The big three-oh. 30 years young. GOOD LORD DON’T LOOK AT ME!
Just joking, I welcome birthdays… especially when I convince a bunch of friends to go to Thailand with me! I decided that turning 30 deserved a party, and since I didn’t have the funds to go to Vegas, Phuket would do the job quiet nicely. The plan was to book a fancy hotel, experience the night life, soak up some sun rays, do something special for my birthday and wing the rest!
We stayed at the Grand Mercure Phuket Patong – of course using our Platinum Accor membership to get a free room upgrade. We got a super fancy pool side room that led to the swim up bar. Could it be any more perfect?
They totally left flowers, towel swans and cake on my birthday *heart eyes*!!
It was hard to drag ourselves away from the hotel, but how could we eat all the delicious Thai food and check out the night life if we stayed in the hotel? Queue beers and cocktails at all hours of the day, a never ending quest for the best tom yum soup and bartering for EVERYTHING at the shops and markets.
And then there’s the nightlife. I even went to a ping pong show. I don’t know how it happened, all I know is that I never need to go again. It was quite impressive though.
I loved the bar games and playing them with the bartenders. Jenga was my favourite, followed up with a game called Jackpot. The hardest was the hammer/nail game – where you have to hit your nail into the wood before the other players.
As for sun rays, we found the BEST ones at Freedom Beach. Like a bunch of absolute novices, we did NO research on how to get there, so we walked up to tuk-tuk and asked them to take us there. They laughed and said no, and took us to a taxi. After much bartering and pleading we finally found a taxi that would take us. We were confused – why is this so hard? The taxi begun the journey through the usual crazy traffic. Then the traffic thinned. Then the paved road gave way to a dirt road. Then the road became a steep uphill climb. Then we stopped. In the middle of no where. We climbed out and the taxi left. We were cautious…. where the hell were we? There was no beach, just a fence with a gate that opened to bush, telling us we needed to pay money to get in. We pretty much didn’t have a choice, so off we went.
The track through the bush was steep, rocky and uneven. We made the slow 15 min trek down the hill in pluggers (thongs/flip flops/jandals) led by a friendly dog. I’m glad he was there, because I’m sure it would’ve taken twice as long otherwise. In the end, it was worth it… Freedom Beach is gorgeous.
By the way, turns out, you’re supposed to get a boat there from Patong beach. Matt haggled us a ride back after a few hours of sunbaking and swimming.
There’s so much to see and do in Patong, and the best way to do it is to haggle through the local travel agents when you arrive. I’ll cover what we did in my next post! Stay tuned!