Phuket was a stopover. We booked domestic flights from Phuket to Chang Mai a few months back to avoid the long two-day bus journey overland through Bangkok to Chang Mai.
Most travellers are familiar with Phuket…I suppose, in the same way most travellers are familiar with Koh Phi Phi…however, we loved Koh Phi Phi too much (especially because we found our own quiet beaches away from the overwhelming crowds) so decided to minimise our stay there.
As everything is generally more expensive in Phuket, we needed to fork out slightly more cash for our hotel. (By ‘more cash’, we paid $9 each – extortionate for Asian standards). However, the result of our increased spend was what felt like ‘luxury’.
- Hotel Facilities. Hot water in a shower with a shower curtain. Towels and toilet paper provided. Bars of soap and shampoo provided. Air-conditioning. Wifi in the bedroom. Satellite television. A king-sized bed. A lot of space. Cleanliness. Breakfast. A large window. No more creepy crawlies. No need for a mosquito net.
Ai caramba, me! Nico and I calculated… it had been precisely one month since either of us had a hot shower. I couldn’t believe how much time had passed. It had also been 3 weeks since we had Wifi in our accommodation. It was the first time in 3 months of travelling that I could watch the news in English in my bedroom… the first time in our whole duration of travelling where we could watch a film in English… in the comfort of our bedroom.
It feels ridiculous. Phuket’s greatest attraction was the ‘comfort’ of home that we’ve missed over the last few months… We only had one night there…and that’s all we did.
We watched Contagion with Matt Damon and Kate Winslet. We watched some news footage about the Primaries in the US. We heard about the tragedy in a football stadium in Egypt. I read a bit more of my book, The Moghul… Nico spoke to his parents on Skype… I took a very very long hot shower… Nico casually started looking into work in France … Switzerland… Saudi Arabia … for when we finish our travels… I noticed I had an invite for Katie’s Hen night in Leeds in the UK … taking place in June… and suddenly, I found myself visualising normality… and those little things – little comforts – we have every day and take for granted. Let’s call it – a ‘mid-trip crisis’.
I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t change travelling for anything in the world. But likewise – we spoiled ourselves that evening in Phuket… doing those ‘little nothings’ that feel so incredibly satisfying… and forgetting – for one day – that we were travellers… to give ourselves that illusion we were somehow at ‘home,’ but in Thailand.