This is my last day in Phuket. After spending almost 1 week here, I begin to appreciate and understand the way of life here. People exist here due to tourism, and it is the same tourism which spoils the scenery, affected the local’s way of life. The double-edged sword is what brings the cash into the pockets of the locals here in Phuket. Perhaps without the work of tourism, this island will still be a backward town as what I had seen in some non-touristy places on the island. After all, Thais are still friendly, Jai yen no matter which part of the country you will be traveling in. I did not really travel anywhere today.
After the usual breakfast, I walked along the streets of Patong area. This is the first time I walked beyond Bangla St, usually, I would make a turn into Bangla St and head towards the hotel, however, this time I figured I should visit this area which I had never thought of visiting (partially is to look for cheaper Taxi service to the airport in the evening). Walking along this part of the Patong area is no different from the Patong area closer to where my hotel is. Except that there are lesser people, lesser shops. Well managed to find a cheaper taxi service then what the others would quote me nearer to Jungceylon or Mercure hotel. Without a thought, I went ahead to book for the service. The lady serving me was friendly, despite giving a cheaper rate. Happy as I am now it is time to head back towards the hotel. At this point in time, I still have not packed my luggage (it was a headache to think about it in the first place). Did not take long for me to reach my hotel. Sat at the balcony mostly enjoying the breeze and have one last look at this island. Originally I was still thinking of taking a dip in the pool before I start packing, traded that idea for a breezy laze in the balcony of the room. The peacefulness and tranquility are what attracted me. Did not take long for me to finish packing up. Soon I found myself lazing on the balcony again (as my balcony was overlooking the Otop night market and some quite nice views of the hills beyond), was quite a relaxing afternoon. Received a call from the reception saying my transport to the airport has arrived. I quickly headed to the lobby for checking out. I asked for the manager who assisted me during my stay here (did I mentioned I made several complaints to him?). Well, I guess it is time to thank him for his assistance and bid him farewell. We chatted for some 15 mins.
Not long after I was on my way to the airport. Checking in took quite a while as some tourists seem to have problems with their visa/passport/air-tickets (whatever it is). I was directed to the business class counter and since then checking in was smooth and fast. Here I am, sitting by the gate, waiting to board the aircraft heading home. Phuket is not all about Patong beach, the off-shore islands (though they are really a must-go should anyone visit here), Phuket is more than that. It is about how tourism brought up the living standard here, how the locals vie with each other to ensure they got the biggest catch. Well, the vying wasn’t as bloody as it is. After all, Thais are still a bunch of peace-loving people. Oh yeah, it is raining heavily now, first time since I arrived about a week ago. Despite the hot weather, the locals did not complain, they just go about doing their own stuff, carrying out their way of life and ensuring they are able to bring back more cash from the tourists to their family.