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First time in Phuket


JohninDublin
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Greetings and just a short introduction for what will be probably a three-chapter trip report.

I had originally planned to come to Phuket in July when the sandbox was first announced, but when it became clear that drinking holes would be in short supply, I abandoned that plan. Just before XMAS, I thought that there  was a pretty good chance that I might fit in three weeks without wondering if Jeddah might have better bars.

The current CV figures are worrying for TH in general, and 3 days ago, I thought it highly likely that we would be seeing 10k cases by the weekend. I don't wish to seem selfish, but whether the bars are closed in Phuket or not, I am not sure what more the gov can do here.

So brief introduction as to what I found in case anyone else has plans:

Entry: The process of clearing immigration was not as bad as I feared and took about 90 mins being taken from one desk to the next. The final stage is the entry PCR test which is taken at the entrance to the airport. From there you must await your pre-booked taxi to take you to your pre-booked hotel. Basically, they create an audit trail to make sure that you go to your booked hotel. You are told at the test, that if you have not heard from the swab centre in 6 hours, you are free to wander.

For those who know Patong, my hotel is almost opposite Hard Rock Cafe, and just 50 metres from Otop. I'd never heard of Otop until a few days before my trip, so location was pure chance. Having suffered tremendously waiting for my 6 hours to end, I hit Otop and later Bangla Rd. I have to say that the vibe is so much different from what I am used to in Pattaya. More about that later. I am on the prowl Two of my first 4 nights are sspent alone. I learned some time ago, "better to have nothing, than to have something you don't want".

Day 5, I meet the lovely Nicha who ticks all the boxes. She has a part-time job in a shop, and she has taken a leave of absence to stay with me. Int every life a drop of rain must fall. Yesterday, I had my 5 day test. Passed. Later that day, Nicha gets a call from her boss. Two co-workers have been diagnosed with CV, and she is advised to take an ATK test. We go to pharmacy, but they have sold out until tomorrow. She is double vaxxed with AZ X 2  My thinking is that if she has it, then so must I. I can assure you that we have failed as far as social distancing is concerned. My thoughts are that if I have to do quarantine, then there are far worse people to do it with than the lovely Nicha. Right now, the figures in Ireland are 50X worse per capita.

Last night, Bangla Rd  and  Otop were both closed for one night for "deep cleaning". Watch this space.

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Short update,

If you are a smoker, there is a shortage of American cigs in Phuket. All the Duty Free shop has at the moment are Chinese brands. Best bring your own.

There is also a shortage of ATK kits in Patong. I've been trying for a couple of days to get one for my companion. Madam is currently searching for kits as I write.

Both OTOP and Bangla Rd have reopened following the deep clean. Otop is fully opened. Several bars on Bangla remain closed where there have been staff infections. Includes one where I remained for three hours the day before the deep clean.

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5 minutes ago, JohninDublin said:

Both OTOP and Bangla Rd have reopened following the deep clean. Otop is fully opened. Several bars on Bangla remain closed where there have been staff infections. Includes one where I remained for three hours the day before the deep clean.

Does it actually look any cleaner?

Are people wearing masks on the beach?

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11 minutes ago, Faraday said:

Does it actually look any cleaner?

Are people wearing masks on the beach?

Never been here before so I have nothing to compare it to, unless of course you are having a joke about the deep clean. It is cleaner than Pattaya from what I have seen so far.

Not been to the beach yet. Days are spent in room, or taking Nicha for shopping trip/meals etc. Nights are spent on my one man crusade to revive the TH economy one bar at a time.

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24 minutes ago, JohninDublin said:

Nights are spent on my one man crusade to revive the TH economy one bar at a time.

I like this spirit! Keep it up Johnny! (For how long you can as lock down is upon us again)

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1 hour ago, JohninDublin said:

Never been here before so I have nothing to compare it to, unless of course you are having a joke about the deep clean. It is cleaner than Pattaya from what I have seen so far.

Not been to the beach yet. Days are spent in room, or taking Nicha for shopping trip/meals etc. Nights are spent on my one man crusade to revive the TH economy one bar at a time.

If shopping trips are being undertaken with the lovely Nicha i hope you have a deep Wallet.

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39 minutes ago, vlad said:

If shopping trips are being undertaken with the lovely Nicha i hope you have a deep Wallet.

She is very easily satisfied, and with my "good eye" for what looks good, it's not costing any fortunes. Bra-less dresses are the current trend. Eight dresses in plus some underwear, and I am about 4k for 4 days now.

Besides, I've often said you could dress some of these girls for €25 and they will look as good as a Paris catwalk-model in a €5k Dior dress. It's just a matter of having the right material to work with.

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5 hours ago, JohninDublin said:

Eight dresses in plus some underwear

Thai grandma pants or better stuff? Just asking for a friend you know.

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8 minutes ago, Shark said:

Thai grandma pants or better stuff? Just asking for a friend you know.

Perhaps some illustrations, photos maybe, to give us a better understanding?

 

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6 hours ago, HolyCowCm said:

Ahh, so you are back and into action. Sounds like a fun time.

So far...reads rather typical of little stimulating interest. 

Nothing like a newbie, huh? 

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2 hours ago, Rain said:

So far...reads rather typical of little stimulating interest. 

Nothing like a newbie, huh? 

He has been on TT posting. Just a newbie in Phuket and not everyone has been to Phuket I would gather. I can say that I have and probably need another trip down there sometime or the other and then hit Krabi and then Trang to go see my very good Thai factory owner friends. 

Anyway I’m glad to hear someone is having a fun time. 

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3 hours ago, Rain said:

So far...reads rather typical of little stimulating interest. 

Nothing like a newbie, huh? 

I honestly don't understand your need to make that comment 

What does that do for you?

That's an honest question 

 

The guy is writing a bit of a trip report 

Some might find it useful about how things are on the ground and  some just like to read about someone's trip 

 

So why do you feel the need to make a negative comment?

If you don't like it, move on, no need to make a childish  comment 

 

 

Post like yours just add negativety to a forum

 

So I ask again, why even make a post like that?

It's add absolutely nothing

Doesn't it make you feel good? Cool?

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8 hours ago, Rain said:

So far...reads rather typical of little stimulating interest. 

Nothing like a newbie, huh? 

He's writing a trip report, in the new Sub-forum. He wrote one a couple of months ago on Columbia. A fascinating trip, well written.

Don't be so quick to criticise.

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12 hours ago, Faraday said:

Perhaps some illustrations, photos maybe, to give us a better understanding?

I'll do my best, but she is entitled to privacy.  Probably get some pics with a cap pulled down over her eyes.

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52 minutes ago, Ttalk said:

Trip reports are quite helpful for those who were thinking about doing something similar.

Covid has put a damper on them I'd assume

 

But TR's are usually the most popular threads on the other 2 Thai forums I've been on

 

And could also be a good counter for all the negativity that is on this forum 

 

So they should be greatly encouraged 

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Update: Finally manged to get ATK kits. Local Pharmacy ordered 100 but only got a delivery of 10. Nicha bought 5, and was able to test negative this morning. We seem to be living a charmed life.

Rumours are that both Otop and Bangla Rd will close at 9.00PM tonight. That is just when my beloved Spurs are due to play. I spoke to the owner of a bar in Otop and he tells me as long as I am in the bar before 9, he will pull the shutter down.

I have bought the lovely Nicha a Spurs kit so she is properly dressed for the big event.

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17 minutes ago, JohninDublin said:

Update: Finally manged to get ATK kits. Local Pharmacy ordered 100 but only got a delivery of 10. Nicha bought 5, and was able to test negative this morning. We seem to be living a charmed life.

Rumours are that both Otop and Bangla Rd will close at 9.00PM tonight. That is just when my beloved Spurs are due to play. I spoke to the owner of a bar in Otop and he tells me as long as I am in the bar before 9, he will pull the shutter down.

I have bought the lovely Nicha a Spurs kit so she is properly dressed for the big event.

Be careful on that because if he has no contacts or has not paid up then a raid and arrest might be in the cards. And yes there have been periodic raids everywhere and they take everyone to the station.

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4 minutes ago, HolyCowCm said:

Be careful on that because if he has no contacts or has not paid up then a raid and arrest might be in the cards. And yes there have been periodic raids everywhere and they take everyone to the station.

Thanks. I was aware. The concierge at my hotel recommended him. 

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22 minutes ago, JohninDublin said:

Update: Finally manged to get ATK kits. Local Pharmacy ordered 100 but only got a delivery of 10. Nicha bought 5, and was able to test negative this morning. We seem to be living a charmed life.

Rumours are that both Otop and Bangla Rd will close at 9.00PM tonight. That is just when my beloved Spurs are due to play. I spoke to the owner of a bar in Otop and he tells me as long as I am in the bar before 9, he will pull the shutter down.

I have bought the lovely Nicha a Spurs kit so she is properly dressed for the big event.

LOh wow, that's right the NBA San Antonio Spurs and Brooklyn Nets game is up and will be a great game although I am all for the Nets on this one. Oh, you must mean the other Spurs team. 😆.

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4 minutes ago, JohninDublin said:

Thanks. I was aware. The concierge at my hotel recommended him. 

Hopefully he has an eye out and a heads up if it is going to go foul if it is a spur of the moment raid. Good luck and have fun. 

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Week 1.

It started with plenty of foreboding. The figures per capita for Covid were even higher in Ireland than the UK, and less than 72 hours earlier, I had to queue for over 1 hour to take my PCR test with no social distancing at Dublin Airport.

Back to DUB for departure. Going through security, I was less than impressed at the lack of social distancing again. A couple behind me with two young boys aged under ten clip my heels as I am queueing to go through security. I say, "Can we have some social distancing here"? Both parents (English) "go into one".

I say nothing and move forward, but after a while, I think maybe I've been a bit too gruff. I turn round to explain that I am just about to fly to a country where I will have to undergo two tests in close order, and failure is an automatic mandatory sentence in covid jail. Never get a chance to explain. They just don't want to listen. The mother, every time, I time I try to say something says, "I know. I know. I work in the NHS". Clearly not the part that requires any listening skills.

Arrive Phuket, via Doha and prepare for "Bureaucracy Hell", expecting them to look for reasons to reject my entry. I think I have prepared well. Everything is on my phone. What can go wrong? It turns out that one doc must be in paper form. No problem. They give me an email address to send it to, and a few minutes later the paper copy is delivered to me.

All told, it takes about 90 mins to pass all the checks. Not being sure of the procedures, I almost walk past the PCR test while I am looking for my taxi. All taxi paging cards are outside the airport, and I am asked for my name. My name is not being shown. I am asked, "Have you tested"? I say no. Turns out that my name is not put on the list until I have tested. Pretty good fail-safe under the circumstances. I go back and am tested, and when I come back, I see my name is on a paging board. From there, it's about 45 mins to hotel.

My driver works exclusively for the hotel. He tells me that If I have not heard within six hours, then I am free to wander. My flight was due to land at 12.05 but was late (12.30). Then there was 90 mins at airport. So? Does he mean six hours after scheduled landing (18.05) or six hours after testing? I take a liberal view and by 18.05. I have my dancing shoes on. Now all I need to do is learn to dance.

A word about my hotel: It's 4* SHA rated. Staff are super-friendly, but my room is in need of TLC. I am leaning on the balcony and when I lift my arms, they are covered in paint-flecks. The AC is not super cool. 

So the witching hour arrives, and I discover my hotel is 50 metres from the Otop RLD. I manage to make it without the benefit of a taxi. I have stroll around and suddenly I see this gorgeous beauty in a white cotton dress with even more beautiful cleavage. It is lust at first sight, but since it's nearly two years since I was last in the game, I've forgotten my due diligence. I offer her a drink, and she accepts. Than I see the size of "her" hands.

I finish my drink, and thank her for her company, and wander around Otop for awhile. Another couple of ladies catch my eye, and this time I remember the handshake test. The real deal. Both accept drinks from me, and then when it comes to arranging further contact, they both say, "Oh no! I staff. I not go with customers". Hmmm? Perhaps I'd better wear my mask permanently if that is the reaction I am getting. Time to try Bangla Rd.

Passing through the temp check I enter Bangla Rd. The comparison is of course Walking St in Pattaya. It has a different vibe which I can't put my finger on, but it is different.  I soon find myself doing due diligence on a stunner in a little back dress. The usual drink is offered and accepted, and then I notice the Tattoo. I have to say, I am pathological about women with tattoos. If they can do that to themselves, what harm might they they do to me are my most extreme thoughts. In kinder moments. I think of girls with tatts as displaying poor judgement, especially those who let farang boyfriends "brand" them as a "parting gift".

It's a poor judge who does not when he is beaten, and I think "Tomorrow's another day", and head back to the hotel alone. 

Day 2, I focus on the Dating Sites. I quickly start to attract interest, much of which is from my set parameters. I make it clear that that I am looking for "professional g/f" in Phuket. That does not stop girls from as far afield at Laos and Phils "looking for marriage" contacting me. I eventually settle on a lady named "Tuk", based on her pics and profile. A fee is agreed and she comes to my hotel. 

I once read a description of Jayne Mansfield as "pneumatic", meaning large and curvy. Tuk was also pneumatic, including a bit of a spare tyre which was not apparent in the pics that were about 10 years old. Anyway, she seemed pleasant enough, so it was off to dinner to at her recommendation: the aptly named Sunset View Restaurant in the mountains. One very favourable comparison that Phuket has over Pattaya, is the the relatively unspoiled coiast line. Just one tower block in an another wise uninterrupted view. The food was not bad either. From there, it was onto Bangla Rd. I liked the Dublin Irish Bar (not very Irish) which had a good band. She liked the Red Wine Club, which was more like K-pop boy bands. I hope I do not spoil anyone's breakfast with this, but there was a lot of customers dancing just below the stage, one of whom looked suspiciously Anne Widdicombe, and she was twerking. Aaaaaagh!

Then it was back to the room. Tuk gets undressed and suddenly I catch sight of three ugly large tattoos on her back. I plead ill health. "Maybe I have covid"? She quickly leaves the room. I lie about phoning her if I feel better tomorrow, but I never return her calls.

Day three is pretty similar to day 1, but now instead of thinking that "Tomorrow is another day", I start to think that I am running out of tomorrows.

Day four, I meet the lovely Nicha and my holiday starts to come together. 

To be continued.

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Last night I went for a drink with my identical twin sister. You can tell we are twins because we have the same taste in clothes

IMG_20220109_225940.jpg

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