Sorry that I haven’t posted anything for 2 weeks. Stefan and I decided to make the most of the Eid holiday by joining the masses at Doha airport to fly to Phuket, Thailand. I have never been to an airport that was so busy and so chaotic. We had to queue to enter the airport and once inside chaos reigned. I was able to get through passport control fairly easily but Stefan almost wasn’t able to fly as he didnt have his exit visa with him. If you are employed in Qatar you can not leave without permission from your employer. A few phone calls were made by the lady at passport control before she was satisfied, and he was allowed to go through. I had been waiting anxiously for 40 minutes, if they hadn’t let him through I would have had to travel on my own, with no way of contacting him as my mobile phone does not allow me to make calls outside the UK. (That’s another long story…).
We arrived in Phuket after midnight, luckily I had arranged transport so we had someone waiting for us on arrival as our hotel in Patong was about 45 mins drive from the airport.We woke the next day to the most awful weather, heavy, heavy rain which I suppose is to be expected when you visit a country in monsoon season. After buying a very sexy pink rain coat for myself and an umbrella for Stefan, we decided to go exploring and spent an enjoyable day sightseeing and shopping in the rain. At 4pm I was enticed into a shop which was a tailorshop, and before we knew it Stefan was measured up for 5 shirts ,3 pairs of trousers and after some haggling 4 ties were added for the total sum of £120!!!. We were promised that everything would be ready at 9pm that night…and it was although the trousers were a bit short and had to be altered everything else fitted perfectly. Everything was dropped off at our hotel at midnight..- quite impressive. (A few days later we read in the Lonely Planet that they advised not to buy anything from shops that promised suits in 24 hours – as the shirt sleeves start falling off after the 3rd wash – so I reckon these shirts are going to possibly last 2 washes.. will keep you posted.
After leaving the tailor shop we walked down a street that we hadnt been down earlier in the day. It was crazy, 100’s of nightclubs and bars playing loud music and loads of prostitutes walking down the street trying to entice Stefan into massage parlours and shows involving women and ping pong balls (will leave that to your imagination….)
The next day we left Patong and moved down the coast to a less busy place called Karon, we had found a lovely hotel away from the beach set up high on a hill with a view of the sea. It was a small hotel called CC Blooms (which I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to stay away from the crowds, friendly staff and the General Manager Ken is great -really helpful). We hired a motorbike and went exploring for the next two days, but had enough of people and just wanted to get away from the crowds. Ken recommended an island not far off Phuket which only has 5 hotels.
We found an amazing place through Tripadvisor which we booked for 2 nights and caught a long boat to Yao Yai island the next day. The hotel Koh Yao Yai resort was out of this world, it was made up of individual bungalows set under trees. Had an amazing swimming pool with its own private beach. This was just what we were looking for and extended our stay to 4 nights.
We arranged an island hopping trip the day after we arrived on a long boat with our own guide and captain. Although it initially poured with rain, it sooned cleared and we had a lovley day. This part of the world is amazing and so beautiful, we had been recommended by a friend to go to PhiPhi island – but we were so glad we didnt as it is very touristy with about 4ooo people visiting the island every day. We hardly saw anyone the whole day.
After 4 days we were sad to leave Kao Yai Yoa as we felt we had found our own little piece of paradise. The staff had been so friendly and it felt like we were leaving friends behind.
As we had to catch our flight back to Doha the next day, we decided to head to Phuket Town for our last day as we wanted to do a bit of shopping , and this wasnt to far from the airport. We caught a ferry back to the mainland which was uneventful and took about an hour. On arriving in Phuket we walked down the street with all our luggage looking for a taxi or tuk tuk that we could catch to the hotel. We were a bit disorientated and walked in the wrong direction. Not one taxi passed us and we were about to turn around and walk back to the Pier when a car stopped. It was the Captain of the ferry, he offered to take us to our hotel. He was a lovely man who didnt speak much english but we managed to explain where we were staying. On arriving at the hotel, he would not take any money from us, and just pointed to his heart, which I understood as he was doing this from the goodness of his heart.
We spent the rest of the day exploring, it was a big dissapointment as the city was very dirty and run down. We had dinner and a few drinks before heading back to the hotel .
The next day we caught a bus to the airport and flew back to Doha. We had a lovely holiday but I couldnt help feeling that I wanted to get back to Qatar so I could do some more exploring.