05 May - 10 May 2013 Phuket

Southeast Asia
Kingdom of Thailand aka The Land of Conditional Smiles 
Ko Phuket
Phuket Town
Phang Nga Road 89
Sinthavee Hotel +6676211186 sinthaveehotel@hotmail.com
Very comfortable but a bit worn a/c double room (no. 614), with private bathroom and a super-size fridge, for only THB 400.- or US$ 13.50 per night. Professional staff.
Beer: 330-ml cans of ice-cold Chang Classic (c. 6.4 % alc./vol.) for THB 35.- or US$ 1.20 per can from the convenient hotel restaurant downstairs.

Click below for an interactive road map of the Sinthavee Hotel in Phuket Town, which we would recommend, and for directions:

Riding out the depressing, drenching rains of this year’s early south-west monsoon in our comfy hotel, enjoying the true tastes of well-touristed Phuket (e.g. her less healthy beers, her rather healthy Thai food and her uber-healthy full-body massages), catching up on some overdue admin work, planning our separate travels for the next few months to South Korea and Japan (Matt: "Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance..."), and to Canada (Konni: "Longing for the grandkids...") respectively, and reviving the memories of our first arrival in Phuket in 2008 when we had gazed in amazement at the infamous and bizarre Phuket Vegetarian Festival (next event: 05 - 13 Oct 2013), one of Asia’s most spectacular spectacles (worth to visit, and a serious rival for Kuala Lumpur’s equally awesome and weird Thaipusam Festival).

Discovering the more mundane and year-round side of Phuket’s vegetarianism and checking out the clutch of cheap and excellent vegan eateries on Ranong Road, in the neighbourhood of the Jui Tui Tao Bo Teng Foundation’s Pud Jor Shrine, opposite Wat Kajorn Rangsan (our favourite: Ruam Jai Vegetarian, +6676222821, with very lekker tofu meals).

Matt: Engaging in naval-gazing (“... a marriage is like a journey; the certain way to be wrong is to think you control it...”), taking after all single-handedly one of the pink city busses of line no. 2 from the Old Bus Station No. I to Phuket’s New Bus Station No. II (THB 10.- or US$ 0.30 per person) and thereafter a VIP a/c coach through south Thailand's stunning karst landscapes directly to Satun (a weary schlepp of 435 km, 7 ½ hours, THB 380.- or US$ 12.70 per person), the convenient gateway to both Thailand's southern-most islands in the Andaman Sea and Malaysia’s duty-free island of Langkawi.

You can't help nobody,
until you help yourself
Nobody's going to help you
better than somebody else...
You know a man needs a woman
right by his side.
She keeps him warm at night,
he keeps her satisfied.” 

Konni: Taking a sabbatical from “perpetual travelling” in order to attend my granny duties in Ontario thus jetting with Thai Air Asia (“Now Everyone Can Fly”) in a worn and untidy Airbus A 320-200 by late evening from Phuket International to Kuala Lumpur’s efficient KLIA-LCCT for the exorbitant fare of THB 2,840.- or US$ 97.-, one way and all inclusive, connecting very early on the next morning, again with budget carrier Air Asia (“Now Everyone Can Fly”, including air hostesses clad in blue jeans) in a clean Airbus A 330-300 from Kuala Lumpur’s KLIA-LCCT to Hong Kong International for a reasonable MYR 282.- or US$ 93.-, one way and all inclusive, thereafter with Korean Air (“Excellence in Flight”), operated by Delta Air Lines (“Keep Climbing”), in a brand-new double-decker Airbus A 380-800 from Hong Kong to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport and killing my waiting time with a city tour of Seoul, hereafter, again with Delta Air Lines in a Boeing 777-200, from Seoul to Detroit (changing my watch in mid-air from Korea Standard Time, GMT/UTC + 9:00 hours, to Eastern Daylight Time, GMT/UTC - 4:00 hours) and thereafter the last leg, again with Delta Air Lines, in a small but Canadian-built Bombardier CRJ 700 from Detroit to Toronto Pearson International, altogether for the price of US$ 1,212.- for the complete return ticket Hongkong-Toronto-Hongkong, all inclusive save the US$ 14.- for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s approval of my travel authorization via ESTA, everything booked over the internet with Airline Direct already in January 2013, and, after a safe landing in Toronto, being issued with a 6-month visit permit to Canada on arrival, free of charge: “Hi grandkids, your flying grandma has arrived for a looong, looong summer together with you!”

Recommended books – click below for your Amazon order from the United States:
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From the 2013 Moral Travel Compass for our Grand Children's Journey of Life:
It’s bad to worry about the outcome on election day;
It’s good to watch a comedy (e.g. Bill Maher) on election day.
Keep your bearings!