The first three nights on Phuket we stayed at Kelly’s fabulous villa, but as Stefan had to get back to Bangkok and Kelly had another friend on the way, Herb and I soon found ourselves relocating into the city.
Yet surprisingly, finding new lodgings turned out to be exceptionally difficult – due in no small part to Phuket’s exorbitant prices, coupled with the upcoming New Year holiday.
As a result, we found ourselves huffing around in the heat for a good couple hours before finally agreeing to just bite the bullet and pay for a super-ripoff shared room.
…That is, until a lucky coincidence appeared to save the day.
Just as we decided to take the next twin room we found, a masseuse we’d met at a club the previous night appeared on the street in front of us. We chatted for a bit, and she mentioned that she knew of a place with vacancies. Boom, twin beds for 1200 🙂
And even though they said we could only stay for a night, we were pleased when a no-show left our room available straight through till New Year.
…Which was good news, because after a fair bit of research we learned that everything on Koh Phi Phi – where we’d originally planned to celebrate the holiday – was booked up as well.
Patong it is! With Wan, Kelly, and his visiting American friend Sasha. 🙂
We kicked off New Year’s Eve by grabbing a cab back to Kamala for a bit of prepartying at the villa, before piling into Kelly’s car and heading for the beach.
There, it was a typical scene of firework-driven chaos. Similar in many ways to Chinese New Year in Shijiazhuang.
With absolutely no concern for safety, people set off fireworks and released burning paper lanterns for miles in every direction. It was loads of fun, but also a bit nerveracking – especially when every so often one of the big fireworks would misfire and explode on the ground right next to us.
…and nail Sasha in the face.
Poor guy…one minute he was on top of the world, boasting about how he couldn’t wait to start the night of his life. The next, he had a flaming projectile smash through his lower lip. Ouch.
From then on it was Bangla as usual – with about a hundred thousand more people.
We began at Tiger, a sprawling collection of small indoor bars, until Kelly and Wan headed home. The rest of us continued to Hollywood where we drank, danced, and got covered in shaving cream until well after sunrise.
And with that, another year has come to a close.
Happy New Year everyone – may it be another twelve months filled with fun and adventure 🙂