I MADE IT!
One checked bag, one backpack, three flights and one sketchy taxi ride later, I arrived and live to tell the tale.
The Shady Taxi (“Limo”) Driver of Phuket
So I’m sure if you’ve ever been to Southeast Asia, this is something you’ve either had happen to you, or you’ve heard about. Apparently, taxi drivers get some sort of voucher from stores when they stop with passengers if the passengers buy something. Yea yea, we all want/need money, ya do what ya gotta do, etc. but, there is a time and a place. And, 1:30 AM on an unlit street in Phuket is neither the time, nor place. Our taxi–nay, “limousine”–driver felt this was acceptable. We quickly (and loudly) corrected him when he tried to pull this little stunt. Even though we made it to the hotel just fine, Carinne and I were still pretty shaken up. Word to all my fellow travelers: Be aware of what your taxi driver is doing. And don’t be afraid to say “no, I don’t want to go there” if they try to take you to a gas station or temple. BUT, also keep in mind that just because where you are driving looks pretty run down, chances are it is pretty run down since you are in a third world country and that doesn’t mean you’re being abducted. 🙂
Today, we had breakfast at the hotel, went to the beach (which is literally feet from our hotel!) and took a 4 hour excursion to Big C. Big C is like a Walmart meets 150 Mall Kiosks. It’s incredibly overwhelming. The purpose for this trip was to figure things out with our phones. After 3 hours, they FINALLY finished unlocking my phone, and now I have unlimited 3G data. It cost 1,500 baht to get my iPhone unlocked and a new Thai SIM card, and 900 baht for the unlimited data plan. That translates to approximately $80. Money well spent, I’d say! It was definitely cheaper than buying a new phone. If you have the What’sApp Messenger application, let me know because we can text!
So that was my day! It’s 9:00 PM here, and I’m exhausted from both jet lag and my busy day.
UPDATE: Here is a video for you. Short and sweet but it shows where I am staying… I’m in room 59 now–not 22–but, it looks the same!