I woke up when we were near Patong Beach, which I heard is the rowdiest beach in the island. Hotels, cafes, and bars line the beach-front and this cramped set-up is carried over several blocks inland. I felt we were in Silom and I'm sure things would only get more chaotic in the evening.
The beach itself is beautiful: a long stretch of soft sand propped with colorful umbrellas. Some tourists were tanning themselves, although there were just a few of them around since it was only after nine in the morning. The water, however, is not that clear at all, probably explaining why hardly anybody was in it save for a couple people on jet skis.
Patong BeachAfter Patong, we wasted a couple of hours in perhaps the poshest mall in Phuket, Jungle Ceylon (or something to that effect), where we grabbed some carbohydrates (mostly bread and cookies) while Tone shopped.
With the midday sun on full blast, we moved to Kata Beach, driving though the sinuous roads of the island in which ragged mountains were on one side and the magnificent blue water was on the other. Hotels elbowed their way into every available space. These ranged from the popular international chains to some local posh hotels and with the cheaper guesthouses packed in the fringes. Of course the quintessential souvenir shops occupied a sizable spot in this landscape as well, together with bars and so on.
Kata was perhaps a longer stretch of beach than Patong and the water was clearer. Several folks were swimming while numerous yachts and long-tail boats were marooned farther in the sea. A tiny island sat just across the main beach.
Kata BeachMore driving in the precariously twisted highways of Phuket later, and stumbling into several majestic smaller coves (way better than Patong and Kata), we reached Lam Phromtep, a tall cliff that looks over the expanse of the Andaman Sea.
The site is supposedly best visited during sunset. However, we arrived at just about noon. The sun was unbearably hot but we still managed to enjoy the fantastic view. A drive towards the western side of Phuket Island, we stopped in Phuket town where Tone picked up a few stuff.
Some of those smaller and tranquil coves in Phuket. I wanna stay here next time.
Lam PhromtepAs you can see, none of us took a dip in the beaches of Phuket. It was just a stop-and-snap thing; we hardly stayed in any of the beaches for longer than five minutes. I know, I know, sayang, you might say. But this really suited me well because I don't think I can stand the heat of the beach, much less the crowds of obese people surrounding me.
From there we had to drive back to Pang Nga town for an hour and immediately caught a bus for Krabi. (Tone did not have plans of bringing us there at all. PJ and I realized that we have one free day and so Krabi was the best option as it was only a couple of hours from Pang Nga.)
Visible throughout the drive to Krabi was a mesmerizing chain of soaring karst cliffs. Some towns along the highway had these rocks are their backdrop (lucky bitches).
We reached the bus station in less than two hours and took a songtaew to Krabi town and eventually reached Ao Nang Bay (roughly 25 km from Krabi) where we were greeted by a magnificent sunset and with the nearby islets in the foreground. PJ and I found a guesthouse (400 baht per night, with fan and common bathroom) not far from the center of the small town.
Ao Nang was just coming to life in the early evening when we took a stroll in the lovely beach-front promenade. Just the same, cafes, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, souvenir shops, etc. lined the beach-front, albeit it was way more sane than anything we've seen in Phuket.
Oh, BTW, they have a Burger King and McDonald's there for such a tiny town. After dinner at at street-side food stall, PJ and I sat in the seawall (is that how you call them?) and had some Chang Beer and cigarettes.
Later in the evening, we stumbled upon the the lone gay bar in Ao Nang. It was pretty much empty, save for a couple of tables that were occupied by tourists. The drag queen did her act together with a league of skinny go-go boys who also acted as waiters. Dahling, that's called multi-tasking, right?
Shortly before midnight, we left the bar to find the tourist belt of the town totally deserted.
The sunset in Ao Nang that greeted us when we arrived.For more pictures of this leg of the trip, click here, bitch.