Phuket: Asia’s Sin City

Bitten by the travel bug, I’ve decided to splurge it and take advantage of a “long” weekend (February 28 is a holiday) to embark on a 5-days-4-nights trip to oh-so-sunny Phuket! I went along with four other friends, and together, we boarded China Airlines flight CI-645 for a direct four-hour flight to this lovely island in Thailand.

If the first hour of our trip was any indication, it was going to be a very interesting trip…

Half the people in our party left Taipei late, and nearly missed the 45-minute check-in window! They were like, “Can you guys disappear a bit so that they’ll delay the plane?

And I’m like, “WTF?! We’re going to delay the ENTIRE plane, just because you’re late?!”

Okay, so I’m a stickler for time. But I think it’s unfair that you’re punishing a plane-load of people and wasting their time just because you didn’t get up on time! πŸ™

But what the heck am I complaining about… they made it, and so we were on our way to glorious Phuket!

Here’s our first look of Phuket from the plane:

Jeez, four hour’s quite a long time. By that time, I’ve already read all the English magazines/newspapers in the plane, finished having some small talk with my fellow travel buddies, napped, ate lunch and was just plainly bored to death. Regardless, an aerial view was just enough to revive me back to life!

We arrived at our hotel, the Baumanburi an hour later (the airport’s far away from the city) and checked in. Imagine my surprise when I saw the room:

Trust me, the picture looks better than what it was in real life…

The room looked like our maid’s/driver’s quarters!!! πŸ™


Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t believe in paying good money in a 4-star hotel, and getting a room that looks like a motel room! The room was dark and cramped, the airconditioner wasn’t even working too well, and yes, no matter how much I say that I don’t really care where I live or not, I’ve come to realize that yes, I do have standards… and the room was just totally subpar!

It bothered me so much that I insisted that we pay that extra 1,000 baht a night to transfer to a deluxe room, which was way better and more of what I’m used to! Good thing, the deluxe room was perfect, way different and better than the standard room.

One of my travel buddies who came from a more-humble background was just fat, dumb and happy to live in such a cramped area and paying less, but heck, it’s my vacation! What’s 1,000 baht anyway? And I know I cannot fully enjoy myself if I lived in a room like that…

*Geez, I feel like a prima donna… but if you’ve seen the room, you would know why I insisted we change rooms.*

After grabbing some super expensive seafood dinner (Lesson: Ask for the prices before you order in a pick-what-you-eat seafood restaurant), we were all hyped up for some serious Thai massage. Of course, how can you not go to Thailand and not get a Thai massage?!

The old guy we shared the taxi-van with suggested this place, Christian. He said that you can always get the best deal here and you come away thoroughly satisfied. Hence, imagine my delight when we came across the place on our way to dinner:

After dinner, we happily hopped to the said massage parlor and went up the steps.

It was so bizarre! Imagine my shock when I saw there were rows and rows of Thai women sitting on benches with lights focused on them. I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is how we choose women who are to massage us?

The guy there then approached me and asked, “What do you want, lady? What are you looking for?

Of course, the naiveness in me made me reply, “We want a Thai massage. Can they give us a Thai massage?

No lady, they only give erotic massages… we don’t give Thai massage.

To which I replied, “So you don’t really sell massage. What do you sell?

To which he looked straight into my eyes and frankly replied, “Sex.

I’m like, “Omigod, that stupid, dumb-ass dirty old fat guy from the f*cking taxi-van sent us to a f*cking brothel!!!

I felt so upset/angry/disappointed/sad in feeling duped that I trudged my way outside feeling sick to my stomach. I felt insulted that the guy thought we would be interested in those sort of things… I felt bad that there were many dirty old men who come to Phuket 43 times to enjoy women who were just so desperate that they’d have to resort to prostitution just to make ends meet!

I didn’t feel better till we tried another massage parlor — and a legitimate one this time.

From the moment you entered the door, sweet-smelling herbs permeates your nosetrils, and you know it’s definitely not a whore-house. This is class-A massage, baby! And considering they charge around 5X the regular price, you know you’re getting the real deal.

I didn’t even hesitate plunking down 1,000 baht (plus tips) for a 2.45-hour massage (45 mins for the feet, and 2 hours for Thai massage). I just felt so bad from the previous Christin experience that I needed to pamper myself.

Ah, maybe it’s the romantic in me, but it’s great when they soak your tired feet in warm water that’s filled with red rose petals…

It was definitely first-class treatment. First, they seat you in a lazy-boy chair and mold your feet till they feel like gello. Afterwards, you move to a different floor where they push, pull and mold your muscles till you feel all better!

It was great and worth it! I don’t care if I paid 5X the price of an average Thai massage, but I was happy with the service and the treatment. Heck, when in vacation, don’t be too afraid to splurge!

We went back to the hotel a little after midnight. Since I was sharing with two other people, it was some sort of a challenge to prepare for bed. What’s worse, since I was rooming with guys, I’ve never really realized how messy they can be. πŸ™

One travel buddy brought everything but the kitchen sink! For a 5D4N trip, he brought beach clothes, clubbing clothes and heck, I don’t know what else! He brought this really big-ass backpack… while I brought a small bag.

Jeez, you’re going to a beach! What else would you need ‘cept for some swimwear, shorts and t-shirts?! As for clubbing, heck, this is Phuket not Taipei. Who are you trying to impress?

Anyway, it was a pretty eventful first day. I’ve lost my temper at least twice (which is rare since I’m usually cool-headed), first with us almost-leaving our other travel companiions, and the second when that stupid old man sent us to Christin… but heck, it could’ve been worse, right?

And the spectacular Thai massage helped tons…

So I went to sleep that day thinking, “Tomorrow’s going to be a better day… tomorrow’s going to be a better day…

Till later!

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4 thoughts on “Phuket: Asia’s Sin City

  1. Beachfreak, thanks for the URL! I so-often check out your blog as well. What the heck are u talking about?! You’re also living life to the full like me! πŸ™‚

  2. General rule, at least for me, if you want a legitimate massage, go to a place with ‘Spa’ on its name. A place named with ‘Massage’ is more than likely a place that caters to the male populace.

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