Our time at O.R Thambo flew by and very soon our flight was on the board.
We headed off to the bathrooms to get ready and changed for our flight and before we knew it our flight was being called and it was time to join the queue.
Every time someone has asked me ‘how excited are you for Thailand?!” or ‘how are you feeling about Korea?’ I inevitably reply with ‘I don’t really know, it doesn’t feel real’. I’m not sure when it will hit me, but all of this feels like someone else’s reality. I kept thinking that I would suddenly realize it was really happening once I got to the airport, but it just didn’t feel that way. Even as we boarded our flight it felt like a regular trip to Joburg or Durban.
We settled into the flight and enjoyed the on-board entertainment system. Luckily we were flying through the night so we managed to get a couple hours of sleep.
Coming into Dubai was great, I had only ever flown in at night, and while the city lights are spectacular there was just something about that vast, vast expanse of desert that intrigued me. I have never seen anything like it before.
Our first stop at the airport was Starbucks. Peter had never been there before and I just really needed coffee.
After checking the board we saw that we were departing from a different terminal. The airport has an underground train which we took to get there. I probably found the train more exciting than I should have. But it was cool!
We bought some exciting things at the duty free store before tracking down a breakfast buffet which we had a voucher for. The restaurant was pretty great, with a mix of western and middle eastern cuisine.
Our flight from Dubai to Phuket seemed to take forever (even though it was 2 hours shorter than our previous one). We landed in Phuket at 9.30pm and the humidity hit us as soon as we stepped off of the plane. It was unbelievably hot. I feel like I should add something nice about it, but we couldn’t see a thing and the airport really is tiny. We passed through customs quite quickly and had officially arrived.
I was quite bleak at the airport. My bag had been broken and most of my jerseys for Korea had been stolen (some of which were my grandma’s which I had just inherited) as well as my toiletries.
I tried hard not to let that dampen my excitement and focused on absorbing everything around me. The airport was hot and bustling as we waited for our driver to take us back to the resort. We were soon ushered into a wonderfully cold car and were racing through the city.
I’ll be honest, it wasn’t what I was expecting. I knew that Thailand was a third world country and that Asia was different in many ways, but I guess I had still pictured a tropical paradise of sorts. The city scenes that sped past our windows were not what I had in mind. But, they were still awesome. The drive to the hotel was about an hour and we really got to see the less touristy side of Phuket and appreciate it’s diversity and uniqueness.
We arrived at our hotel at about 11pm and it was spectacular. I was suddenly wide awake and ready to explore!
After dropping off our stuff and marveling at everything (we had been upgraded to a deluxe room!) we set off in search for dinner.
We could really appreciate that we were in another country. Nothing was familiar; the sights, the sounds, the smells…everything was so foreign but we loved it.
Most places were closed as it was now after midnight, but we managed to find a little restaurant with a live band. We ordered our first drinks of the trip and some dinner.
We only got to bed after 2 and totally overslept this morning! We have had the most wonderful day today and I can’t wait to share it with you tomorrow.