I would love to be able to say we left our mixed luck in accommodation (and bed bugs) behind us in Siem Reap. But I can’t.
After our first look, we thought the place we had booked in Patong was fine for what it was (cheap). We ventured out for the night to Bangla road to dodge people trying to drag us in to a Ping Pong show (table tennis is apparently REALLY popular here) and find somewhere to eat.
After a pretty average, overpriced meal (that was, at least, in a really nice setting on the beach front) we headed back to our guesthouse, looking forward to a good sleep that we both desperately needed.
So it was that I found myself lying down on the bed reading and generally minding my own business when my pillow erupted with a handful of bed bugs scuttling out to attack me (and Dayna erupted with shrieks and screams). I did a pretty impressive gymnastics move to flip myself up and away from the bugs – pretty sure Dayna thought she was watching the Olympic games already.
I took a moment to compose myself before venturing downstairs to very calmly and politely explain to first one, then another staff member that we were, in fact, sharing our room with a large family of bed bugs who did not seem to like us and we would like to avoid them for the night. After getting nowhere for awhile, I made the suggestion that perhaps a move of rooms could be in order. They agreed.
And so we spent a night having nightmares of being eaten alive by huge bed bugs in the room over the hall (Dayna’s pillow was immediately thrown to the other side of the room where it stayed for the rest of the night).
Giving a guesthouse a review mentioning bed bugs is kind of a killer so I won’t name them online (to their credit they were clearly trying hard to get rid of the bugs the next morning and I did really like the owner). That said, if you’re ever travelling to Phuket and want to know where NOT to stay – send us a message and we’ll let you know.
We had only booked one night there and you’ll be glad to know our luck has picked up since then.
We booked in for 3 nights at Villareal Heights at Kata beach (a much nicer beach than the slightly seedy Patong) and were immediately wowed by how friendly and awesome the owners (Phil and Jo) are. After we arrived, Phil (a British expat) took us for a drive around the town to show us all the best places for everything and they also talked us through all the different tours we could do (for which they take zero commission).
They also have a massive DVD selection and the comfiest beds we’ve had our whole trip. They’ve even given us a cell phone to use (which is coming in handy for phone interviews and calls with recruiters in the UK). Needless to say, we’ve now extended our stay here to 7 nights.
Our luck has also been great with weather – perfect blue skies and hot days when apparently it was flooding here last week.
We’ve spent a lot of our time at the beach swimming, reading, watching the sun set etc so there’s not much exciting news to report on (unless you think our trip to Dino minigolf is exciting like I do!).
The one piece of (actual) exciting news, for us at least, is that we have ticked off number 46 on our 100 Thing’s list – Go snorkelling in the open water in Thailand.
We joined a speedboat tour around Phi Phi and the surrounding islands for a day and there was barely a cloud in the sky. The perfect day for swimming around beautiful clear water with a close up view of coral and all sorts of fish. Our underwater photography skills aren’t amazing so we didn’t get any pictures of the bigger fish but got plenty of the little colourful ones.
I got quite friendly with the coral/rocks at one of our snorkelling stops (the waves kept wanting me to hit the rocks despite my objections) so I keep discovering small grazes and cuts all over the place. A small price to pay for a great day though. I now can’t wait to go snorkelling again.
We have another few days of paradise here in Kata and then on to Bangkok for our last 4 days before we hit London (Eek!).