(Random outdoor shot of Thailand to show that we made it and it is sunny and pretty here.)
[Note: this was originally “We made it to Phuket”. I have decided to edit the post, put pictures in it, and combine all Thailand 2008 trip reports into two posts, each of which will be divided into two sections. The first post is about how we got here, and the first week. The second section of Part 1 is about the food we eat. Part 2, which I will right later, will be about the second week of this vacation, and my general observations about Thailand. The second section of Part 2 will be about the food we eat.]
[Note 2: I am using our cheapo Cannon camera as well as my Nokia 6500s camera phone to take pictures. The cheapo camera has 4.1 Mpix, and the Nokia has 3.2 Mpix with autofocus. Since most of the readers here are not part of the technological elite, I will not bother to explain here why I have done this. However, as I do not have the right cable or card-adapter for the cheapo camera, all pics published today are from the camera-phone. ]
[Note 3: Somehow Akiva does not want his picture taken nowadays. I don’t know why. Its crazy. So most of my pictures of him have to be when he is not looking]
2/2/08 Wow…getting to Thailand was hard. Here is what happened.
We left at 9:30 AM to catch a 17:30 PM flight out of Pudong Airport because everyone was saying the highways were clossed. We were going to leave a little earlier but found out that my phone was out of money and the driver was calling us.
12:30 we arrived at Pudong. Normally that trip takes 2 hours. No big deal. But at 12:30, all flights in the morning were cancelled or delayed.
At 15:00 we get on line to check in. We discover that on our flight would be people from two other flights from the previous day: one flight cancelled because weather and another flight cancelled because after taking off one of the engines on the plane failed.
Our flight gets delayed and delayed several times. We take off at 21:00. Fly Thai Airways Business class. Good food. Kenaz poops and it comes out on Haga’s clothes. I have airplane fear sweat.
2/3/08 After we arrive in Bangkok, some Thai Air woman tells us to follow other people. We assumed it was for a connecting flight to Phuket…we were told the connecting plane will wait for the plane from Shanghai. We lost sight of the people we were to follow and so went to the gate, which was closed. We ran around the airport till we found the same woman. She said actually they were waiting for us at a bus to take us to a hotel. Gee thanks for telling us. (more observations on this later)
We drive on a bus for an hour to a hotel, arrive at 2:00. Our luggage was checked in through to Phuket, so we did not have a clean set of clothes. They tell us there will be a wakeup call at 5:30. The hotel is nice though.
At 5:30 Haga gets up. There was no wake up call. Turns out that the flights to Phuket are delayed. We go back to sleep. At 8:30 we get on a bus back to the airport. Kenaz throughs up on Haga in the bus.
At 12:00 we get on the plane to Phuket. At 13:00 we get to Phuket. At our hotel, they tell us they don’t have our online reservation. We can stay there for two days, then we have to leave. We don’t have another place to stay. Oh, and the price per room has gone up from $16 per night to $90 per night. I should have noticed that on the reservation but I only realize that now.
At 15:00, I swim with Akiva and Kenaz. We have fun. But now Akiva has diarrea and pooped next to the pool.
At 20:00 Haga’s Mom arrives. Haga and the kids go to sleep. I drink a beer with Mom, then I came here to write this and figure our where we will stay after this.
I guess I should not be upset…and I’m not. Its just that things are not going to plan and I hate that. But on the other hand we are safe. We can relax and be warm. We are not like the poor Chinese migrant workers missing their one chance a year to see family due to this freak snow storm.
2/4/08 On Monday, we spend the day at the beach. As I write this (Thursday) I have difficulty remembering what we did on Monday. We probably ate PadThai noodles and spicy soup at the Muslim restaurant behind the hotel. We did have an argument with the hotel people, but for the time being, they let us stay in the hotel even though it is very over-booked. There is construction going on behind our room too, but that is not a big deal because a)we are used to it in China, and b) we do not stay there in the room anyway. We went to the pool to cool down after being on the beach. I think we ate at the Indian restaurant at night. But I was very tired and did not take pictures of the food…so that will not be in the food section. Oh yeah…we also went to Surin beach, which was nice.
2/5/08 On Tuesday we rent a car. We drove to Kamala beach to check out the seen, then to Patong town, where we first went to the beach, then went shopping all day. BTW, I drove there…Thailand is left-hand drive. But because I’m such a good driver, there was no problem. At Patong, we bought some stuff. And we ate at a night-market (again, I was too tired and hungry to take pictures of the food). Haga and Mom bought fake clogs. We looked around and had fun.
2/6/08 On Wednesday we went on a speed boat to PhiPhi Island, where there are evil communist hippies (if you saw the movie “The Beach”). Akiva threw up on the bus ride to the harbor, and then on the boat. But he is tough big boy and can still have fun with an upset stomach.
We went snorkelling. Haga’s Mom went snorkalling for the first time. At first she panicked but I helped her out. We went to Phi Phi, PhiPhi Don, and somewhere else. Everywhere we went Akiva and Kenaz were the star attractions for everyone.
Everyone thinks its so cute when Akiva disobeys me and asks “why?” to everything I say.
2/7/08 On Thursday, (today) besides doing the beach thing, Mom and I went snorkelling. She did much better this time.
Also we went to the night market. We had Muslim beef noodle soup, fried fish cakes, and other stuff. (pictures on my other camera)
2/8/08 On Friday, we went to the beach while Mom got a massage. Then she went home to Japan. She had a great time.
2/9/08 Saturday was primarilly a beach day. We kicked the soccer ball around, built sand fortresses, and went swimming.