Let’s start in an honest place: I had to look up what the Roman numeral for four was, just to make sure.
Phuket seems so far away now, because it was. As mentioned in my last post, I am embarrassingly slow, but we made it. The last day was quite open in terms of activities. I woke up and immediately wanted to eat breakfast, so I set off on my own. Breaking the roti streak, I went to the Gallery Cafe. It’s about as trendy and Western as it sounds, but that was alright with me. They had a vegetarian English-style breakfast. Sold. They also had a lovely little outdoor seating area where I could sit, read, and ponder life.
Andre met me at the cafe a little later on, and we decided to simply stroll around town. There was a small Chinese temple that was still on the list of places to see. It is nestled fairly deep into its own alleyway in the middle of Old Town. As you stroll down towards the temple, there is graffiti all along the walls, as well as a more modern memorial of some sort, perhaps for donors. No other visitors were there (probably because it was a Tuesday morning) so it was even more quiet than usual, save the dull sounds of a radio in the back. Despite its size, it did pack quite a punch in terms of textiles and shrines.
Miracles happen: shortly thereafter, we stumbled upon a used bookshop with a plethora of books in English. Both of us spent a good amount of time wandering around, soaking it in. There’s a used bookshop in every neighborhood in Chicago, and I miss them. Even if I don’t buy any books, there’s something really pleasant about wandering around the aisles, seeing how the owner has intricately and dangerously stacked the books. Categorization is interesting as well.
From there, it was a regular art show. Old Town is filled with street art. Wandering around is already a critical part of exploring Thailand, and discovering little nooks filled with paintings made it all the more worthwhile.
It was a simple last day, but that was perfectly fine with me. It gave me a chance to really see Old Town, outside of the slightly kitschy central area. To reiterate, this place is suspiciously charming. Now that I’ve lived in Thailand for a few minutes I can more easily spot the more subtle tourist traps. Although not all of them are bad. When I go back to Phuket in October, I will certainly be staying in Old Town again. They got me.