Thailand Chronicles 6: Arrival In Phuket And Ao Chalong

Palm trees on the rocky road back to the main highway. I took this after we had seen a beautiful secluded beach. The photos weren’t that great, but the ones of the palm trees were really nice. Taken with a Nikon D200 and a 18-200mm VR lens. Part of the Thailand Chronicles Series.

On Tuesday, we didn’t do a lot. After checking out of the guesthouse with all our bagage and our key deposit in hand, we headed out to the Starbucks on Sukhumvit Soi 55, in the Thonglor Town Center. We had breakfast and I popped out a bit later to get some porc soup at a stand nearby to fill me up.

My wife went to make a call to her family, came back telling me it was too hot outside, and then bit the bullet and went out in the heat. She came back an hour later with news from our dog Spike. He had bonded with a horse at a park and had spent 10 minutes licking the horse’s nose. The horse seemed to enjoy this.

I spent some time paperblogging and when she came back, we decided to go directly to the airport. We were stuck with our bagages, so we couldn’t really go around the city and explore. And also, Bangkok has a lot of traffic, so I thought it would be prudent to arrive earlier than later.

It took about 45 minutes to arrive at the airport.

We needed to check in. That could only be done at 4:45PM. We took some time off and checked in. I was second in line. The Air Asia flights do not assign seats in advance. Once that was done, we went to our departure gate and waited for a time.

We got on the flight without any problems and got a good seat. The flight was pretty short and I spent it reading about Sukothai and Chiang Mai.

When we arrived in Phuket, the airport was a pretty small. Reminded me of the one in Quebec City, Canada. We got our bags and tried to find the minibus, thought it was already 8:30PM. I had no luck finding a minibus or an affordable taxi. All of the rates that were quoted were between 440 and 1000 BHT to drive us to Ao Chalong. The taxi mafia got us good. I tried to go out of the airport, and the more I left, the less interesting it got. I got told by taxi drivers that if I wanted the meter, it would be 100 BHT extra.

I got really upset at the assholes at the taxi meter stand, who quickly reversed their taxi sign to say “no taxi” when I approached for the second time. I was sure that they were messing with me. They all had these stupid smiles. I almost wanted to punch them, but I kept my cool.

My friend assured me that it cost 200-250 BHT to take the taxi from the airport to Ao Chalong, but I couldn’t find any taxis that would have that rate. My guess is that all of the taxis serving the airport are part of the same outfit, the taxi mafia, and that they spend their time exploiting foreigners.

In the end, I was able to negotiate with a minibus driver to go to Ao Chalong for 450BHT. Still highway robbery, but we just wanted to get to our hotel.

We arrived easily and safely. The hotel room was bigger than expected and I turned the air-con full on.

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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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