This trip has been my first time traveling internationally by myself. Before, not only had I always been with a group, but that group had always included my father, who is the reason I’ve been most of the places I have. It was inevitable, of course, that I’d have to start traveling without him, but that hasn’t made it easier. There’s a safety in going someplace with a person committed to your safety, seeing to your meals and planning your activities. In Chaing Rai, I was staying with his father and stepmother, and they had plenty of ideas of good things to do in the area. Here, I’m alone.
That’s okay, though, as I’ve come here to vacation. Travel is seeing sights and learning about a place, working hard to do the things that you can only do there for the brief moment it’s where you find yourself. It requires a lot of energy, but it’s rare that it isn’t worth it. I was a traveler in Chiang Rai; I’m on vacation in Phuket.
Thus, my last few days have been rather calm. I’m staying in a subdistrict of Mueang Phuket District (Phuket Town District) called Chalong, which brings me to an important piece of advice for you, should you wish to spend some time here. It’s apparently something of a secret that Phuket is the name for the whole island, the province made up of that island, and a city on that island. Chalong is just far enough away from Phuket Town itself so as to be inconvenient if you’d like to do anything easily touristy besides bars. I’m fine with it, though, as I’ve brought with me as much hakuna matata as I could muster.
If you’re not worried about taxi fares, it’s not impossible to do things, and there is plenty to do (temples to see, museums to visit, beaches upon which to bum). One advantage to where I’m staying is how close it is to a particular marina. There’s an information booth there, and through it I booked an all day boat tour to get out on the bay north and east of the island and see some geological sights. James Bond Island (from The Man With the Golden Gun) is on that list, and the park with Thailand’s largest native mangrove population: Ao Phang Nga National Park.
These last few days, however, have been serene. I spent most of today in the shade with a cold drink in one hand and a book in the other as I sat by the shore. There’s no shortage of restaurants just on my little street, and I haven’t been able to find a place that makes food I don’t like. In fact, I’ve made sure to avoid getting Western dishes when my stomach is cooperating, and I haven’t yet had to stop eating a dish whose name I can’t pronounce. Even in my weird little corner of Phuket, the restaurants are on point (and incredibly affordable). Yesterday, I caught up on much needed sleep and Netflix. Tropical vacation destinations are not my forte, and I’m really not a fan of going to the beach, but I’m making do—despite the heat. Honestly, it’s hard not to do well when you’re taking time simply to be.