As luck would have it, our flight to Phuket was a little after 6AM, which meant the cab had to get us at 4:30 a.m. We had not gotten to bed early the night before; there were occasional firecrackers from the festival and we had come back later than expected thanks to the goofed up dinner. Ah well. We could catch a nap on the plane.
Our driver was waiting for us when we left the hotel, which was a relief. He looked as sleepy as we felt. The drive was less than 20 minutes and about three times the amount it took to get to the hotel from the bus station, which was further. Leaving early was ‘expensive’. All things are relative. We got there and checked through pretty quickly. This was going to be a flight that Sal and I didn’t sit together. When we did web check in the day before they had me at row 8 and Sal at row 31. It showed the seats next to 8A full. We upgraded Sal to the exit row for a whopping $12, because I love him. Anyway, by the time we got in the plane I soon discovered the seats next to me were empty. Some parts of Air Asia I just don’t get. Maybe the passengers didn’t show up? It was only a two hour flight so it wasn’t a big deal. Even though my seat wasn’t an upgrade, since the people next to me didn’t show up I could sit sideways so my knees weren’t pressed against the seat in front of me the whole time. The good news about the flight is that we actually arrived early (!!). Good job, Air Asia!
We tried to follow some ‘can’t miss it’ instructions to find a metered taxi, and somehow (pure talent) we missed it. We were in the domestic terminal, so we walked over to the international one to try to find a metered taxi there. There are a bunch of car services offering rides at crazy prices, thus wanting the metered taxi. We stopped at one and they quoted 1100, when my notes said it should be 550. Farang prices. As I walked away they dropped the quote to 650, but refused to go lower. We finally found the metered stand and they told us it would probably be 700. We said that was fine; I didn’t want to go back to the other people after they tried doubling our price. Our driver drove like a bat out of the hot place. At one point he passed, on the right, a car that was stopped and ready to turn right. Ooooh my. And the music he played. Sal and I got a little case of the giggles. We decided it was better not to watch the driving. It made riding a cab in Manhattan look very tame. At the end the price ended up being 550. Not bad on the research!
We were a little disoriented from the ride – haha – so it’s good that once the taxi driver dropped us off (somewhere that wasn’t at a pier) the boat driver from Naka Island was waiting for us. He grabbed our luggage and we walked to the pier, boarded the boat, and away we went.
It was took less than 10 minutes to get there. We were welcomed via golf cart on the pier, then driven to where we would register and bang the gong (twice this time) for luck. There had been a wedding the night before and a lot of wedding guests were still there. I was welcomed as a Corporate SPG member. Sure. Why not? We were extremely early, so we were given the option of grabbing things from the luggage and changing for the pool, which we happily did. We decided to lay by the sea water’s edge, under the shade of a tree. It was a pretty view, and it was very windy, so I was surprised that every once in awhile I’d have a few ants on me. I asked Sal if he was having the same issue and he said no, but offered to switch loungers. What a gentleman. I took him up on that offer and I’ve never been so happy to be a wimp with ants in my life, because a few minutes later when I turned to talk to him I saw THERE WAS A SNAKE ON HIS LOUNGER BY HIS FEET. Some of you know I really, really hate snakes. Like Indiana Jones hate. I think there’s a chance I would have had a heart attack (ok, maybe not really) if I had been the one laying there and the snake was by me. It was bright green and I yelled immediately and jumped off my lounger and away a safe distance. By the time I looked back Sal was also up out of his lounger and the snake was gone. It was a small one, and as snakes go it was almost…*almost* cute. That’s if I didn’t have a huge aversion to snakes. And I do. Sal said he felt it touch him, so I was paranoid he had gotten bitten by a poisonous snake. He hadn’t, of course, and I’m a moron.
It was a little after the snake welcome (worst welcome ever) that we were told that our villa was ready. Great! Get me away from the snakes! Hey…there won’t be snakes at the villa, will there? No, but there was a sheet of things you might encounter on the island and the snake was one of them, and the scariest IMO. Even if he was green and sorta cute. There was also a picture of birds, kittens, spiders, and centipedes.
I took a video of the villa, #45, because the view was amazing. It’s long and boring, though, so I’ll just post two pics. We spent the next four nights in paradise enjoying the views, pool, food & drinks.