The minibus from Krabi to Phuket was pretty cramped and lurchy and we had to wait 45 minutes to change minibus, which we weren’t told about – all very frustrating. The trip took twice as long as it should have but after five hours we had finally completed our loop of South East Asia.
It was definitely time for dinner – seafood Pad Thai is I think my favourite SE Asia dish, it’s seafood with glass or rice noodles, nuts and some green vegetables such as green onion. Jodes just had yoghurt with vegetables and naan bread which made the waiter laugh. She then bought crab sticks, ritz crackers and Haribo from 7/11. Strange girl.
The next night we had an awesome all you can eat BBQ dinner at Speaker’s – western food was a rare treat. Oh, a note for anyone travelling SE Asia: always carry a bog roll – it is rarely essential but you will need it from time to time and you’ll be grateful of having your own.
Patong Beach was not the Thailand I had grown to love and I missed Phi Phi and Maya Bay, perhaps my favourite place from the entire year abroad, beating New Zealand’s Tongariro Crossing and Australia’s Whitsundays.
Krabi is said to be over developed but I disagree – its natural beauty overpowers the hotel resorts and tourist markets (which were quite fun to browse actually). Phuket Patong, however, was an unpleasant reminder of what could happen to all the beautiful places we’s just visited. The streets were full of relentless touts who put on bizarre Aussie accents and grab you like in the Saigon market. It has no mighty limestone karsts and so was never quite a picture perfect postcard (or maybe I had been spoilt lately) but it still seemed irreversibly ruined. The ‘massaaaagge?’ ladies all had a seedy air about them, both the ladyboy ones and otherwise. It was similar to Phuket Town and had none of the charm of Krabi. Paradise? Phuket it.