As we come to the end of our trip we can both feel ourselves getting burnt out. It’s been a great adventure so far and I’m so proud of the both of us for all the things we have accomplished since we’ve been in Thailand.
I read something the other day that an old friend of mine left in a comment under a picture of a group of us from high school. She mentioned how it was crazy how time has gone by so fast (going on 8 years since we graduated) and she listed what each of us are doing with our lives. A huge smile came across my face when she said “Jayme is out there traveling the world”. Some of us have moved away from Savannah and started careers. Some of us are married or engaged. Some of us have kids. Some of us are off to graduate school and some of us are off exploring what the world has to offer. I love watching everyone’s life journey and seeing other people’s lives develop. We’ve all chosen a path and I’m so happy I have been choosing to explore life, adventure, & be in the moment that is in front of me. It took me a while to fully understand what that meant. I had this picture in my head, like most of us do, as a kid. I wanted to have an amazing career, get married and have my first kid by the time I was 25. That kind of seems like the right thing to do and it’s a thing I think many of us are taught to think is what we SHOULD do. Well, I’m pushing 26 now and I couldn’t imagine doing anything different than I have done up to thus moment. So I just wanted to take the time to give props to all of you out there where ever your path has taken you thus far. To the moms, dads, college students, hard working employees, travelers, caretakers, the ones who choose the path less followed, the ones still trying to figure things out. Whatever point you are at in your life, you’re doing it and I’m proud of you.
Okay, so here is an update for you guys. Phuket is not really what we thought it was going to be. The location we choose for our hostel is in Phuket Town and when looking at the map we thought it was basically like a downtown area close to the pier. I had imagined the pier to be more of a beach area but it’s really just a docking area for ferry boats in a small river area. Since we are both worn down a little we opted to not book a day trip island hopping. I keep reminding myself of something we both read in a blog while researching Thailand. A guy mentioned that Thailand, mostly the island areas, has so much to do and offer but to remember that you can’t do and see everything. Our trip is only a total of 3 weeks and that’s not near enough time for us to do everything we wanted and that’s ok!
Our first day back in Phuket was spent hanging out at the hostel and walking around. We are actually right in the same part of town as we were when we stayed at Sino House so we kind of know the area. That day was a blur for me to be honest so there’s not much detail I have for you. The following day we mapped out a few places we wanted to visit and pinned them on my maps.me app. This app has been a lifesaver because it works offline and gives you directions to destinations you’ve pinned. We wanted to try and maybe find a half day snorkeling trip but we thought it would be best to take a taxi over to the west to Patong beach to try and find a tour company. What a train wreck that experience was.
We flagged down some taxis and they were charging 600 Bhat which is way out of our budget at this point. We managed to flag down a taxi truck and he gave us the same price. One thing to note about the taxi drivers here.. they can spot a tourist from a mile away and honk at you until you tell them that you don’t need a taxi service. It’s a tad annoying constantly being bombarded with drivers asking us “where you go? Need taxi?” Every time we walk around but that’s all part of the experience. The guy in the taxi truck told us that he could take us to the bus station for 50 bhat each and then we can catch a bus to Patong beach. We just went for it. After getting in the back of the truck he came to us and tried to explain that he wanted to take us somewhere for 10 minutes to shop/look around but no need to buy anything. I honestly didn’t understand what he meant so we just said okay. I thought he meant he needed to stop somewhere and we would wait for him. I was completely wrong. See, the taxi drivers here try to scam you by insisting to take you somewhere but then they end up taking you somewhere else because they make a commission. Kind of like a third party thing. He ended up taking us to a jewelry store and insisted that we go inside just to look around for 10 minutes. What I got from this was that he has some kind of deal worked out with the jewelry store where if he brings them customers he will make a commission off of the sale. Christina and I walked around in the store completely annoyed the whole time. The employees following our every move didn’t help either.
My brain went into survival mode while we were there. Thailand is known for its underground sex slave trading so in my head I’m thinking this was some kind of weird set up where we were going to be kidnapped and taken to the basement in the jewelry store. A bit dramatic I know but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. I kept a decent look out of our surroundings and made sure I knew where all the doors were. When we were ready to leave we followed a strange path where the exit signs were and both just kept saying how weird the experience was. We got our safe! Lol
Really the taxi driver was just trying to make money but the whole situation really irritated me so by the time we got dropped off at the bus station we both decided we didn’t need to go to Patong. Also, we knew exactly where we were and we could have walked to the bus station. We we lost 50 bhat each but I know we will be laughing about it later on.
We went back to Sleep Sheep hostel to collect ourselves and then set out again to head to Monkey Hill and the Phuket Viewpoint.
Using maps.me we were able to navigate to the entrance road to the mountain. It was a 20 minute walk there but walking up the “hill” was another story. We began our trek up and both quickly learned why the reviews said the hike is rough. A little less than half way up they close off the road so cars don’t have any access. This is a popular hike for locals to come for a workout. At the point where the road is closed is a restaurant,temple area, & people selling food for you to give to the monkeys.
TRIGGER ALERT: there was a monkey tied up to a tree in the area and both Christina and I kind of got upset about it because he didn’t have much room to move and was pacing in circles. We just assumed that maybe he was there just as a “welcome to monkey hill” and that he was let free after closing. We were so wrong!! On our way down it was late and the place was closed. This poor monkey was still chained up to the tree without a person in sight! How cruel? Hundreds of monkeys up too are all free and wild and roam the jungle as they please but this ONE monkey has to live a life tied to a tree. We thought about releasing him but we also don’t want to do anything here to get us into any legal trouble. I plan on contacting the founder of Girls Love Travel about this story to see if there is anything that can be done. I can’t physically do anything but I can talk about it make it known. It’s just really upsetting but something I have learned here is to just keep walking when animals are involved. This country is filled with wild dogs. In the beginning of our trip I got really upset when I saw them because it’s a reminder of how lucky our dogs back home are. I know the dogs here are happy and fed so that a plus but it’s just so strange to see a dog wonder the road and not even get a tail wag out of say hello to them. I took this picture for awareness, not for entertainment
Back to the hike…
We took breaks along the way and once we got half way up I was so confused as to why this spot was called monkey hill but there were no monkeys. The rest of the hike on the map showed that we were heading to the view point. I got a little upset that we came all this way and saw no monkeys. I sat down at a rest area and Christina went off to explore. After 20 minutes of being attacked by bugs I got up and decided to keep going just to see what was at the top. I ran into Christina while she was on her way down and she said all the monkeys were at the top and it wasn’t too much further. She sat down for a break as I headed to the top.
Monkeys everywhere!!! In the road, on the rails, in the trees. It was a cool thing to see. There were a lot of babies and some of them were feeding from their moms. I don’t know if it’s mating season but there were also a few of them having sexual relations so I kindly looked away. The sun was going down so it was starting to get dark but I watched as a few people fed the group of monkeys in the street. When I reached for my bag to grab my camera the monkeys swarmed me because they thought I had food. It was a bit of a scary feeling being alone essentially in the dark surrounded by wild hungry monkeys but I managed to back away slowly. I snapped some pictures and videos and headed back down. Before getting away from the monkey area I got stuck watching 2 males going at it with each other. I just kind of froze and didn’t move until it was over. These things can be dangerous and I didn’t really want to come home with battle scars. By this point it was completely dark and I was all alone so I’ll admit I was scared.
I met back up with Christina and we walked back down the mountain and headed to dinner. We just had a crazy workout so we worked up an appetite for some sushi at a local Japanese restaurant.
Earlier that day we had lunch at a rasta bar and our server invited us to come back that night for some live music. After dinner we headed to the bar and enjoyed some cocktails while watching a super cool band play. Our server from earlier even got on stage to sing some songs. She kept trying to get Christina and I to come on stage and sing with her. We knew every song they played so they were all interacting with us. After the show the lead singer stopped to talked to talk to us and we of course we had to snap a selfie. His name is Moosah and is truly one of the happiest people I have ever met. He has this beautiful presence about him and you can tell he’s a genuine soul. We may go back tonight.
Today so far has been uneventful and thats completely fine with me. We did go grab lunch at a cafe called B Cat Cafe. The name should have given it away bevause the hang out area was filled with adorable cats! I paid the extra 50 bhat to go in and hang out with them. We haven’t really been able to give love to any animals here because they all live on the streets are aren’t really excited about human interaction. So I had to go and spend some time playing and petting the kitties. I’m missing my boo boo, Charlee , back home and although petting a cat is nothing like petting a dog, it was still fun.
Tomorrow we check out of our hostel and have an early evening flight back to Bangkok. By the time I post this and you all read it, it’ll already be tomorrow.
Christina and I are both excited to go back to Bangkok! We changed our original hostel plans and decided to book a hotel with a roof top pool. We will spend 2 nights in Bangkok and then begin our journey back home
Thanks for keeping us with us!