We were undecided about whether to do another dive trip, and to be honest pretty exhausted! So we thought we would go down and check out Phuket and think about it some more there. On the way south, we reconviened with Tomas and Verena for a lunch and discussion about Southern Thailand.
They had settled in to a lovely little villa resort called Waterjade, at Muang Thani about 40 mins south of Khao Lak. Each day they were having a walk on a completely empty beach, watching the muslim fisherman bring in their catch, having a lunch and a massage... sounds good huh?? We took down some cakes from the bakery in Khao Lak and had a really lovely afternoon. The photo for this blog post is from this beach.
Now that we are through Southern Thailand and safe and sound, I can let on to the parents that it is actually quite a dangerous area. Especially the southeast. There are some ongoing troubles, in the form of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings. No tourists have been targeted, although they may have been caught in the middle of things. And this is why we wanted to discuss with Tomas and Verena the route they were taking, and what the best course of action would be.
We all agreed that sticking to the west coast would be better... I can't think of any place where the west coast isn't better! We had been checking with the FCO.GOV.ORG along the trip to keep up with any developments. But Fintan and I also decided to spend very little time in this region.
But back to Muang Thani... after our lovely lunch, and Tomas and Verena confirming our thoughts that Reuben is a party machine, we drove down to Phuket. What a difference an hours drive makes!
Every inch of every beach is taken up by sun loungers, and the streets are lined with bars, eateries, 7/11's, jewellery and souvenier shops and hawkers stalls. Throngs of sunburnt farang walking around, or jetboating on the water... But the island itself was beautiful. For a 2 week sun holiday, it must be great... but not for us.
We took advantage of the cheap laundry services, went to the aquarium and saw Giant Groupers, and had a nice quiet place on the hill to stay, but it was enough for us. We've seen it, we don't need to stay any longer. That was also a bit how we were feeling about Thailand... we decided just to head to the border the next day.
mum I heard a news report about trouble in southeast (?) Thailand, but decided not to mention it to you. Anyway, you're in Malaysia now. But be careful there, I know you are always. Cousin Susan said she thought Malaysia was the most dangerous country to travel through. I don't know. Have a good time!