Au Chalong, Phuket 07:49.17N 98:21.43E

Brian Palmer
Fri 17 Dec 2010 14:14
The plan to sail to Phi Phi Don was aborted and we decided to make the long hop direct to Au Chalong.   It was a beautiful day with little wind which came from a westerly direction and we motor sailed the whole way.
Now anchored in Au Chalong we have checked into Thailand and given a 30 day visa so we have to remember that we must check out by 14th January at the latest.    We scoured the streets yesterday to hire a car without success and only just managed to get one today.    A brand new Toyota - we were actually the very first people to drive it.    The driving here in Phuket is simply awful and there are millions of vehicles including motor cycles.       Having waited 2 hours to pick up the car today we finally got away to the sailmakers before heading to Boat Lagoon to collect a parcel DHL had arranged to deliver to us.       On our way north we stopped at the huge Central shopping mall where you drive through an enormous underground carpark for what seems miles before you can find an empty spot and then you have to find your way to an escalator to take you to wherever.    The number of people there was mind blowing - there are many thousands of European tourists here, mainly from the Eastern side, who are shopping till they drop.     We walked miles to find the shop we needed and then hastily retreated to the car to find our way out of the car park.     We eventually made it out and headed on our way north.
The journey back to Au Chalong - possibly only around 15 - 20 miles took almost 2 hours in the heavy traffic.      We arrived back just in time before our dinghy floated away on the outgoing tide - someone had untied it whilst we were away.     It was an exhausting and stressful day,  we are just not used to the hussle and bustle of tourist lives.
Tomorrow Saturday we will head out to somewhere quieter.