Landed into Phuket airport and grabbed a taxi down to the hotel. Note, i must learn to have some sort of motion sickness meds for taxi rides as I got super sick just on the drive. Terrible driver.
Got to our hotel, only to find that it expanded on some truths... the balcony (i will add photos once I get Justin's phone) was to a brick wall literally. I mean no sunlight allowed through, entirely enclosed, smashed up against a brick wall. But to their credit, they did cover the wall with a beach scene. The bed/pillows could have been mistaken as cement and a cinder-block. We of course stayed on Patong Beach (cause that is what everything said to do), so guess what, so did every other tourist. Not our kinda place.
The next day we selected a tour of Phi Phi islands where The Beach was filmed and many of the famous photos you have seen have been taken. We purposely selected a tour that would have no more than 30 people and requested that it wasn't buffet. We were assured and had them call to confirm these would be the case. Only to get cattle herded with multiple groups for an hour (so you couldn't tell how many were getting on your boat or which boat was yours) got a boat that was for 50 people and crammed with 100. Yep, half the life jackets, half the seats. And, wait for it, no windows you could see out of. So we took a sight seeing boat trip, that you couldn't see out of. With so many people they would stop for 30 minutes at a location to snorkel and expect that 100 people could get their gear on and get off the one spot on the boat and back in in 30 minutes. Needless to say we didn't get to go snorkelling either. And... they stopped at a beach where they required us to take everything off the boat (at the other stops we could leave the stuff on the boat) but this one, they made us take it off because then we had to pay to have a seat on the beach which you needed to store your stuff so it didn't all get full of sand. And the toilets there (you had to use as the boat captain refused to let you use his toilets) also required a fee. The fee part i could deal with. IT was the fact that when you flushed the toilet the bowls were broke so the dirty toilet water ran out the bowl side and all over your feet. I could go on as there were many more things wrong such as the hours on the boat with no true time off of the boat, the food, etc.
|Justin at Phi Phi Don (i believe). This was a miracle photo to not get the hundreds of industrial tourist boats in the pictures or hundreds of people. IT was so beautiful and wish it could have been more enjoyable to witness.|
|A private boat we will be taking next time!|
We complained while on our trip, and the guy said we should have complained earlier (excuses). We went and complained back to the booking agency only for them to admit the booked us on a different tour (can we say scam) and refused to do anything to correct the situation.
Needless to say, thank goodness, we had taken pictures of the boat, the number of people and have the brochure for what we were sold. We contacted American Express and they cancelled payment and refunded our money.
Bummer was, we didn't get to see or do what we intended, however, we know we will be back down their at some point and have learned some valuable lessons.
We did have a great tuktuk driver that took us down to the southern tip of Phuket to see the sunset. And there was a lighthouse (so i got a picture for my dad who loves lighthouses, but now can't find the picture). The drive was fabulous and took us to a great restaurant. The staff there were great and made me a meal that I have been craving but no one seems to make the way I like. It was perfect and cheap. We liked the driver so much we paid him to take us to the airport so I wouldn't get sick again. And with his driving us to the tip we found some cute beaches that better fit our requirements and will be staying there in the future. So Karon or Kata you can expect us sooner rather than later.
|Elephant statues, thousands of them, so beautiful.|
|Us at the Southern Point of Phuket - Cape Promthep|