Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Long Way Home

(PICTURE: Sunset in Phuket on our first night.)

Huyen and I decided that instead of flying directly to America, we would continue our honeymoon. You see, it was basically the same price to fly one-way from Hanoi to NY as it was to do a couple of one way flights to some places we had never been. Originally, we had planned on doing two weeks in Sri Lanka, two weeks in India and then two weeks in France. However, getting visas was a pain in the butt so we decided to just go to India. While booking our flight there, we saw some super cheap flights on Air Asia that we could pass up. Basically for both of us to fly from Hanoi to Bangkok, Bangkok to Phuket, Phuket to Bangkok and Bangkok to Kolkata cost us less than $450. We had absolutely no intention of going to Phuket until a deal flashed on my computer screen as we booked our plans. It cost us about $50 each to fly round trip to the island.

As I hit the purchase button on Air Asia's website, I started to immediately have second thoughts. I didn't know much about Phuket but the things I had heard all were not so good. Mainly, I read/heard that Phuket was now just an island of 4 and 5 star resorts and not a place for backpackers. And yes, I'm 32 and still consider myself a backpacker. As I see it, travelers fall into two categories:

Category 1: People who can only take 1-2 week vacations a year and want to spend every moment in luxury.

Category 2: People who have lots of time on their hands and don't mind sacrificing luxury to be able to travel for months to years.

In total, Huyen and I will have been traveling for more than 3 months when we land in the USA. Considering that we don't have jobs, we thought it would be wise to pinch a few pennies along the way. And hence, my nervousness going to Phuket where supposedly nothing is cheap...