Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Friday, April 07, 2006

La Gon Thailand

My flight out of Thailand didn't take place until 8:00 at night, so I had plenty of time to do a little more sightseeing. Once again I took the shuttle into town and hired myself a Tuk-Tuk for 4 hours. I asked to see some temples and do some shopping. The first temple I asked to see was closed, so it wasn't much of a start. Then he took me to the Chinese temple in town. That was very interesting and a little odd. Then he suggested I go to the park at the top of the hill, which has a nice view of the city. That was the prettiest part of all of Phuket. Next I let him take me to one of those shopping emporiums that pay the drivers to talk tourist into going there. But as it was the same one I went to a few days before it was a bit of a bust. I wanted to go to another temple, but he wanted to take me to another emporium first. I thought it must be on the way to the next temple. Boy was I wrong. And I got ticked. So I spent about 5 minutes in really didn't have anything I was interested in. So I demanded another temple. And it turned out to be a good move. It was very touristy (about 50% of the visitors were obviously foreigners), but it was very colorful and big. I walked around for ages. It also had a row of market stalls behind it selling all sorts of goodies, for much more reasonable prices than I had seen anywhere else. So I picked up some more clothes and souvenirs. Had smarmy Tuk-Tuk man take me back to my hotel. Had some lunch on a chaise under the palm trees and a quick last dip in the ocean. Took a shower in my room before I had to check out and then went to pay the bill. My Visa wouldn't go through! I had to pay in cash, which with the lousy exchange rate cost me about $60 extra. And then I had to sit around for 2 hours before my shuttle to the airport fuming over it. It was a pretty crappy way to end my vacation. Then at the airport I stood in line for an hour to check in (they were very inept there) and then as you head for your gate they charge you 500 Baht ($15) cash to get there. It's such a scam. I just got to the gate in time to get on the airplane. As I was hurrying through the lobby I noticed a Burger King. It's been ages since I have seen a BK. And the woman behind me on the plane had a BK Veggie Burger. Oh my God! I coulda had a Veggie Burger. Well, the good news was that the flight was pretty empty and I had a row of seats to myself. I was able to lie down and get some sleep. It was not good or restful sleep, but it did make the flight much shorter. We landed in Nagoya at 7 am and I caught the bus back to Hamamatsu and was home by 11. I don't regret going, but I don't think I would go back to Phuket, nor recommend it to anyone else. If you want to go to a beach in Thailand I think Krabi would be much nicer (and I hear it's cheaper). I do still really want to go to North Thailand - Ayuthaya and Chiang Mai - and to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat. But you have to go in the cool season, and I don't know that my schedule will allow for that anytime soon. But I WILL be going! Got it.


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