a peek inside the fishbowl

02 Feb, 2020

The risk that paid off

Posted by andrea tomkins in: travel talk

The Thailand diaries continue! To read past posts in this series, click here.

In the most recent chapter in this series, the youngest daughter and I had just visited Big Buddha, a religious site in Phuket, Thailand. Thankfully, we found our driver waiting for us in the parking lot, just as he had promised. (Phew.)

Until that moment I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to book the return part of our little excursion. I assumed I’d just book a ride on the Thai-Uber app and that he’d be the driver, but I wasn’t 100% sure.

As we approached the car, he turned to me and made me an offer: If I just paid in cash, he’d take us back to our residence but include a stop at Wat Chalong, a historical landmark and Buddhist temple in Phuket. The dollar figure would be the same as what we’d paid for the drive there.

I briefly conferred with the youngest, checked my cash reserves, and agreed to the deal. After all, we were planning on visiting a temple at some point, right?


But the youngest was not happy with me.

“Mum,” she said afterwards. “If I accepted a ride in a foreign country and paid under the table for it you would probably be mad.” Then she pointed out that ride-sharing apps have security features built into them. If we went missing we’d have a record of the transaction as well as our route. (In other words, plenty of clues for the Thai police to follow if we went missing.)

Of course she was right, but this conversation didn’t happen until we got home.

The drive to Wat Chalong was as scenic as the drive to Big Buddha. And when we arrived, well, let’s just say I was agog the entire time. It was so gorgeous I have no words to describe it. It was a postcard come to life.

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

No shoes please

Inside Wat Chalong, Phuket

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

Visiting Wat Chalong, Phuket

So, yes. I took a chance and no one died!

That night we went to Patong Beach and marvelled at a sunset that glowed with a million colours. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day.

Patong Beach sunset

Patong Beach sunset

Patong Beach sunset

Patong Beach sunset

(Click here to watch a time-lapse I took at the beach.)

1 Response to "The risk that paid off"

1 | Amy

February 3rd, 2020 at 3:13 am


Although what your daughter says makes sense and I’d follow her advice when you can, keep in mind that ride-sharing apps are a very recent way to travel. A friend and I went travelling 20 years ago in Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia back when ride-sharing apps didn’t exist. In Malaysia we negotiated prices with cabs because that’s how you got around, very few of them would agree to use the meter. Not that we weren’t worried for our safety constantly, but we didn’t have an alternative back then. I don’t think the risk is actually all that high, although I could be wrong. Not that I would want to be in the percentage that has problems… Travelling is scary but fun, we had lots of memories and stories to laugh at later.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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