The real reason why I got sold with the idea of going on the cruise is the shore excursion. I’ve always wanted to go to Thailand. Those floating markets haunt me. I wanna see them.
I know there won’t be an opportunity to see them in this trip as we will be in Phuket and Krabi but still, Thailand excites me.
I know the two shore excursion day trips won’t be enough to satisfy the curious in me. Of course, two days will never be enough for any country I would love to get to know better. But I am taking it. Better than nothing.
In the cruise, guests are given options on what they can do after docking. They can stay in the ship or they can go out and enjoy. We’re too young to stay in the ship and waste a wonderful opportunity to have a glimpse of the country.
For shore excursions, pre-enlistment and pre-payment is needed. I didn’t do any research for this trip so my sister and I just relied on the brochures they are handing out in the ship and the suggestions of the receptionist in charge of booking the trips.
We chose a Patong Beach trip in Phuket. I don’t know anything about the place except that it sounds familiar. I think Philipp, a German friend I met in diving who was then living in Thailand, mentioned that place several times to me before. So yeah, we signed up and was raring to check it out.
Patong is such a touristy place. What do I expect? I found the place too funny and entertaining. It is a very nice place to people watch and get caught up with the scene. A lot of tourists are whiling away their time sunbathing, swimming, engaging in water sports, drinking, flirting or just plain checking people out.
My sister and I enjoyed going through each and very shop, dodging aggressive sellers, checking out good looking guys and just inhaling all the novel things we don’t get to see in everyday life.
Almost naked men wearing neon pink shorts in the street.
Some out of place and badly designed buildings.
And this egg I would have wanted to try except that I forgot I was with my fussy sister.
So we ended up here, a not so authentic Thai place to grab some bites but comfy anyway. My sister loves comfy places.
We weren’t able to do much shopping. The quality of goods sold is not worth the money. And the prices are exorbitantly higher than in Bangkok, says my sister.
After several hours of roaming around, we boarded our tour bus and headed back to the ship.
First shore excursion done.
The following day we booked a 4-Island Tour.
The names of the islands except for the first one escape me now but they are all lovely and charming in their own way. I must say Pranang is my favorite. It was still not swelteringly hot when we got there and a dip in the water was still very relaxing.
But they have this fiery saving grace which kept me gulping my can of cola again and again. I love their yummy Thai mango salad. I was trying to negotiate with the salad maker requesting that I don’t like those tiny black crabs in my dish. They kept talking to me in Thai. I was trying to use my hands saying I don’t understand. Then one local tourist saw my discomfort and talked to me in English. “Where are you from?”, she asked. “Philippines.”, I replied. “Oh, you look like Thai people.”, then she smiled.
Yeah, I get that a lot. I look Malaysian, Indonesian, Cambodian, dark Chinese, Burmese and all those countries in the South East Asian region.
Third stop was to snorkel somewhere. The corals were mainly dead but there were still some interesting fish swimming around. Thanks to the bread that the boatmen gave us, the fish all started swarming in.
The last stop was this island. It was already irritatingly hot and being Asians, we don’t like the sun that much as compared to the Europeans basking in all their skin cancer glory.
I guess you can deduce from these pictures how we shun Mr. Sun come midday. It may appear funny but who’s laughing later on when we appear younger than our years next to our western counterpart. Tell me. 😉