Saturday, April 17, 2010

Patong Day 2: Shopping, Tuk-tuks and coconuts

{Buddha Shrine}

We slept like logs! Our room had lined curtains that kep it very dark so when I woke up I thought that it must be very early still, but I had slept enough and so decided to get up. When I looked to see what time it was I got a shock as it said it was already 10:30. I thought we had missed our breakfast (much to Rudi’s delight), which was included in our accommodation, and so, because we were absolutely famished, we decided to order room service, which wasn’t too expensive, was delivered really quickly and which we enjoyed on our balcony overlooking the pool and beach. After breakfast we headed down to the hotel spa for our Thai massage, which we had booked the evening before. When we told the receptionist that we were there for our 11:30 appointment she giggled and explained that it was only 10:30, so we were an hour early. It turns out that my phone was set an hour fast (still on Kuala lumpur time, which is an hour in front of Thailand) and we would have had more than enough time to go for breakfast when we’d woken up.

Once we had realised our mistake we arrived for our massage on time. It was wonderful! They gave us some lemon grass tea and cold towels scented with essential oil (which, as I said before, is something they do all over the place and which is very refreshing) and then we were shown to a double room where we were given some clothes to change into. We lay down on the spa beds which were on the floor and relaxed. The room was wood panelled, with soft lighting and hidden speakers which played calming Thai music.

A Thai massage is more about stretching your muscles than deep massage. It was truly relaxing. It took about an hour and afterwards Rudi and I could have floated out of there on a cloud. The spa gave us some more tea to drink (ginger this time) and bid us farewell.

{Monday Night Muay Thai promo}

We decided to explore some of the shopping opportunities in Patong so off we went, in the terrible heat, in search of the fantastic mall Mr Noy had told us about. On our way there we saw the above sight: a Muay Thai fighter on the back of a bakkie throwing some punches and kicks to promote the fight with the loudspeaker on the bakkie proclaimed would be “Monday night, Monday night, Monday night”.

We got accosted by half a dozen street vendors again, but finally got to the Jungceylon mall. Things are very cheap in Thailand and even more so because you can batter for anything. Most of the mall was filled with clothing stores and things that you can buy anywhere else in the world, but the basement section was full of Thai craft. I could have gone nuts there and spent all our money. We did buy a few gifts and I bought a little wooden elephant and some stunning photos of Thai kids. The only problem was that the lights kept going off. Seems SA is not the only place having load shedding.

{Jungceylon Mall}

We were so hot and bothered by the time we were finished walking around the mall that we decided to take a tuk-tuk back to our hotel instead of having to walk back in the sweltering heat. I’m glad we didn’t have to drive in Thailand as there seems to be no discernable road rules, everyone drives exactly where they want to and only worry about what’s happening in front of them.

{Our hotel swimming pool}

When we got back to the hotel we went for a swim in one of the two pool, went for a walk on the beach and then went to take some photos of the local fishermen huts and the long tail boats.

{Spirit Shrine on the river}

{Fishermen Huts}

{My hunky hubby}

Later we walked down beach road again and went for dinner at a very nice restaurant named Port. I had been dying to try one of the coconut drinks I had seen everyone having and when the waiter brought my order I discovered it was just fresh coconut juice (I had thought it was a cocktail). It was interesting and refreshing, but very rich. Our food was delicious! We had fab spring rolls with a plumb dipping sauce. I really enjoy the Thai food with lots of veggies and it isn’t very heavy.


{Main beach road}

{more scooters}

{one of the many restaurants}

{Buddha shrine at Port}

{our drinks}

{yum yum… Rudi’s love of watermelon smoothies begins}

{springrolls and plum dipping sauce}

While we were having dinner the live ban started playing. They have live music all over the place, at a lot of the restaurants and even at our hotel. They really weren’t very good and you couldn’t understand half of what they were singing, but at one stage they started playing “Africa” by Toto and we got very homesick *grin*

{Statue at another restaurant}

Once we had finished our meal we took a walk down to Bangla Road to check out some of the night life. This street is apparently the place to party in Patong. It gets closed off to traffic from 6pm to 4am the next morning and is lined with bars. We must have been there at about 9 so it hadn’t started to get too busy yet (apparently that only happens at about 11pm), but there were very interesting things to see.

{Bangla Road}

We took a slow stroll along the beach back to our hotel, watching as people launched paper lanterns into the night sky, which drift up on the hot air and can be seen for miles, and admiring the fireworks, which seem to be a nightly occurance. We stopped at a beach side bar for something cold to drink, sitting at a table on the beach with our feet in the sand, watching lightning, which arrives every night, but never seems to bring rain, flash across the sky.

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