and looking at him and kept trying to convince him to have a full body massage. I thought this was a splendid idea and for the rest of our time in Phuket, I kept trying to get him back there but he was not keen. We had amazing spa treatments also and I highly recommend treating yourself if you are ever there.
They have these markets in Old Phuket Town so we thought this was something we needed to attend. They had all sorts of delicacies like crickets and spiders but to my absolute delight I saw chips on a stick! These things were delicious and our dinner that night consisted of these chips on a stick, corn on a cob and fairy floss. Now we are in the middle of these Phuket markets when we hear a commotion and a group of people coming towards us. Startled, had we done something wrong? I looked at travel buddy concerned, alas, there was no need because it was just our new karaoke friends from several nights ago! They remembered us and seemed very impressed seeing us again. It was at that moment I realised we were now celebrities! Perhaps we were already on youtube? The fact they bowed to us surely meant something?
Travel buddy purchased a leather belt and encouraged me to purchase this quite exquisite dress that I’m not sure I will ever wear again but at that moment it seemed like a great idea! We found a little pop-up bar in the markets that was playing great music and decided a few drinks were in order. I was momentarily worried that we could be drinking paint thinner or something but my concern quickly dissipated when I saw the look on travel buddies face. I looked at him and then I looked at bar guy and I realised instantly that travel buddy was flustered. Yes there was a little crush happening and can I just say that this caused me all sorts of joy. Again I was trying to take sneaky pics and initiate some sort of banter but my mate all of a sudden became shy. Nothing further to tell of this night but tomorrow night was New Years Eve.
New Years Eve arrived and we had no specific plans. I decided to have an afternoon nap as I was still unwell, when I get a message from travel buddy advising he had booked himself in for teeth whitening! Yes teeth whitening on the afternoon of New Years Eve. I chose to have a massage and met him at the dental place. He walked out of there with what can only be described as this joker like grin plastered on his face, asking every few minutes whether his teeth were glowing. Here’s the thing that many people probably do not know and that is this whole teeth whitening process is very painful! So now travel buddy had sensitive teeth and was in a significant amount of pain heading into our New Year celebrations. It was time to suck it up and get ready for the night.
We started with dinner and these cocktails in pineapples. I was hoping the alcohol would numb his pain and stop him complaining and it did seem to do the trick. Upon leaving dinner we soon realised that anything goes in Phuket on New Years Eve. We were lured down into the depths of hell for the “cultural” pingpong ball show. Well, not so much lured as enticed by the promise of a free show and the intrigue as to exactly what happened at one of these productions. Taking our seat a waitress came to take our drink order and it seems these shows aren’t exactly free as our first drink converted to $55 each. Whether it was the already consumed cocktails or the fear of the unknown, we could not understand what was happening for a good five minutes and why we were charged this absurd amount of money. In any case, we settled in for the show.
The show! Well this certainly was different. As a woman, I never knew our lady bits could be used to store so many objects?! There were fish. There were birds. There were mice. There were razor blades. There were ribbons. Apparently with training our lady bit can smoke, open bottles of coke, hold pens and write and of course shoot pingpong balls with such velocity one near grazed my arm from 30 metres away! Cannot aptly describe what was going through my head at this time but my level of confusion was matched by my delight and awe that our bits were so very versatile. Admittedly there were questions and I kept shooting these questions at travel buddy, who had absolutely no clue what was happening. I don’t need to see another of these shows, however, I will die knowing that us women really are incredibly gifted and talented creatures.
We leave and are quickly immersed into the crowds of thousands. We have a pic with a midget Thai fighter. We purchase silly string which encourages silly behaviour and I still have some of this stuck to my bag. As midnight draws near we end up outside a popular gay bar where there was a Ladyboy show in full swing. Diva’s galore belting out their songs. Lucky I brought my showstopper in a bag for this very occasion! Within minutes I had my showstopper on, having pics with the Diva’s who I believe were jealous of my outfit! They did not like being upstaged but upstaged they were. I flitted around like a Queen and had an amazing amount of fun. Just before midnight we looked down to see a man lighting fireworks and probably should have moved, or at least been more alarmed. As they went off we felt the little pellets hit our legs and would discuss the potential hazard of this the next day over breakfast, considering ourselves lucky to be alive! After midnight we ended up in the gay club and I have to say what an absolute blast that was! I very much liked the idea that nobody was bothered with me and it occurred to me at some point that I could actually cartwheel naked on stage and nobody would blink an eye! What a liberating and freeing thought that was. On the other hand my travel buddy was very popular and I did not know the protocol. Did I need to protect him? Was I meant to be a wing woman? I decided to watch bemused and let him handle himself. This was such a great night and a New Years Eve to remember!
We were a little worse for wear again the next day but we are warriors. Tonights dinner was a Georgian feast. Yes I know a Georgian restaurant in Thailand but it was so good. More massages, some shopping, another purchase of face-masks, taking our total to 3,211 (well they were very cheap), fresh coconuts and juice by the beach. Our last dinner at a beachside restaurant saw the end of our holiday. It was a truly fantastic trip with a great travel buddy whom I hope to travel with again, should we ever get out of hibernation!!
My flu like symptoms persisted all the last week of the trip and I lost my voice several times and had developed quite an annoying cough. I actually felt that unwell I didn’t know how I would handle the flight home! I did handle it but coughed throughout the whole flight. So looking back I do wonder what this virus was, as it lasted in total close to 3 weeks and a doctor back home said and I quote “you’ve probably just contracted some sort of exotic overseas flu”! Two weeks later we hear of COVID-19…..