Riding a Motorcycle – Probably the best way to explore any unknown territory.
Mesmerised by the beauty of the Phi Phi islands, I was waiting at the Ton Sai Pier for the ferry to explore my next destination in Thailand – Phuket. I had booked tickets for 350 THB one day prior, which included a transfer to the hotel at Patong Beach.
By 02:30 PM, a huge vessel docked to the port. I boarded that ship, kept the rucksack in the baggage section and quickly ran to the upper deck. Even though the ship was air conditioned, many preferred to stay on the sunny deck only to enjoy the views of the islands.
The voyage had begun from the Ton Sai pier of Phi Phi to Rassada Pier of Phuket. The ship was halted for a while near Phi Phi Leh island for tourists to take a look at Viking Cave, Loh Samah Bay and Maya Bay. Then two-hour long journey resumed. I was standing along the edge staring at the glimmering water below. The ship was cutting the water with all its might leaving spectacular turbulences behind.
At the Rassada Pier, somehow I found out my Minivan driver after asking 3-4 other drivers. The AC minivan started off to Patang through the busy traffic of Phuket. I got glimpses of the old town of Phuket. The road has some steep ascends & descends. Even though it was a single road, no one was cutting the lanes.
The driver dropped me in front of Raha Grand Hotel, my last stay in Thailand.
As I entered Raha Grand Hotel, I saw the receptionist wearing Churidar dress. Out of curiosity, I asked her from where she belongs. The answer was Pakistan, which was totally unexpected. After finishing check-in formalities, I went to my room 851. Here the middle number indicates the floor number hence my room was on the 5th floor and not 8th.
One quick shower and I was ready to explore the Phuket’s nightlife. Before that, I wanted to rent a motorcycle. Unfortunately, all the bikes from my hotel were already booked. I did some inquiry nearby and found out that the rent will be 300-350 Bahts and I have to keep my passport as a security. Finally, I agreed to a cheaper deal in 200 TBH near my hotel with the passport.
In short, I took a calculated risk of driving in a foreign country without an international driving permit. But the beautiful views of various beaches, adjoining hills and clean roads were worth taking that risk.
Petrol can be available on the street shops itself. I filled the tank and rode my bike to the Patong beach. It was already dark when I was sitting on the beach peacefully. In the morning I was climbing Phi Phi Don, in the afternoon I was underwater and now I just wanted to sit peacefully on the beach. What a hectic day !!
But I couldn’t ignore the noise of Bangla Walking Street behind me. Nobody does 🙂
Bangla Walking Street
When the sun goes down, Bangla road comes to life with its neon lights, loud music & cheap beer. This 400-meter street has many open-fronted bars and also common street performances. Loud music from various bars blends into a mess of mixed beats, but that doesn’t matter for a dance. The street vendors, leaflet distributors, and ping pong show touts were difficult to avoid but it’s part of the fun.
If you want to have some fun then this is the perfect place. But I didn’t had any intention to loose myself into the abyss of pleasure. Apart from enjoying the music, some live performances and the street food, there was nothing that interests me. I explored the Bangla Walking street end-to-end and returned to the place where my bike was parked.
As this was my last day in Thailand, I thought of getting a massage. Fortunately, my hotel had that facility. In my room itself, I had a great Thai massage which numbed my sensed and severe body pain. It was like all muscles relaxed at the same time. Recent adventure activities took a toll on my body, but the massage relived tension in my joints and muscles. After that incredible massage I slept like a baby.
The ancient Thai Massage Theropy is said to have come from India, 2500 years ago.
The Big Buddha !!
Early morning ride on peaceful but sloppy single roads of Phuket was enjoyable due to less traffic and beautiful views. First destination I was going to visit was a Big Buddha.
This giant Buddha sitting atop Nakkerd Hills can be seen from anywhere from Phuket. Soon I was riding on a winding 6 km forested route, while enjoying sweeping vistas of the islands. The panoramic view of the Phuket island with its Kata, Karon and Chalong Bay was amazing. Along the way I stopped at one place to get the glimpses of the blue ocean, green mountains and the city buildidngs rising peacefully.
I parked my bike in the parking lot. The place is still under construction but it has tremendous potential to attract tourists. Along the way, there were many statues, a prayer hall will a lot of golden sculptors. As I climbed the stairs to get to the 45 meter tall statue, I was loved the view in front of me. The beautiful Burmese white jade marble was shining in sunlight.
Around the statue, there are several golden colored statues of Buddha and revered monks. I was roaming in and around the statue, most of it was under sonctruction, I got a really great view of the surroundngs. I loved the perfect loaction of this statue.
The official name ‘Phraphutthamingmongkhol-akenagakhiri Buddha’ means “Happiness on top of Nakerd mountain”
From Big Buddha Statue, it was easy to descend on the slope to get to the Rawai Beach, the very first tourist beach of Phuket. But nowadays it’s just a working beach, a launching point for day boat excursions and mooring point for many fisherman who live in this area.
After Rawai Beach, I rode my bike up the southernmost hill to get to the viewpoint. The Promthep Cape is the most photographed and well-known location on Phuket island. The panoramic view was mesmerising with its pure blue waters and lush green islands. The place is very famous for its beautiful sunset, but it gets overcrowded at that time.
The day was clear when I was there walking towards the tip of the island. Unfortunately, the lighthouse was closed. I was watching at the vast ocean in front of me and imagining to swim across and reach India. There is a huge difference in both shores, one is pristine turquoise blue with white sand and the other is dirty muddy green with littered beaches.
In few hours, I will be living this paradise. I wished I could’ve stayed until sunset but that was not possible. I came back to the parking lot and tried to start my bike but it didn’t. I was afraid because I didn’t had much time to get it fixed and run towards the airport. But in a few attempts, somehow it started and I resumed my ride back to the hotel.
Promthep Cape means God’s Cape in Thai & there is a temple at the top of the hill
The bike was no more reliable, hence I wanted to ride straight to the hotel without stopping in between. But given the beauty of the road as well as the surroundings, it was impossible not to stop to take a look. I made a few stops to take photos until Karon Beach.
The third longest beach on Phuket island, located on the west coast between Patong and Kata. The Karon beach has excellent spots for Snorkelling and even diving at its southern end. The beach was not at all crowdy. Tourists were enjoying jet ski and parasailing activities. The road runs parallel to the beach which has a variety of shops, hotels and restaurants.
Back at hotel, first I returned the vehicle happily and took a possession of my passport. Then I went to the rooftop swimming pool to get a quick bath. From there the view of the town, beach and the mountains was amazing. Quickly I packed my bag and went to reception to check-out and inquire about the transfer to Airport.
Phuket Internatinal Airport was one hour drive (40 km) from my hotel. Private taxi costs too much but that lady booked me a shared minivan in cheap price. I had to wait for an hour so I went out and had a Thai Chicken food. On right time the minivan arrived, drove me to the airport as expected. And this way my week long Thailand backpacking tour came to an end.
Solo travelling brings you the best out of you and introduces you to the amazing you. Along with photographs, you have to take care of yourself and your own stuff. You will be surprised by your own actions, decisions and patience.
Travelling solo is all about being original, no more fake emotions, actions or feelings.