Day 50 – Phuket to Brisbane

Alas, it was my final day in Thailand and my final day of the trip. 50 days as a solo traveller, although it didn’t feel like it thanks to twitter, facebook and the strangers I spoke to on the way. I spent the morning doing a final pack since I couldn’t really go swimming if I wanted to have a dry suitcase. The final pack took a long time and I had a big mess all over the room.

Final luggage packing

After packing I headed out for a breakfast of fruit and tried to kill some time before checkout. I booked myself on a mini bus to the airport around 3pm which was a hell of a lot cheaper than any of the other options the hotel was offering. When you are a solo traveller the mini bus is certainly the cheapest option. I went for a final walk around Patong Beach taking photos and got some nice shots of the pool I’d spent so long relaxing at.

Massages on Patong Beach

Tuk Tuks

Patong Beach

Fruit for Breakfast

BanThai Beach Resort and Spa

BanThai Beach Resort and Spa

On check out, I asked the ladies about the drink they served on check-in. They said it was longan juice and it was made by cooking the fruit for ages – I guess it’s unlikely I’ll ever get to drink it in Australia. After checking out, I left my bags at the hotel and decided to finally get a thai massage using some of the baht cash I still had left. Didn’t want to go the whole hog with a body one, so just went for a foot massage in the hotel spa. The lady wasn’t the greatest english speaker, but we chatted long enough for me to find out she was in Phuket for the Tsunami but was up on the hill at the time and was affected. She didn’t really talk much about it and honestly I don’t blame her. She just concentrated on giving me feet a workout and my mouth a cup of tea. A nice thing to do before getting on a plane for 9 hours and much more relaxing than the one I had in Hong Kong.

Getting a foot massage

Getting a foot massage

 

I still had a while to kill, so I just sat in the hotel airconditioned lounge watching people checking in and reading my book. Finally the mini bus arrived with a bunch of aussie girls and a few others. I kept my mouth shut because I like to listen to Australians as a passive observer. I overheard them saying they like going to pick up people at other hotels so they can see what the other places are like. Which I took to mean they loved my hotel which was ok, because I did too. One of them was feeling car sick in the back seat so she ended up laying down while the rest of them discussed some sort of intricate relationship drama one of them was having involving affairs and stuff. Very compelling.

Arrived really early at the airport – so early the counter hadn’t even opened. The Virgin Australia counters are in the other terminal and don’t have anything except for a small shop. I didn’t mind being early since I wanted to wrap my bag again since it had that rip in it, but no one was manning the wrap station. Asking the security guards about it they said that it doesn’t get down because they go through your luggage. I didn’t really understand cause I thought it would still be going through the x-ray, so why would they go through it? Had a long argument/discussion about it since I thought they didn’t understand what I was asking, but of course they knew what was going on – I found out once the gate was open. Stupidly, what happens is the customs officers go through your stuff at the table before you even go to check-in at the counter. Every person has to open their bags which is just a pain in the neck and so backward and stupid. But I was lucky enough to go first and eventually checked in. Virgin Australia were offering cheap upgrades to Premium Economy but flying by myself didn’t make it worth it. If I was with someone I probably would have done it.

After dumping my bags I headed up to the Irish pub in the other terminal because they had free wifi and I had a dell mini to google read with. Ordered a chicken stifry thing that was really fresh and great – surprised I could get something so tasty in an irish pub in an airport. The aussie girls I had mini bussed with ended up there too. Eventually it was time to go to the gate, so I wandered through a couple of x-ray machines in to the international section. It was utterly crowded with people everywhere and bunches of shops. I tried to find the place to collect my shopping tax exemption stuff but failed, so instead just sat around waiting.

Awesome chicken dinner at the airport

Finally they called the flight number and I headed to the gate. We had one final check of our carry-ons just before I got on the plane and of course this is where I encountered an issue. I was carrying a scooter helmet from Vietnam which was somehow dangerous, so they had to check it in as a separate item at the last minute. Found this extremely annoying after all the checks I had gone through already – you’d think they would have said something at the other 2 bag checks. I thought I was going to have to go without so I was glad they didn’t confiscate it.

Mood lighting on the VAustralia Plane

Didn’t sleep at all on the flight, except for the middle of “Men who stare at goats” even though it was an overnight flight. When we arrived in Brisbane, I picked up some more booze, found my poor forlorn helmet and headed out the customs doors. Was pleased and excited to see Pauline’s big grin and gave her a big hug. So happy to be home.

Accommodation: Virgin Australia flight – Phuket to Brisbane

Tweets of the Day:

 

2010-03-07 01:35:06
amyob: With these colourful socks I will have worn every item of clothing I packed. First time ever!  http://twitpic.com/1728fc
2010-03-07 01:36:00
amyob: Final and epic packing mission begun. Home to Australia tonight. 🙂
2010-03-07 02:25:55
amyob: I fucking HATE the discovery channel ad where they love things. It makes me tense every muscle with anger for unknown reasons.
2010-03-07 06:17:27
amyob: Had 2 hours to kill and some spare cash so got a foot massage. Fantastic thing to do before the flight home!
2010-03-07 06:21:32
amyob: If George Michael is at brisbanes big gay day today I will be so pissed I missed it. Lucky it’s just a rumour.
2010-03-07 09:07:35
amyob: Phuket visitors – taxis will quote 500-1000 baht from Patong to the airport. If you are alone or a couple the mini van is cheaper at 250 pp
2010-03-07 09:08:09
amyob: @digitiel I will try awfully hard. I suspect the shittiness will be tempered by being pleased to see you. 🙂
2010-03-07 09:20:20
amyob: Phuket weather for next 5 days. Sun Sun Sun. Brisbane? Storm Storm Storm. Am I coming home to waterworld?
2010-03-07 09:30:10
amyob: Who’d have thought I’d find the freshest loveliest Thai dish in an English pub at Phuket airport? http://twitpic.com/174w3i
2010-03-07 10:29:29
amyob: Man. International departures at Phuket airport is busy! Give me the silent hospital like calm of Bangkok airport.
2010-03-07 10:30:36
amyob: Wow! There is something that impressed me about Bangkok! The airport! I should know since I was there like 5 times in 6 weeks.
2010-03-07 10:36:23
amyob: Things I will miss about Thailand.
1. $1 rice, chicken and soup meals.
2. Non fizzy drinks on restaurant menus
3. The greeting sewadeeka!
4. The awesome cheap and brilliantly folded laundry.  http://twitpic.com/1755z6
2010-03-07 10:38:14
amyob: Things I won’t miss about Thailand.
1. Tuk tuk drivers and touts on the street. “oh – you mean you are selling things in this shop?”
2. Bum guns – why? Because I bought one for home!
2010-03-07 10:53:42
amyob: Bored, bored, bored at the airport bored as I can be. Aaaargh aaargh watch out for that tree!!! Anyone guess the reference?
2010-03-07 11:03:09
amyob: The Thailand, Vietnam, Laos odessey is nearly over. They are starting to board the plane now. Amazing how airport queues kill time.
2010-03-07 11:23:00
amyob: Helmets cannot be carried on planes. Lesson learned. It has been specially checked.
2010-03-07 11:30:56
amyob: I’m on the plane! See you on the other side. Specially you @digitiel since you’re my ride home. 🙂
2010-03-07 11:46:41
amyob: Awesome movies for me to watch on the plane. Prescious, up in the air, new twilight, up and a serious man. Thanks @vaustralia!
2010-03-07 11:48:02
amyob: Oh and can I mention i went through 5 security checks and only the last said the helmet was bad!

For more photos, check out the Flickr Set.

[flickrset id=”72157623598031445″ thumbnail=”square”]

 

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