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He only went out for some milk A blurb of monstrous proportions - it was only supposed to be a couple of lines and the odd photo.

Phuket Island and sailing

THAILAND | Tuesday, 15 May 2007 | Views [3154]

Sunset on Nai Yang beach

Sunset on Nai Yang beach

2 weeks in Phuket - a lot can happen in 2 weeks.  You could get rained on everyday, learn to sail, nearly crash a motorbike, run over a monitor lizard, get passage to Singapore by crewing on a sailboat, or have a pass made at you by a 59 year old, rich lady who has the desire to show you her body...or maybe you could lie on the beach (rain or not) and wish some of those things hadn't happened.  A bloke could get scarred for life.

I came to Phuket to learn how to sail, instead i learnt that you can't really learn to sail in 8 days.  You can learn the basics, become familiar with all the terminology and even gain the qualifications that allow you to take a sail boat out - but you, or at least I, would be stupid to do so.  The last 4 days of my course were spent living on a 10m sailboat with 3 other men - my 2 instructors Mit (Laos but living in Thailand), Dennis (French but living in Thailand) and Matt (USA but living in Saudia Arabia).  I couldn't decide whether we were lucky or not having 2 instructors - Dennis although an experienced sailor had only just joined the company so he was to learn the 'ropes' from Mit.  This meant we did less than we otherwise should, but we had the input from 2 experienced guys.  Experience we got, sailing we didn't get so much of...  We hit storm after storm, seemingly day after day.  It's quite an adrenaline rush having a lightning storm above your head as you attempt to steer the boat on a course :) 

This month is the crossover between the dry and wet season and seems to have more rain than any other time.  Why did i decide to learn to sail now?

I'd like to say it was the weather that inspired our bad behaviour.  Like all good pirates we found time for a bit of yo ho ho and a bottle of rum...or two, while being surrounded by Thai wenches of course.  This habit has to stop, I'll be getting a reputation as bad as Thailand's at this rate.  I'm told the bar we'd been in all night (to escape the rain obviously) closed, and that 2 of the bar staff (girls of course) took us to a gay bar.  They thought we were all gay (my fault), and didn't assume for a second that i was joking!  We instead find ourselves in the girly bar next door - they were quite surprised at us not being gay...i remember Mit singing Karaoke, Dennis having a girl on each arm (and a big grin on his face), me ringing the bell for drinks all around (to huge cheers from everyone), and Matt taking over the bar, pouring us all shots and then having to get a lift on the back of a motorbike to pay for it all.  I can still see him riding down the street with his legs in the air at 3 in the morning.  i don't remember (or am not admitting to) much else...I think we did some sailing at some point.

Phuket is a far bigger place than i thought - I've only just found out it's an island.  I spent a lot of time at Nai Yang beach; it's quiet, has few falangs except freaky, rich, older ladies, is nearly closed due to the season, but possess a lovely beach and a really nice little national park.  I also spent a lot of time seeing the non-touristy bits, mainly because i kept going the wrong way (as usual).  However i did spend a day in Patong - it's the Costa del Sol of Phuket.  I had trouble walking around as i kept falling over falangs, bars and massage parlours - strangely i landed in a Starbucks, my first in about a year.  It's still only worth it if you get a comfy chair or settee.  There are some beautiful places on Phuket, and prices to match.  The whole place has been a shock to my 'poor' self.  I recommend it as a holiday spot though, it does have something for everyone and i didn't even get to dive, snorkel or visit Keith Floyd's restaurant!

Have you noticed how often i keep using the word falang?  i have to remind myself that i am one.  It's because I'm back on the tourist trail again...I don't like it.

Tags: island, motorbiking, sailing


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