Relaxing at the Beach

We started our day quite nicely with the included breakfast at our hotel.  Again we were reminded everywhere that there was to be no outside food, nor were we allowed to take breakfast food outside of the breakfast area, discouraging any attempts at storing away  some cereal and fried eggs for a cheap lunch I guess.

After a filling breakfast we headed out to the pool deck and found two chairs overlooking the ocean, staked our claim by dropping off our towels and bags, and headed into the ocean to cool off.  The water was much cooler than yesterday, we think because it was now high tide, and a refreshing relief from the stale, humid air on the beach. The water around Phuket is crystal clear, especially at low tide, and the sand is super soft which made for a pretty much ideal beach situation.

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Feeling cooled off, we returned to our chairs, vigorously applied some sunscreen, and lounged about for the next few hours.  At around noon we decided to go for a walk down the length of the beach which we had attempted the previous night before a thunderstorm had interrupted our plans.  Along the way we enjoyed the number of locals trying to sell overpriced sarongs, sunglasses, and linen shirts.  We reached the end and headed back, stopping to watch some parasailers take off and land a few times (we later found out they had paid $45 for the privilege of a five minute ride).  We also saw that the para-sailers were accompanied by a guide who just wrapped his legs around the parachute lines and held on the whole time without being strapped in at all.  It seemed quite terrifying but he seemed to have no problem doing it over and over again.  We also detoured up into some food stands on the way back, cementing our belief that our hotel is incredibly overpriced for the area.

No outside food or drink for your own "safety."  How sweet of them to think of us.
No outside food or drink for your own “safety.” How sweet of them to think of us.

By this point we were getting hungry and headed to one of the beachfront restaurants we had scoped out the day before.  For a mere 400 baht we feasted on ginger sauce chicken, pepper sauce squid, a mango shake, and a chocolate milk shake.  None of it was life changing but it was all pretty decent.  Our server also mis-added our bill up and overcharge us by 20 baht, but we considered that her tip and called it good (tipping is not expected in Thailand, it’s not that we’re jerks).

We headed back to our beach chairs and relaxed in the afternoon sun for a few more hours.  The only interruption being a sun umbrella flying into my hip when the wind picked up a little bit.  It left quite a large bruise we later found out, but other than that no harm was done, and the resort staff immediately put down the rest of the umbrellas.

Around 4:00 we stared felling restless and decided to do some exploring down the road to see what else Kata had to offer.  Not a whole lot it turns out.  There aren’t really sidewalks here, just wobbly cement blocks placed over drainage ditches. We stopped in a few shops along the way and looked at a few restaurant menus and decided that they are all the same and they all get very excited when you show any interest at all in their shop.  We eventually found the next beach down and walked along it for a while before making our way back to our hotel.  We stopped along the way to grab some fruit juice and another giant water (6L) as we had already almost finished our one from the day before.

Returning to our room, we sat out on the patio and drank some fruit juice cocktails Lynn mixed up with our fruit juice and rum.  Without much of a view to admire we watched some sugar ants carry away some Pringle chips we had dropped on the ground before heading down to see the sunset, which was significantly better than the day before.

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After sunset we asked a few people at the guest relations desk and the front desk for information about the vegetarian festival happening in Phuket Town but they seemed to not really know anything.  That of course didn’t stop them from making things up.  We have definitely noticed a trend in Thailand of wanting to appear helpful even if the person has no idea what they are talking about.  I would just prefer if they would say they didn’t know.  Instead we smiled and said thanks and just did some research on the internet when we got back to our room later.

For dinner we had decided on the pizza restaurant that was part of our resort.  They seemed to charge the same prices as everywhere else we had seen and it looked pretty good.  We ordered a salami and mushroom pizza and a squid, mussel, and shrimp pizza along with a cocktail and beer.  Both were quite good and much larger than we expected, we probably could have just split one instead.  The bill came and was a bit larger than we had expected, it seems here, unlike everywhere else in Thailand we have been, they charged a 10% service charge and 20% VAT tax separately from the menu prices.  Of course they did.

Seafood pizza and a salami pizza for dinner.
Seafood pizza and a salami pizza for dinner.

A little dismayed, we returned to our room to research the vegetarian festival.  This is probably not what you think of when you hear vegetarian festival, or at least not what we initially thought.  I had imagined a bunch of restaurants and food stands switching their menus over to vegetarian for the week and a lot of hemp clothes wearing folks wandering around.  In fact the first part is true but instead of the hipsters, local folks will dress in all white for the week and pierce themselves with any number of things including bamboo, guns, and swords.  They will also climb ladders with blades for rungs and walk across hot coals, all to prove their devotion to the various gods who are supposed to heal these wounds with no scars.  Apparently some people aren’t praying hard enough because last year 72 went to the hospital and one died.  I was quite excited to go see one of the parades of the pierced folks which start every day of the week from various shrines in Phuket Town at 7 am.  Lynn was less enthusiastic but a good sport about the whole thing so we set our alarms for 5.30 (you have to get there an hour early if you want to see the piercing happening) and headed off to bed.

Piercing your face with guns. Of course this will heal with no scars.

Daily Walking Mileage: 6 miles

Fun Facts:

  • A tsunami early warning system was installed in Thailand in 2006 in the wake of the 2004 Christmas Tsunami so rest assured we are safe.

    Tsunami sirens installed in 2006.
    Tsunami sirens installed in 2006.
  • There seem to be a lot of Australians and Eastern Europeans that visit Thailand, or at least that’s who makes up our resort population.

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