Sunday, September 7, 2008

Day 3: Phuket Town

Jet lag must be catching up to us differently. Che woke up at 5:00 a.m.; I slept in until 11:00. Shortly after we were both up ready to go, down came a torrential downpour of rain. We braved the rain with umbrellas to tour the resort grounds, which were beautiful. I'm sure they'll be even nicer when the weather clears. We ate lunch at the resort then headed to the airport to pick up our friends Jay and Cheron. We dropped off their stuff back at the hotel, then headed out for Phuket Town.

The rain eventually let up and we were able to walk around through town, browsing the markets and shops. I thought driving from the airport to the hotel last night was scary, but that didn't even compare to driving through town. Che had a few drinks so I took the keys after dinner, but after about an hour of driving through town, getting more lost along the way (we didn't have a good map of town nor did any of us have a good bearing on where we were or where we were trying to go), and nearly having a heart attack the whole time, I had to pull over and hand him back the keys. Scooters and mopeds pull up on all sides of you and don't really care about turning in front of you or going straight past you while you're trying to turn - I think they assume cars will stop for them. Stoplights and stopsigns are apparently just a guide, as are lane lines, so no one really feels obligated to follow them. And that's all scary enough without having to also drive on the wrong side of the road and the wrong side of the car while trying to navigate street signs that aren't in English! I can't tell you how many times I turned on the windshield wipers when I was trying to signal a turn. When it came time to maneuver a roundabout, I was done. This was all way too adventurous for me. Che handled it much better.

After hitting a grocery store and finally making it back to the main highway to our hotel, we called it a day. Jay was jet-lagged, and the rest of us were pretty tired too. So we're perusing the guide books tonight to make a plan for the rest of the week and we'll be off tomorrow, weather permitting, to see the sights.

This is the view from our condo balcony:

The reflection pond, which is the view from the open-air lobby of the hotel/resort looking towards the ocean:

Our rental car:

Phuket is congested with scooters and mopeds:

The Municipal Market, which are streets lined with mostly food vendors. We weren't quite ready to brave street food on our first day. We'll be up for it later in the week.

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