Saturday, June 27, 2015

Phuket-Land Trip 2015 I

19 June 2015

Arrival and First Meal

Naturally, this was the first day of our trip. We had a flight to catch around 2020 at Changi, so we head off from school around 1800. PK and I were to meet K at the airport. I changed into a more comfortable shirt and bought myself soymilk just because I was hungry. I was more concerned with the long journey ahead, travelling on MRT to Changi and check in before we could even start eating.

Anyway, yes, we had KFC as dinner at Terminal 1 and rushed to the custom and off to the gate. We were not too late but not early either. I was sitting at a window seat away from the other two, but the two passengers next to me were very kind, by lending me their pen during the departure/arrival form filling-up. I was too caught up with the book I was reading at that moment, The Martian, so I skipped the dark blue sky outside the window. Speaking of which, I just read about the concept of how an airplane window was constructed, but that's a topic for another day.

When we arrived at Phuket airport, we went pass the custom quite successfully except a certain attention was given with the officers wearing mask. That same morning, the first MERS case was confirmed in Bangkok, Thailand. Anyway, we found the car that was supposed to bring us from the airport to our hostel. The journey took around 40 minutes. The driver did chat a bit about the places and introduced us to certain local places we should take note of while we drove pass. I was just remembering landmarks to register the directions, so, not much was well-digested.

Our hostel was at Phang Nga Road in Old Phuket Town, Best Stay Hostel. It was a rather new dormitory style hostel, nicely painted, clean-looking and peacefully quiet. When we reach our hostel, the reception has closed, so we paid for most of our accomodation fee and went up to choose our bunk beds. It was always my favourite to get the upper deck, so I did requested one. We did meet briefly with a roommate from Canada. Shortly after we changed and unpacked a little, we were to walk out and find some dinner/supper. The driver was just nice there and offered to give us a ride to a nearby eating place. So he drove us a few streets down and we were put at an eating place, recommended by the driver.

Due to our halfway-here-halfway-there stomach, we ordered a dish of spicy fish soup and stir-fried morning glory. Let me start with the fish dish. The fish meat was okay but we had a bigger problem with the overall smell. It had a 'pee' smell and we soon discovered the origin, the bamboo shoots. Funny how the same bamboo shoot in Sichuan never smell that way. Anyway, we sort of skipped that soup part by forcing ourself to finish the meat. Sorry.

Next, morning glory. We ate the whole meal imagining this 'morning glory' was the morning glory we saw on fences, the one which greeted me every day during my kindergarten days. Apparently, it was what kangkong, or water spinach, was called in Thailand. I searched it up, it was technically right to call them morning glory though, since they are of the same species. It is supposed to be called phak bung in Thai. In case you wonder, the scientific name is Ipomoea aquatica. This dish was awesome, in my opinion because it was fresh and flavourful. I could empty the bowl of rice (khau) with just that. 

Other than the two dishes, we were served a bucket of ice and a bottle of mineral water (1.5L kind) as drinks.Oh, the straws came sticking out of the bucket too. At the end of the meal, we were also give a plate of pineapple - nice, sweet pineapple! And there, we paid the bill and left. Since I still have the record, this meal cost us 405 THB.

After leaving that place, we were bound to walk back to our place while passing by some mart to get simple grocer and look around. It was quiet at night, not much people around. The left slot meant 'phuket' literally, while the second slot meant 'other places'. It was interesting because the local was not the country, but the province itself.

Along the way, we saw the most common mart in Phuket, Family Mart. They were something like 7-11. We bought some grocer plus with a bottle of beer to taste the start of the adventure. There was a very nice roundabout with clock tower, a historical site apparently. Nothing much on the first night, as wel trailed our way back and off to bed.

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