SEA Reunion: Phuket

Navatara Phuket Resort

The journey from Koh Lanta to Phuket was real.

We boarded a rocky ferry heading toward Phi Phi Islands. Imagine the warm welcome when you’re handed barf bags. One hour later, another ferry headed toward Phuket drove parallel to ours.

And then we literally jumped from one ferry to another.

Mind you, this was all at one point agreed upon as the most reasonable—time-saving, I suppose—method for tourists like us. It’s one of those things you just don’t have time to think about until you land on your feet on the other ferry and realize what you’ve just done. Serious LOL.

Our transfer from ferry to taxi went smoothly, and soon enough we arrived at the beautiful Navatara Phuket Resort.

“Just a Ferry” | Ferry to Phuket
My boyfriend’s favorite singer is Tracy Chapman. While singing her song “Just a Theory” on the ferry from Krabi to Phuket, I noticed my boyfriend said “ferry,” which made me think that there’s no way a song exists about a ferry. So we scrolled through his playlist to find the song, and there it was: “Just a Theory.” We played it. And we cracked up. This entire time, he thought this song was about a ferry. The line following this chorus even defines a theory as an educated guess. LOL. #English

#resortlife | Navatara Phuket Resort
Of seven different places we stayed at these two weeks, Navatara ranked among the top, living up to its resort status. Lounging by the pool with our free welcome drinks, swimming peacefully in the large pool, getting room service, enjoying the view from our balcony, soaking in the bath tub after showering, getting a complimentary beach umbrella and mat for our beach trip—we enjoyed every moment.

Navatara Phuket Resort

#beachlife | Nai Horn Beach
Navatara also offered complimentary shuttle service to and from various beaches and destinations in Phuket, but we rented our own motorbike like in Krabi and Koh Lanta. So after our nice breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant (the place is just beautiful), we navigated our way to the closest beach. It had just enough people to make it still feel comfortably relaxing and fun. After relaxing on our mat under the umbrella and playing in the strong ocean waves, we enjoyed (cliché alert) a nice long walk on the beach (and encountered a bunch of cute dogs).

I must admit that although my boyfriend said this bike was much better than the ones we’ve had, sharp turns and/or rocky roads always made me nervous. It’s funny—I realized I would keep telling myself that I trust him to calm my nerves. Anyway, we remained accident-free for the rest of the trip, even in the utter chaos that was Hanoi.

Getting Fined 500 Baht for Not Wearing Helmets | The Police’s Gold Mine
But I didn’t say incident-free. At a red light, my boyfriend asked if we should turn left or right. Considering we had turned right before, I told him left so we could explore more. Luck had it so that we would be stopped by several cops who had been waiting for all these unlucky law-breaking tourists to drive by. Bike after bike, cops stopped unknowing tourists and forced them to pay at least 500 baht for not wearing helmets and/or not carrying international driver’s licenses (who has these anyway). We got by with 500 instead of 1,000, but man, if only I had said right.

Overpaying for Fresh Seafood & Having it Cooked Our Way | Fish Market
One of the cool, touristy things in Phuket is the fish market—where a long, oceanfront street of stands on one side sells fresh seafood, while the opposite side has a bunch of open restaurants that uses the seafood you buy to cook in the way you’d like. I’ve actually done the same thing while traveling in Qingdao, but I think the difference has to be in price. We ended up paying more than 1,200 baht for our entire meal, which is crazy expensive. Maybe it was the restaurant we chose or the seafood we bought, because there’s no way all these other tourists pay so much. Or maybe that’s just what we should’ve expected. Anyway, it was an interesting experience but certainly a one-time thing. #poor

Meeting Bob in a Café | A Spoonful of Sugar
We met Bob (whose last name is also super generic but can’t recall what) at an adorable coffee shop my boyfriend spotted while driving back from our encounter with the police. Bob was an author of some weird other universe shit and frankly talked about himself a lot. I didn’t really like Bob. The way we were seated made it difficult for me to hear some of the conversation, but he and my boyfriend had a nice chat while I enjoyed my yummy chai latte.

Meeting him made me realize that there are two main types of strangers you’ll encounter while traveling: Ones like the solo Malaysian traveler in Phi Phi Islands, who often endearingly called us by our names, took pictures with us, advised us where to go next, always smiled warmly, told us interesting stories, etc. And ones like Bob—who, well, seemed like an interesting guy but clearly only liked to talk about himself and his books and gave us his business card. I couldn’t help but wonder what he thought of me and my boyfriend, if at all. Anyway, I’m still glad we found this gem of a coffee shop, especially after seeing its raving reviews on TripAdvisor.

Coming soon in part five 🙂