Phuket aerial view

Thailand 2009: Day 8 – Flying from Phuket to Bangkok

Date: Dec 20th, 2009

Since I had to catch a 11:20am Nok Air flight from Phuket to Bangkok, I had to head back to Krabi first. I checked out of my hotel just past 5am and got a pick-up taxi that was heading to Krabi town.

Ao Nang to Krabi taxi rideAo Nang beach morning

Ao Nang in the morning
Ao Nang at around 5:30AM; above photos taken on the Nokia E72

The taxi went around slowly (as usual) to collect more passengers before picking up speed. After a while, it was still me and an American girl (forgot her name) in the back. So we got talking.

She’s been by herself in Thailand for quite some time, originally with the Peace Corps and now teaching at a school in Trang, which is where she was headed. She told me about Trang and how I should come there as it was a lot less crowded than Krabi — but still offers pristine coastal beauty. Sooo, another destination for my next trip! 🙂

Taxi to Ao Nang to Krabi
Left, the american girl; Right, possibly-on-drugs white bloke

The white dude in the “lungi” who joined the taxi ride kept twitching and stammering throughout the journey to Krabi bus terminal. He made me look rich.

I reached Krabi around 7am and got a bus to Phuket but asked that I be dropped near the airport. The American girl advised me to do this because the bus will pass the airport anyway. But if I headed straight to Phuket bus terminal, the ride back to the airport from Phuket town would have cost me half-an-hour. See kids, striking conversations with strangers isn’t all bad.

Krabi to Phuket bus rideKrabi to Phuket bus rideKrabi to Phuket bus rideKrabi to Phuket bus rideKrabi to Phuket bus rideSince I woke up early, the lack of sleep caught up on me while on the journey — and I just couldn’t keep my eyes open fo long.

I was awoken at around 10am by the bus stewardess as we neared my stop. I got down and out into the bright sunshine  still in a daze. I looked around and wondered where the airport was.  I saw the bus push on and across the road stood two moped taxis calling out to me. There was nothing around besides a highway, a few farm houses and trees. Also, a small sign pointing to a road that leads to the airport.

I crossed the road and somehow managed to get on the moped with all my luggage.

Phuket airport road moped taxiPhuket airport road planeTaken (very carefully) on my phone while on the bike

The short ride cost 50 baht or so (don’t quite remember exactly how much I paid). Anyway, after answering my dad who called me just as I had arrived, I took a trolley and went in. Checked in my luggage, got a window seat and my boarding pass. Twice. At the gate where we were supposed to wait for our flight, a machine that supposedly opens the door with the boarding pass managed to get mine stuck in it. So I went back to the Nok Air counter and quite embarrassingly got myself another boarding pass.

While my flight left on time, I sat by the window feeling quite sad that my stint on Thailand’s beaches had come to an ‘incomplete’ end. That feeling changed a bit a few minutes into the flight.

Phuket aerial view

Phuket aerial view
(This one was taken on the Nokia E72)
Panyee floating village Phuket
Ko Panyee a.k.a “FLoating Village,” wanted to go there too
Phuket aerial view
Beautiful, isn’t it?
Phuket Andaman sea cloud
I love this photo

I felt a bit more satisfied after seeing all that.

By 12:30pm, we were above Bangkok.

Bangok paddy fields Thailand aerialBangkok paddy fields Thailand aerialBangkok city Thailand aerialBangok city aerial highway

Bangok city aerial highway
(Taken on the Nokia E72)

We landed at Don Muang, Bangkok’s old International Airport, which is still being used by mostly budget carriers for local flights (hear that BIAL?). Took a metered taxi and headed to the highly commercial Sukhumvit area of Bangkok city. I didn’t have a hotel reservation or anything but I just looked at the city map and decided to stay in Soi 7 since it had a BTS station very close by. I had planned on taking the sky train this time to get around Bangkok.

I got down at the BTS station and just walked down Soi 7 (soi = street) in search of a room. Found a small sign for a family-run guesthouse called Thai House Inn pointing into an alley. Don’t be deceived into thinking you’re going to expect a down-rotten room in here. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you get for 700 baht (Rs. 970) a night (cheap for this area). The room and the toilet were clean and the only thing you will not find is a TV. (In case you want to know how to find it, I found a video by somebody who liked the place just as much.)

I checked in, unpacked, freshened up and went out for lunch. I was resisting eating Pad Thai (considered Thailand’s national dish) mostly because I’m not much a noodle person. But I caved thinking why come all the way here and not try it the way locals make it.

Pad Thai Bangkok
Sea food Pad Thai (badly taken on the Nokia E72)

It was okay. I still prefer my steamed rice and Thai curry combo 🙂

After lunch, it was straight to the BTS station (Nana stop on the map) for my next sightseeing destination. There was a reason I wanted to be back in Bangkok city by Sunday — Chatuchak Weekend Market.


Other posts in this series:

Getting ready for my trip

The day I left for Thailand

Day 1 – Suvarnabhumi, Pantip Plaza, Fotofile & MBK

Day 2 – Bridge over the River Kwai and Tiger Temple (Wat Pa Luangta Bua) in Kanchanaburi

Taking the bus to Chiang Mai from Bangkok

Day 3 – Maesa elephant camp, ‘long-neck’ tribe village near Chiang Mai

Day 3 (Part 2) – Chiang Mai Night Market

Day 4 – Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai… and back in town

Day 5 – Leaving Chiang Mai for Phuket

Day 5 (Part 2) – One night in Phuket

Day 6 – Leaving Phuket for Ao Nang by bus (via Phang Nga)

Day 7 – Touring Koh Phi Phi (Maya Bay, Monkey Island & Bamboo Island)

Day 7 (Part 2) – Exploring Railay, Krabi

Day 8 (Part 2) – Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok

Day 9 – MBK, Siam Paragon… and ‘little Arabia’?

Day 10 – Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha

Day 10 – Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and finally leaving Thailand

Figures, lessons learned, and things I couldn’t do

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One Comments

  • Divakaran

    01/02/2010

    Finished reading. This is what I did first thing in the morning when I arrived office. Thank you Bik. Enjoyed.

    [Reply]

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