Stickman Readers' Submissions October 2nd, 2002

Tales From Thailand But Written In England Part 2 (Phuket)

By No 1 Dejay

Hotels in Chanthaburi more info

mens clinic bangkok

We’d just spent the first 4 nights of our holiday in Bangkok and loved every minute of it, but now it was the turn of 4 nights in Phuket. Could it top Bangkok? Could this holiday get any better? At the time I didn’t think it could, but how wrong I was (some names have been changed)

Day 5 (Phuket)

We left Bangkok at 7am Friday morning. Before we got on the bus, we saw the two Irish lads in the lobby, they were also due to leave and go to Phuket, but they had decided to stay another night in Bangkok. We never asked them why, although I had a pretty good guess, even though Steve and Leigh thought they were gay.

While in Bangkok airport, we had to put our cases on the security check machine, mine went in with Steve’s and they were taking their time about it. Steve said to me that they were having a good look at my case, but it turned out it was Steve's they were more interested in and he had to open it for them to search. Luckily it was ok. I had visions that the Rod Hull look alike on the plane had indeed struck. For those of you reading this and wondering who Rod Hull is, well he was a children’s entertainer who was on TV. He used to have a puppet called Emu, and you guessed it, the puppet was indeed an Emu.

It took us about an hour to get to Phuket and as we stepped out of the airport to meet the rep, there was that familiar hot and humid weather we had in Bangkok. There was just no escaping it. We got on the bus and we were also joined by two Australian ladies who just sat there for the whole ride, listening to us talk in our Manchester accents. We were staying in the most popular part of Phuket known as Patong Beach and to get there you had to drive up a mountain. I've never seen such a steep hill in all my life and I thought the bus wouldn't make it, but in front of us, was a real bus, packed to the rafters with people either going to work, or going home. We were right behind it and at the peak of this hill, the bus slowed down that much, I thought it was about to roll back and hit us. Once over the other side, we saw the coastline in the distance, Patong was just there, we could see it as we went over the hill. In just 5 minutes time we would be there, another place in Thailand for 4 nights.

I thought a lot about Bangkok on the bus ride to Patong in Phuket. In a way I missed it and would continue to miss it, I don't really know why and I still don't know now. It's just one of those weird longings you get sometimes. The way I saw this holiday, was that Bangkok would be 4 nights of madness, Phuket would be 4 nights of madness with relaxation and Phi Phi would just be 4 nights of relaxation. It turns out that Phuket would in fact be 4 nights and 4 days of madness, but on the bus ride there I wouldn't have thought it was possible.

We arrived at our hotel, a first class wonder stuck next to the beach, all we had to do was cross a road and our feet would hit sand. We checked in and went to our air conditioned rooms. The man brought our cases up and this time we tipped him 20 baht instead of 500 like the last bloke. He still smiled, still bowed and said thank you, but he only bowed once instead of the 30 or so times the guy in Bangkok did. We weren't really tired so we decided to go have a quick look around, check out the beach and to see what Patong had to offer, we also took the camcorder with us. We went past the hotel pool and left through a small gate to a busy main beach road. The moment we got outside, we saw a group of guys asking if we wanted a taxi, asked where we were going, but this time there was no "you want nice lady" or "you want Thai massage" it was just a simple "you want tuktuk". We declined and crossed the road to have a look at the sea and beach.

wonderland clinic

When we left the airport it was raining slightly, but as we got on the beach, the rain had stopped and in its path was the hot and humid weather but this time we had the sea breeze to cool us down a little. It was gorgeous, being on the beach, listening to the sea lap the shore, watching people play football / soccer and have water fights in the sea. This was what it was all about, sun, sea, sex (comes later) this is what I’d come to see. We filmed a little and then walked a little up the coast road. There were shops and stalls just like in Bangkok, more or less selling all the fake goods we had seen in Bangkok but concentrated in a much smaller area. As we walked along we saw bars and restaurants selling everything from fried rice to choose your own giant squid. After about 15 minutes of walking, we decided that we'd go back to the hotel, change into our swim shorts and hit the pool and do a little sunbathing. On each exit of the hotel were security guards, 2 at back exits next to the pool and one at the front of the hotel to let all the cars and buses come in. We got changed and went to the pool, ordered some drinks from a very friendly waiter who made an effort to find out where we were from, how long we were staying ect ect. His name was T. We went for a swim and lay in the sun for a couple of hours which I found very boring. To me there is nothing more tedious and boring than just sitting there, doing nothing but melting in the sun's glare.

At around 6.30pm we left the pool and went to our rooms to shower and get changed for the night ahead. Dave and I sat on our balcony for a while, drinking water and chatting, it felt so good to be here, just one of those moments that you cherish in a way, moments like that to me always stick in your memory, they never go away. They might not be the most exciting things in the world, but little moments like that are very special and in a small way, make you feel so lucky to be alive and part of this world.

We left our rooms about 8.30pm; it was another hot and sticky night. We left the hotel, saying hello to the security guard as we passed and we started to walk to where all the bars were. We passed so many people from all over the world, OZ, Germany, Italy, England, Greece, you name it, they were there in Patong. We saw a bar and went in for a quick drink. Steve and Leigh wanted to ring home and said after this drink, they would buy a phone card and do just that. We finished our drinks and went in search of a shop that sold the cards. As we walked further into Patong, the heavens opened and we got soaked, but it was a welcome relief from the heat. We found a shop on the corner of a street called Bangla Road. I didn't know it at the time, but Bangla Road would turn out to be a place that would turn my world upside down, but for now, it was just a road. Steve and Lee bought their phone cards and we walked down Bangla road. It had go go bars and beer bars here, there and everywhere. Girls were lined up outside these bars or sat on stools inside beckoning for us to go in, for anyone to go in. Loud music thumped out of oversized speakers…we were home. About half way down we found a phone box and Steve and Leigh went inside one of them to make their calls. Dave and I stood outside in the rain waiting for them. The road was packed, girls of all shapes and sizes walked passed, some touched our hands, some felt our arses and some winked while others smiled. One girl came up close; it turned out to be a lady boy, very softly spoken but a lady boy all the same. He / she asked where we were going and I decided to have a little fun, I asked where she wanted us to go, she replied with her, I asked how much and she said how much would I like to give, I said there was 4 of us and we would go with her for 500 baht for all 4 of us, to my surprise she said yes and then held my hand. I didn't know what to do, here was me thinking I was clever, it backfired and now I had a lady boy thinking I was interested. I had to tell her / him I didn't have time and that we were going, to which he/she replied "I go with you" to which I replied "me go on my own" "you go your way and I’ll go mine, but in the mean time" she didn't understand, which was just as well really.

Steve and Leigh came out of the phone box and saw we had found a new friend, so we just started walking, I let go of her/his hand and blanked her/him….he/she got the message and went the other way. All the girls that passed us told us to go in Tiger bar, so that's just what we did. It wasn't a normal bar; it was like a giant building with two floors but with about 5 or 6 different named bars inside. We went upstairs, passing scantily clad girls who couldn't help themselves and touched us in every place possible, it was great. We didn't fancy any of the bars upstairs so we went downstairs and found a bar and sat down. There were about 10 girls sitting on stools and about 5 more girls serving behind the bar. They gave us hand and face towels to dry ourselves and we ordered drinks. There were two girls on each side of us; we had two girls each vying for our attention. I more or less blanked both of them and started to speak to a girl behind the bar. She was stunning; she was about 5ft 10", slim and very pretty. Her English was good. She asked where I was from and all the usual questions. She said she was from Japan (not sure if I believed her) and was here with her sister who she introduced to me. I thought this girl was gorgeous but her sister…WOW, her sister, sadly, wasn't interested in me but she said hello anyway. I looked at Leigh and Steve and noticed that the four girls, who were sat with them, had moved away. Steve had a girlfriend anyway but Leigh didn't, which made me wonder why he wasn't lapping up all the attention. I carried on talking to this girl behind the bar, Dave was sat a few seats down from me and had some other girl sat on his knee, he also had a big grin on his face. After about an hour we decided to leave, but the girl behind the bar asked me to come back in the next day as she wanted to see me and speak to me a little more, I said I would and gave her a peck on the cheek as I left. It was the first and last time we went into Tiger bar.

We got back to the hotel and went to bed; tomorrow was going to be a very long day and night for me in Phuket, but as I slipped under the covers and slowly fell asleep, I had no idea just how long a day it was going to be and how my life would suddenly take a sudden turn.

Day 6 (Phuket)

It was Saturday and the start of our second day in Phuket. The sun was shining brightly outside and as I stepped onto the balcony of our room, the heat of the day took my breath away. Dave was still sleeping and as he's one of the hardest people to wake up, I decided to let him sleep for a while and had a little quiet time by myself. I made some tea and sat on the balcony for a while. I thought about home, my family, my cat, and my nights in Bangkok, my first night in Phuket. After being ill for all those weeks prior to my holiday ( I had chicken pox and I’ve never been so ill in all my life and at 28, it knocked me for 6), for the first time in I don't know how long, I actually felt good, felt well. I was free of the virus that had struck me down and made me feel like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders and as I sat there, sipping tea, feeling the heat of the day, I smiled, but not just on the outside, on the inside as well.

I heard the balcony door open and Dave was stood there, he asked why I hadn't woke him and asked where his cup of tea was, I just told him that if he wanted tea, then he knew where the kettle was and while there, he could make me another one. He told me to go away, but the words he used are not for children’s ears.

We both had a shower (not together) and got ready for the day ahead. I rang the others room and to my surprise they were already up and ready to go out to the pool. Just then there was a knock at the door, I just thought it might be room service but instead, it was someone from reception who passed me a note. It was off the holiday rep called B who asked if we could see him in the lobby at 4pm, to sort out the final leg of our journey in Thailand, a little island called Phi Phi. I rang the others and told them. We still had more or less all afternoon to get something to eat and lie in the sun before we had to meet him. We left our rooms and headed for the pool.

T was there and he chatted to us for a while. He asked what we thought of Patong so far and we all said we were enjoying it, we told him about Tiger bar as well. Leigh had been saying that he wouldn't mind a Thai massage and was going to get one in the hotel, but T said he knew a good place that catered for all. Upon hearing this, Dave shot up from his sun lounger and said that he would also like a massage; he had a sly look on his face. T said he finished work at 6pm and he would take Leigh and Dave to a good place he knows. Leigh looked a bit pale, as if he didn't know what he was getting himself into. Dave asked me if I’d like to go and winked, I said no. Even though I’d talked about going to a massage parlour before flying out to Thailand, when I was actually in Thailand, the idea of doing it just didn't appeal to me as much.

T left and went back to work and Dave said he wouldn't mind getting a temporary tattoo, he'd seen a store up the road that did them. Steve said he'd go with him and they both left. Leigh and I stayed by the pool lying in the sun. I read a little and Leigh fell asleep. I felt tired and put my book down and fell asleep myself. It was T that woke us up and asked if we'd like another drink, we both said yes. Dave and Steve still weren't back; they must have been gone about an hour. T came back with the drinks and we talked to him for a little while, I asked him where the good bars were, and he said on Bangla Road there was a bar, similar to Tiger bar but a lot better. It was called Soi Easy and said if a girl in there liked you, she'd give it you for free, if she didn't, she'd charge you. (At that point, we didn’t really know anything about bar fines and things like that; we were a bit wet behind the ears when it came to Thailand.) We laughed and he said we should go, we said we'd think about it, even though I’d already made up my mind that I was going to go.

About an hour later, Dave and Steve arrived back. Dave was sporting his new tattoo, his sleeve rolled up so everyone could have a good look and Steve had called his girlfriend again. While they were both out, they had also had something to eat. Leigh and I complained because we hadn't had anything to eat yet and we decided to leave those two by the pool while we went for something to eat. I told them what T had said about that bar, Steve wasn't really interested and Dave was more interested in his tattoo. The Manchester United match was on later that night and we wanted to find a bar that was showing it. We asked T and he said there was a bar at the end of Bangla Road called The Margarita Bar, they had a big screen and would be showing it.

Leigh and I left and went for something to eat, we both had to go to our rooms and get a little more money first and as we went past the pool, we decided to go to one of the restaurants in our hotel. We sat down and a guy came over with menus and asked if we'd like a drink. Leigh was wearing his Man United top and the guy said he was a fan. He said he could buy a top like that in Thailand, but they were all fakes and he asked Leigh if he'd swap it or sell it to him. Leigh said he'd sell it but when he told him how much, his face dropped. He wouldn't be able to afford the price Leigh was offering it at. We got our food and the man carried on talking to us about Man United and again asked Leigh if he'd consider swapping his top for an official Thai national team top. Leigh said he'd think about it. We left and went back to the pool.

It was getting close to 4pm so we went to the lobby to meet B. He was a really nice guy, spoke great English and he asked how things were going. He told us that a bus would pick us up outside our hotel on Tuesday morning, it would take us to the ferry port and then we would get on the boat and head for Phi Phi. We asked him about a tour which Leigh had seen on some travel programme, where you get a boat to some of the islands in Thailand and then go in a canoe and inside some of these small islands where there are bats and monkeys and all kinds of wildlife. B told us about the tour and it sounded fantastic, and as we'd not really seen anything in Bangkok, not even scratched the surface of what it had to offer, we decided we'd go on the tour the next day. We'd be picked up at 8am, taken to a port where we'd board a boat and then taken to about 4 different islands and shown around them by canoe, dinner would be provided and before heading home, we'd stop off at a private beach where we could swim in the sea and relax on the beach for about an hour. We paid our money, and said goodbye to B.

We went back to our rooms and as 6pm rolled around, Dave and Leigh left to go and meet T for their massage parlour adventure. I decided to have a little sleep and so did Steve.

I awoke in darkness, I went to turn on the lights but there was no power, I rang Steve and he said his power was on. I looked at the clock and it said 7.30pm, Dave and Leigh have been gone for 1 1/2 hours. I went round to Steve’s room and sat with him for a while, I said that if the power wasn't back on in 30 minutes, I’d ring reception. We had a smoke on the balcony and then watched a bit of Ace Ventura 2, which was on one of the movie channels on TV. I went back to my room at 8pm, still no sign of Leigh and Dave and I just couldn't be bothered ringing reception, so I fell asleep again.

I was woken up by the sound of Dave and Leigh coming into the room. The lights were still off so I told Dave we'd had a power cut and that we needed to ring reception. I then asked about their trip to the Thai massage parlour. Dave, who had now put his tattoo away decided to tell the story.

*WARNING* *some people might find this next bit offensive* (I doubt it but I’ve put a warning in all the same)

T was waiting for Leigh and Dave and they got in his car. He took them to this big building on a main road. It had two floors, one floor was for the traditional massage and the second floor was for a massage and extras. Leigh chose floor one and Dave floor two. When Dave went inside, there was a bar on one side and on the other there was a set of doors which led to different rooms. In the middle was a glass window, behind the window there was about 10 or 12 girls. Dave sat down and a man asked him which girl he wanted. Dave chose a Thai girl wearing some figure hugging white satin dress and she came round to meet him. She took him to a room and she stripped off. Dave thought that was also his cue and he stripped off as well. She took him into the bathroom and showered him, then put some stuff on him to kill any germs and washed him again. She then led him to the bed and poured oil on him and herself and told him to lie on his back. She gave him a massage and after about 30 minutes asked him to turn over. She put a condom on him and gave him a blow job. He came and she did something to him to make him hard again, then got on top of him and she had sex with him. He came again and she stroked him for a little while before kissing him. According to Dave, after it had finished, the Thai girl said to him "you strong, you very strong" I think he was just exaggerating. He then left and went to look for Leigh, who was waiting for him in another room, they then got a taxi back and here they were, in the darkness of our room telling me the story. Leigh just had a massage without any extras so there's nothing to tell there. It just made me wonder why he didn't go for what Dave went for, here was his perfect chance, but he decided against it.

Leigh went back to his room and I rang reception about the power cut. Within 2 minutes someone was knocking on the door and within 4 minutes, the power was back on.

We decided that night that before we went out, we would play the drinking game, so we went down to the shop and bought a load of beer between us and started to play the game around 9.30pm. At 10.30pm all the drink had gone and we set out to find the bar that was showing the match. We walked all the way down Bangla Road and found the Margarita Bar. We ordered drinks and sat down and watched the match. The bar was quite quiet. It still had only girls working there but it wasn't like the other bars where they jump all over you, this was more relaxed and they left you alone.

After the match had finished we all decided to go home and got back to the hotel, but Dave and I said to each other that it was only early, we were on holiday and that we should be out there having fun, so we went back to Bangla Road and looked for the Soi Easy bar that T had told us about. We found it and went in. It was very similar to the Tiger bar we'd been in the night before. We stopped at one bar and had a bottle of water each, then moved on to another bar a bit further down the line. The moment we sat down a girl sat next to me and another girl took Dave away to another seat on the other side of the bar. She asked if I’d like a drink and I said water, she looked at me funny and ordered it for me. I sat there drinking, her arms were round me and she was kissing my neck. I asked if there was a DJ working in this place and she said yes and took me over to him. I asked him if I could go into the DJ booth and see what tunes he had, he said yes and I went inside (I do a little DJ’ing in the UK, that’s why I was so interested, music is my passion). The girl I was with waited for me, I looked up and she smiled. I chose a couple of tunes for him to play and we went back to her bar. We sat for a while and then some guy was coming round taking pictures, so I had one done with her and Dave had one done with the girl he was with. The guy taking the pictures said they would be ready the next day. I ordered another drink and then Dave came up to me to say he was going back to the hotel to get some more money as he wanted to spend the night with this girl but he had to pay the bar to take her and he had to pay for a hotel room. I said fine and then I was alone again with this girl.

A woman of about 35 came up to me and said would I like this girl for the night (I’m guessing she was the mamasan) I looked at the girl who smiled and I said yes, but I would have to go back to my hotel for more money, the woman said that would be fine as I had a trusting face??? So at about 1.45am I left with this girl and headed for my hotel.

She held my hand all the way back, but as I was walking back I started to question what it was I was doing. Here I was, picking up some girl in a bar, who I didn't know anything about and I was going to have sex with her. Those questions in my head stayed with me all the way back to my hotel. She waited outside as you aren't allowed to bring guests to your rooms and I went in for more money. Dave was still there getting his and I told him about my doubts and that I had now decided not to sleep with her, he asked why and I just said that it didn't feel right, he told me to stop being stupid and get it shagged. He left and said he'd see me later, and then 5 minutes later I left. The girl was outside talking to the security guard and then we started to walk back to the bar where there was a cheap hotel situated at the back of it.

As we got further and further into town, I’d had enough and I stopped, she looked at me and I told her that I couldn't do it, I wouldn't sleep with her. She asked why and I said that to me, I was just treating her as some object and not a person and it wasn't right. She was a person, a person just like me and I couldn't treat her like some piece of meat. I told her that I’d give her the money to pay the bar and also give her a little bit as I’d had her time. She looked at me and smiled and said to keep talking, I said my legs were tired from all the walking and I’d like to sit down, so we crossed the road and sat on a wall just next to the beach and the main road. We talked about me, we talked about her and her family (no talk of sick cows), I tried to explain a little more about why I wouldn't sleep with her, that it wasn't her, it was just the way I was. I didn't want her to see me as some typical guy who would walk in her bar and pay for sex and then say bye and never see her again. Her phone rang a few times and I sat there while she talked in Thai, then the girl that Dave had been with in the bar came riding up on a moped, she said hi to me, talked to this girl I was with, then I tried to explain to her why I wouldn’t sleep with this girl, then she smiled, said bye and left. 30 minutes later she went past again but didn't stop. Before I knew it, the sun was coming up, I’d ended up talking to this girl all night and it was time to go. She asked me to come back in the bar the following night to see her and I said I would. I gave her some money to pay the bar and she flagged down a taxi bike and left. I stood there for a minute, thinking about the strange night I’d just had, it didn't really seem real to me.

I walked back to the hotel, still thinking of the night I’d just had. I arrived at my room and walked in. Dave was there and he sat up and asked where the hell I’d been. I told him that we'd just talked all night near the beach and that she wanted to see me again, he told me that when he came back to the hotel to get some more money, he'd gone back to the bar to meet that girl, but the bar was empty, deserted like a town which had so many people living there, and had now vanished. It was only later that he realised he'd gone into the wrong bar and that's why there was no one there. Dave can be a Muppet sometimes.

I got into bed, thinking of this girl, thinking of the night I'd just had and thinking of what would happen when I went back to see this girl. I then slowly fell fast asleep.

Day 7 (Phuket)

I was woken up to the sound of an alarm going off. In all the weirdness that the day and night before had brought , I’d forgot all about the island/cave trip that we had booked today. I’d had 2 hours sleep but there was no point in thinking about it now, as I had to get up and get ready to leave.

We made it down to the lobby where there was a bus waiting for us, the driver checked our names and we left. The driver had to pick someone else up from another hotel that was going on the same trip as us, it only took about 5 minutes to get there but once there we had to wait, and wait, and wait until finally this big fat balding man of about 45 came out of the hotel. He was Spanish but he was just weird looking. He wore shots that were far too small for him and a flowered tee shirt that was also too small for him.

We left for the harbour which took about 30 minutes to get there. The sun was shining, it was hot and we had a fat Spanish bloke sat in front of us sounding like he could die at any moment. He smoked like a chimney and coughed like he needed a chimney sweep.

We went through a little village on the way there and I saw the cutest thing ever. The bus slowed down to a stop and all of a sudden, a chicken and her 4 little babies crossed the road. It was so cute, one of those awwwww moments.

We got to the harbour and the fact that I’d had 2 hours sleep was starting to take its toll. My eyes felt like I had sand in them which may have actually been true as I had spent all night more or less on the beach with that girl. We went inside a small open building and sat down; I managed to miss the “mind your head” sign and banged my head. I then needed the toilet and banged my head again as I stood up. When I came back, you guessed it; I banged my head for the third time. There were about 20 people waiting like us to go on this trip. We had people from all over the world in our group, including fat Spanish bloke. Just then, a guy in a blue tee shirt came over and introduced himself, he was one of the guys who were going to be taking us out on the boat. He said hello to us all and then told us to make our way to the waiting boat. We all stood up, this time I managed to keep my head safe and we got on the boat. There were seats upstairs and a table in the middle on the upper deck; it had fruit and biscuits on it. Once everyone was seated, another guy told us what was going to happen on our trip. It would take about an hour to get to the first cave, which was known as the bat cave, because, well, it had bats inside it. We would then move onto a further 2 caves and then have lunch. After lunch we would be taken to a private beach for about an hour and then head back to where we were now and our buses would take us back to the hotels we were all staying in.

We left the harbour and we were then allowed to move around the boat freely. I was starving and tired so I had a banana, unfortunately there was no bed on the boat so I went to the front of it and sat down in the sun for the remainder of the journey to the first cave. It was a warm and sunny day and I forgot to put my sun cream on, even though I had it in my bag, so by the time we got to the first cave I was already burnt on my arms and legs. My face was more or less covered because I had a baseball cap on.

The cave itself was very picturesque; it was like a little island. At the back of the boat they were getting the canoes out into the water. While I was at the front of the boat, all of the passengers had been chosen a guide who would take them in the canoes and into the caves. Dave pointed out ours and we made our way downstairs to the back of the boat. Our guide came forward and we got into the canoe. Leigh and Steve followed us and after we had got in, their guide came forward. We proceeded forward and went into the cave. We had torches and switched them on, it was very dark and very quiet, but as we went further and further, we could hear the bats. We shone our torch up and there they were hundreds of bats all dangling from the roof of the cave. As we moved our torch over them some moved and flew away and I got scared thinking one would attack us, but our guide said not to worry as they would leave us alone (I was also scared that by the time I’d get out of this cave, I’d have been shit on 1000 times) Leigh and Steve were behind us and were filming all of it on the camcorder. Just then we saw the other side of the cave and it opened out into a big clearing. There were palm trees and flowers and all kinds of plant life in the clearing. Crickets could be heard all around us, it was really beautiful. We couldn’t get out of the canoes as there was nowhere for us to go. No people inhabited these little islands, the only things that did were the wildlife. The water was very clear and we could see fish and crabs moving around in the water. After about 10 minutes of looking around, we headed back to the boat to move onto the next island.

Once everyone was back on the boat, including fat Spanish bloke but God only knows how he managed to get in and out of his canoe, we set off once more. It took about 10 minutes to get to the next island and once again we found our guide and climbed into the canoe. The cave we went through was similar to the bat cave only it didn’t have bats in it, it just had dripping water (which was more appealing than shit). There was another clearing which again was similar to the first one but this time it had monkeys living there. We saw a couple in the trees and got them on film, they were a bit shy so they just sat there looking at us, probably thinking what the hell we were doing there. After 10 minutes we left and headed back to the boat to move onto the third island and cave which happened to be a diamond cave. We had to duck to get inside but once inside everything just sparkled, there were diamonds all over the place, it was very pretty. The whole place just seemed to be lit up with flashes of light. Again there was another clearing where there was plant life and wildlife. We saw a couple of eagles which was nice to see. Fat Spanish bloke was heading back to the boat so he was coming towards us and I couldn’t resist turning to Dave and humming the Jaws theme.

We got back to the boat and we had lunch, except me because I’d gone past the tired stage and hungry stage and just wanted to drink water. We headed to the beach while eating dinner and again I sat on the front of the boat, I put sun cream on this time but it was too late, I was burning. Dave and Steve joined me and they got a little sun. We arrived at the beach about 30 minutes later and had to be taken there by canoe. Fat Spanish bloke was now treating us to his shirtless manly body so I was actually glad I didn’t have anything to eat. In a way I admired him, because he really couldn’t give a shit about anything, except food of course.

We got onto the beach and it was really nice, golden sand, clear blue water. We decided to go for a swim in the sea; I was in front and the others behind me. Just as I got in the sea I heard running and laughing behind me, I turned round to find the three of them running at me, they grabbed hold of me and threw me in the sea. Salt water went in my eyes, my mouth and up my nose and I wasn’t happy. After 5 minutes of coughing and spluttering I called them a few nice names. We stayed in the sea for about 10 minutes before getting bored and we got out and lay on our beach towels to get some sun, which for me wasn’t a good idea as I’d already done enough damage to myself with the sun. After about 30 minutes of lying there, the canoe guys said it was time to go and we made our way back to the boat. Fat Spanish bloke was the last to get on and it took him about 10 minutes to get out of the canoe. We set off back to the harbour in Phuket. One of the tour guides thanked us all for taking the trip and we said thank you to him and his staff for making it such a great day.

We got back to the harbour about an hour later, as we got off the boat Dave and I saw our canoe guy and we shook his hand and gave him 100 baht each. Once we got back into the open building, we got a free ice cream, but by this time, I would have rather spread it on my arms and legs instead of eating it. I decided against the idea. We met our bus driver and we headed back to Patong. We all fell asleep on the way back, but were woken up by fat Spanish bloke having a coughing fit. I thought “this is it, he ain't going to make it this time” but he came through it and had a smoke to make him feel better. We got back to the hotel around 6pm and I decided I’d have a couple of hours sleep before we went out, the others decided that my idea was a good one and we all went for a sleep.

Dave and I got up a couple of hours later, and we talked about the night before, about the two girls we had met. He asked me if I was going to go back into the bar that night to see her again, to which I replied yes. I asked him if he was going to do the same and he also said yes, plus he wanted to explain to that girl why he never went back to the bar to meet her. He asked if I liked her and I said it was really good talking to her all night and not sleeping with her. It wasn’t that I was scared or anything, it was just that it didn’t feel right to me and I’m sure she’d felt the same.

We went out at about 9pm and went for something to eat. We decided, well I didn’t because I was outvoted, to eat in one of the hotel restaurants. There was only one other couple inside and we sat down. We ordered our food and got some beers and ate. To my surprise the place wasn’t expensive at all, certainly not as expensive as the hotel in Bangkok. After we had finished we decided to go back to the Margarita bar where we had seen the football the night before. We went past all the market stalls and shops and spoke to the suit sellers who over the last couple of days we’d got to know a little. We would always stop and have a chat, laugh and a joke with them. Suits are very cheap to buy in Thailand; you can often save hundreds of pounds buying one of the fitted suits. Leigh decided to get one. He’d have to go for the fitting and then pick it up the next day, which would be our last day in Phuket. We told him we’d meet him at the bar and we left him to it. We walked down Bangla Road; I couldn’t resist looking at the Soi Easy bar as we passed, just in case the girl I’d met was outside. We got to the Margarita bar and went inside. Some of the girls remembered us from the night before and said hello. We ordered some drinks and watched another football match which was on, I think it was Arsenal but I couldn’t be sure, my mind was somewhere else. Leigh turned up about 30 minutes after we’d got there and said he’d be picking his suit up about 10pm the next night. We stayed at the bar for a few more and Dave and I told Leigh and Steve a bit more of our stories of those girls we’d met the night before, they asked if we were going to see them again that night and we both said yes. It was around 1.30am and Leigh and Steve decided to call it a night, leaving Dave and I to finish our drinks and go to the Soi Easy bar to meet the girls.

We got to the bar at about 1.45am and we saw them straight away and they saw us. Without even saying hello I got a kiss and so did Dave, we sat down and they sat with us. We both ordered drinks and once again I ordered water and again she gave me a funny look. She asked why I drank so much water and never ordered beer, I just said that I knew my limit with beer and I never really crossed it (a few days later I would cross that line, but more of that later) she said ok and we had a drink and talked. She asked me if I wanted to go to a club with her and I said yes. I asked where it was and she said it was just at the end of Bangla Road, we’d finish our drinks and go. The picture we’d had done the night before had arrived and I paid a guy and had the picture off him. Two minutes later, another guy came around, this time with a Polaroid camera and took two pictures of me and this girl; I bought them and gave one to her. Oh, I forgot, you don’t know her name do you? Well she told me the first night I met her but I forgot it, she asked me if I remembered and I said yes, she asked what it was and I said I’d give her a clue, she looked at me funny and said ok then and I said it began with P, she said yes then I asked what it was, she hit me on the arm and told me again, her name was P (not her real name).

We finished our drinks and we started to leave, Dave was still in the bar so I told him we were going to a club and I’d see him later, he said fine. We left and walked to the end of Bangla Road and then crossed the road and I saw the club. We went inside and we were showed to a table. The music was very loud and here was me thinking we’d get a table with everyone else, how wrong I was, they decided to stick us on a stage, above everyone else in the club. We were even higher up than the DJ, who was crap BTW. As I got on the stage everyone in the club seemed to look around at me, so I bowed, smiled and sat down. We had a drink and talked for two minutes, then all of a sudden, the club lights came on and it was shutting. We’d been in there 5 minutes and it was closing. We finished our drinks and left. She asked if I was tired and I said no and we went for a walk. We ended up back at the beach but this time we actually went to the beach. We sat on one of the lounges. She put her arms around me and laid her head on my chest. We talked for a while, stayed silent for a while, she listened to me going on and on about this and that. I had to speak slowly as she sometimes couldn’t understand me because I talked too fast. We kissed and just lay there, listening to the sea, to the bikes go past on the main road. Before I knew it, it was dawn again; the sun was coming up once more. We made a move and she asked me what I was doing that day, I said nothing really so she asked if I’d like to meet her at about 4pm, I said ok and we arranged to meet outside my hotel. I kissed her goodbye and she left. This time I didn’t pay the bar fine or give her any money at all.

Walking home all the lady boy’s were out in force, offering this and that. For some reason they all seem to come out in the early hours, when everywhere is shut. I don’t know why but they do. I declined all the offers, some were harder than others to shake and some just ignored me. I got back to the hotel, Dave was in bed and he woke up when I went in. He asked what I’d been doing so I told him; I also told him that I was meeting her at 4pm. He told me what he’d been up to. He’d gone to a hotel with this girl and she’d given him a blow job, he seemed pleased with himself and he told me that he was meeting her at the bar when she finished at 2am. He told me her name was L.

I got in bed and had a sip of water before laying back and thinking of P, thinking of what we would do when I met her at 4. As I drifted off to sleep I glanced at the clock, it said 6.30am. It was now the start of our last day and night in Phuket. The day after we would be sailing to Phi Phi and it would be the last time that I’d get to see P, or so I thought.

Day 8 (Phuket)

I got up about 1.30pm. Dave was still asleep and I just lay there for a while. It was our last day in Phuket, it would be the last day that I’d see the beach in Patong and at this time the next day, we would be in Phi Phi. I felt a little sad really, we’d only had 4 nights here and it had gone so quick. Bangkok seemed to drag a little and it seemed we had been there a lot longer than 4 nights, but here, it was like we’d just arrived the day before.

I woke Dave up, which took one hell of an effort on my part and as he stirred from where ever he was, I asked if he wanted a coffee, he said yes and I made it. He sat up in bed and asked if I was still going to meet that girl, I didn’t hesitate and replied yes. He told me he wanted to get his tattoo re-done so it would still be clear by the time he went home and I said I’d go with him as I wanted one myself. I didn’t want mine on my upper arm; I wanted it on my forearm instead.

Dave rang Leigh and Steve’s room and asked if they wanted to go and get something to eat, they both said no so Dave and I got showered and dressed and went out in search of food. We passed all the stores and stalls and said hello to the suit sellers we’d come to know so well. I’d brought some extra money as it would be my only chance to buy my cigs for the UK before going to Phi Phi. We walked past Bangla Road and found a little restaurant/cafe and went in. We ordered a coke each and ordered from the menu. We both settled on a club sandwich. I had the camcorder with me so we could film a little of Patong in the day time. After about 5 minutes our food was brought over. The sandwich was cut into four pieces and had cocktail sticks to keep each piece in shape. I took one piece and removed the cocktail stick and went to take a bite, but I didn’t have hold of it properly and as I bit into it, the bottom half of the sandwich exploded and leapt from my hand and mouth. Tomato, bacon, onion and lettuce went everywhere. All over me, all over the floor, and all over the camcorder bag that was at my feet. I looked around to see if anyone had noticed what I’d done but the coast seemed to be clear. I looked at Dave who only had one word for me in response to my little accident “Muppet”.

I cleaned it up the best I could and carried on eating what was left of my sandwich. We finished our food and drink and paid then left. As I walked out of the door, I notice a piece of onion still stuck to the camcorder bag, I took it off and found a bin to throw it in.

We walked back up the road towards to Tattoo place and I came across someone selling cigarettes, I asked for 5 cartons of 200 and paid the money. What would have cost me about £220 in the UK, had cost me just under £50. We got to the tattoo place and I looked through a book and chose the design I wanted. The people in there remembered Dave and had a look at his. I chose my design and I started to have it done while Dave waited to get his re-done. It took about 25 minutes to do and after the man had finished, he told me it would take about an hour to dry and would then start to peel off leaving the tattoo. It looked pretty good I do have to say, I still have it now, although it’s faded quite a lot, it still looks like I have a real one. Dave got his re-done and by the time the man had finished, it was about 3.50pm. I was meeting P in 10 minutes so we had to rush back to the hotel which took us about 5 minutes. Leigh and Steve were by the pool and I told them I was meeting P, Dave stayed with them and I left and told them I’d see them later. As I walked away they shouted “don’t do anything you’ll regret” knowing full well I wouldn’t I replied that it would depend on what is what.

I got to the front of the hotel at 4pm and waited for P to turn up. I talked to the security guard for a bit and also talked to a couple of the baggage guys. They all seemed to know that I was waiting for a girl, how they knew I don’t know but there was a bit of banter between us all and we had a laugh about it. Just then a bike turned up, P was on the back and another girl who I recognised from the bar was driving. P got off and I went over, I said hello to the other girl and P gave me a hug and said hello. The guys who I had been talking to all shouted and laughed. The girl then left leaving me and P stood there. She asked about my tattoo and I said it would be dry in about 40 minutes. We walked up the road and she asked what I’d been doing all day and I asked her the same. We walked along the beach and talked, feeling the cool sea breeze was soothing. It was another hot and sunny day and to feel that cool air on your skin was paradise. We left the beach and went into an open bar where we had a drink and talked a little. She said she started work at 6 and would finish at 2am and asked if I wanted to meet her, I said I would. I’d told her before that we were going to Phi Phi, she said she’d been before and it was beautiful, she told me that when I met her after work, she would show me some pictures of her when she was there the year before. I said it would be our last day together now, and then I would be off to Phi Phi and wouldn’t be coming back to Phuket, only to the airport to fly back to Bangkok. She looked a little sad and I said it would be nice if she could come to Phi Phi and see me there, I also said it would be nice if I didn’t have to go to Phi Phi and I could stay here instead, she smiled. We left the bar and just walked and talked. The town was very busy, people looking around, buying things from shops, relaxing on the beach. It was a far cry from Manchester and a far cry from my life in the UK. My life there seemed so far away at that point, like it didn’t exist in a way and I felt like I was living in some fairytale dreamland.

We sat on the beach for a while, she had her arms around me, her head resting on my shoulder and then she looked at me and I looked at her and we kissed, it just seemed the right thing to do, the right moment to do it. After the kiss we sat there in silence for a while, arms around each other. It wasn’t an uncomfortable silence that people get sometimes, where you feel you have nothing to say to each other, like your tongue has suddenly gone to sleep, this silence was the right kind of silence, an at peace kind of silence, it was very sweet.

It was time for her to go, time had caught up with us and we had to say goodbye. We kissed again and I told her I’d meet her at 2am and we said our goodbyes. I walked back to the hotel, with a kind of spring in my step and went to the pool where Dave, Leigh and Steve were relaxing in the sun. I told them what had happened and I said I was meeting her again that night, they said it must be love. I just laughed it off and told them that I did like her. Although I didn’t say anything at the time, only thought it, I knew it was going to be hard to leave Phuket, hard to leave P and say goodbye. It wasn’t love or anything; it was just a nice and sweet holiday romance kind of thing.

They told me what they had been up to and I felt a little sad that I’d missed it. I told you before that one of the guys working in the hotel had wanted to buy or swap Leigh’s Man United top, well Leigh had had a change of heart and gave the top to the man, Steve had also given his England top to another one of the guys who worked there and they had got it on camera and film, the look of surprise and excitement on their faces, it was a great moment and I’d missed it.

We all went back to our rooms at about 7pm and got ready to go out. We did our packing as well because we wouldn’t have time to do it in the morning as we had to be in the lobby by 7am. Dave and I knocked on for Steve and Leigh at around 9pm and we went into town for something to eat. We decided on an Indian and it was gorgeous. I made sure I had plenty of water to drink just in case mine was a little too hot and spicy, but it was fine. The restaurant was situated in a little quiet street, there was hardly anyone around. After the meal Leigh went to pick up his suit and we said we’d meet him in a little bar just next to the restaurant where they had a pool table.

We went into the bar and we were the only people in there, except for one guy sat on a table waiting for his food, he was in his 40’s and looked like he’d escaped from the wife for the night so he could eat what he wanted without her complaining about his weight. We had a few games of pool and a few beers. Leigh came back after about 45 minutes and he had a few games with us. By this time we were the only people in there, the man who had waited for his food had eaten his sizzling steak and left. We finished our drinks and left. Leigh and Steve decided to call it a night but Dave and I knew that our night was only just beginning. We said our goodbyes and we said we’d give them a call at 6.30am to make sure they were up and ready to leave.

Dave and I had an hour to kill before we met the girls so we went into the Margarita bar and sat at the bar and ordered drinks. We had the camcorder with us so we filmed a little in there. We got talking to the manager of the bar who was English. We told him about our holiday and he asked what we thought of Thailand to which we told him everything we’d been up to, we also told him we were off to Phi Phi the next day. He bought us a couple of drinks and by this time it was 2am and we had to leave to meet the girls. We said goodbye to the manager and thanked him for the drinks, saying if we were back in Phuket we’d come and see him again.

We got to the Soi Easy bar and went inside. L and P were more or less ready to go but we just had time for a drink. Once we’d finished our drinks we left. I got the camcorder out and did a little filming of Bangla Road and all the hustle and bustle of the night. Dave needed the toilet so we found a little bar and went inside. The girls waited for him and I did a little more filming, I also filmed a little of the girls and Dave. We decided to go back to our hotel, where Dave decided he’d try and pay the security guard hush money so he’d let the girls in, but I knew and so did the girls that it would probably be a lost cause. Just then we saw loads of people crowded round a club, there was also a police truck there. I got the camcorder out again and started to film. The police came out and were dragging two lads out with them who had obviously been fighting; I was getting all this on camera. The police threw these lads in the truck and then I got a tap on my shoulder, it was P telling me to turn the camera off because if I was seen filming, I’d have it taken off me and get arrested myself. I took her advice and put it away.

We started walking back to the hotel; Dave and L were at the back of me and P, we were holding hands. I knew then that I didn’t want this night to end, I didn’t want to say goodbye to P and never see her again, but I knew that it had to be done; I didn’t have any choice in the matter.

We got back to the hotel and Dave approached the security guard and tried to negotiate a price for him to let the girls in. I stayed out of it knowing it was a lost cause, so did the girls. After 5 minutes Dave came back to where we were stood and said it was no good, so we all went to the beach.

All 4 of us fooled around for a little while, Dave had his camera and took a few pictures, and I filmed a little on the camcorder. We wrote in the sand, Dave and L played in the sea. We sat on the sun lounges and talked. I told P I was going to miss her, that I didn’t want to leave Phuket because it would mean me never seeing her again, when I said goodbye to her it wouldn’t seem right because I’d still be in Thailand and I wouldn’t be able to see her. A couple of Lady boys came onto the beach to see what all the laughing and talking was about. They looked Dave and I up and down, we did the same to them and laughed to ourselves. It seemed like we were only there for about 10 minutes, but as L looked at the time on her phone, it was 5am. I took her phone off her and played a game on it, which I was crap at. L decided to show me up and beat my score by over 3000 points. Dave taught L some UK phrases like “do one Muppet” and “I’m off to the boozer” it was a great night and sadly it was coming to an end. The sun was coming up and L looked at her phone again and said it was 6am. We were leaving in an hour and it was time to say goodbye. I walked P up to the main road where she flagged down a bike taxi, we kissed and I said I’d miss her. She asked when we were leaving and I said 7am. We kissed again and I said goodbye and said I’d never forget her and the time we spent together, I then watched the bike ride off into the distance, my heart hurting a little and I felt sad. Was that it? Was it all over? Was that the last time I’d ever see P?

I went back to Dave and L who were also walking to the road, Dave said his goodbye and promised to keep in touch and then L left on a taxi bike, the same as P had done. We walked back the hotel, not really saying much to each other. What could we say? We were both sad; we both felt a little hurt that we were leaving Phuket. Both of us had loved this place, we’d been in our element and now we had to leave. P and L had made our time in Phuket just that little bit more special and in 60 minutes time we’d be leaving all that behind.

We got back to the hotel and rang the others guys' room. They got up and we said we’d knock on for them at 6.55am. We did all our last minute packing, checked the room for anything we’d left behind, Dave took all the free toiletries that were left in the room. He’d done that everyday, he’d take them all and room service would fill them up again. He did the same in Bangkok and by now, he had a white plastic bag full of everything from shampoo to shower caps.

We took one last look of the view from our balcony, saying a silent goodbye to Phuket, thanking it for a great time and left the room and knocked on for Steve and Leigh. They were more or less ready to leave and after 5 minutes, we left and walked to the lift.

As we got in the lift, I thought about what Phi Phi would bring, would it be like Phuket? Would I enjoy it? Only time would tell. As the lift descended I had no idea what surprises would await me, and as it turned out, my first surprise would be waiting for me outside.

Stickman says:

Another very nice commentary.

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