Across the Andaman Sea to Phuket

Sunday 14 June 2015 – Ao Nang to Phuket Town

A quiet morning ahead of the ferry trip to Phuket this afternoon. I wandered to the beachfront and had an awful ‘western’ breakfast at a place on the corner – watery scrambled egg & a slice of soggy toast, nasty sliced meats and cremated bacon served with bad coffee. Then it started to rain so I lingered over the coffee, bad as it was, until the deluge stopped. Back to KL House for a shower, final pack and check out, then to the beach again for a final TB150 massage, which was very good.

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As per my previous experience in 2006, the ferry crossing involved leaving Ao Nang jetty in a smaller boat, this time a powerful speedboat, then transferring to the ferry once out to sea on the other side of the sandbar. This was a bit of an issue for two overweight elderly men from New Zealand, for whom nothing seemed right. Had to help shove one of them up a ladder onto the ferry as he couldn’t manage it by himself.

The ferry called via Railay Bay to pick up some more passengers being transferred in a long-tail. I chose to sit upon the upper deck listening to my iPod and watching the scenery unfold. The sky and clouds were low and not too hot, so it was a lovely crossing.

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The pier at Phuket is two or three kilometres from the centre of town but the fare included a transfer so I didn’t have to run the gamut of the taxi drivers and joined a few others in a mini-van. My driver seemed never to have heard of the Sino Imperial Design Hotel but knew the address, Phuket Road, and managed to drop me at the door, if more by good luck than intention.

This hotel is the find of the trip so far. Funky, modern design, it works. Clean, decent-sized room, breakfast and all for about AUD$26 per night. It even has a proper shower stall (KL House had a nozzle on the wall in the corner of a tiled room), so it’s possible to use the loo without paddling through water.

TripAdvisor Review of the Sino Imperial Design Hotel

The check in clerk gave me a map and said there was a night market tonight, so once settled in I set off to explore. First, I found the produce market, which I initially assumed was the night market, although there was only a handful of cooked food stalls which seemed to cater mostly to other stallholders.

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I took some photos and kept exploring and came across the real night market in a lovely closed-off street in the old part of town. There was a great variety of food plus market stalls with close, mobile phone covers, crafts and the usual tatt. The nice part was it seemed mostly patronised by local Thais – there were relatively few obvious tourists. More photos, then I got a bit lost heading back to the hotel, but soon found it without needing to ask others. A good day.

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