3rd October and we flew to Phuket in Thailand. The people in Thailand are lovely with sunny dispositions. We are staying at a place on a 17km beach, Mai Khao in the northwest of the island, with white soft sand, palm trees, a very warm Andaman Sea and the best breakfast we have ever had. The temperature in Thailand remains at around 31c to 32c all year, hot and humid. Playing tennis in these temperatures should be uncomfortable, but the hotel staff come out with towels and iced water to begin, then after 20mins they bring chilled flannels to remove any unwanted perspiration (though they don't actually mop your brow for you). Paul and Steve, there's an idea for next summer! We have had a few monsoon downpours, as this is the rainy season, but somehow warm rain, even though it is very heavy, doesn't get you wet like cornish rain!
After a week's R&R we drove to Krabi approx. two hour drive from Phuket. We stayed here for three nights: The beach was much flatter and the sea calmer than at Mai Khao. There are many islands around here which stick up out of the water with steep limestone cliffs and coves with powder white sand beaches. Apparently two James Bond films were shot on location here, as well as Leonardo Dicaprio's 'The Beach'. We took a boat day trip around a number of the islands, which included visiting coral reefs where we snorkelled, a hidden lagoon and a cave where tiny swifts nest are harvested for sale to the chinese as the ingredient in bird's nest soup (very strictly regulated to protect the bird population). The nests sell for up to £2000 per kilo - all they are is twigs stuck together with bird spit! The speedboat coming back was a bit bumpy and Floss was screaming like a banshee. We had some great local food in Krabi - Floss is getting a taste for red and green thai curries. FM have also learnt to count to ten in Thai. We came back to Mai Khao today for two nights, before leaving Thailand (sadly) and heading down to Penang, Malaysia, where we will meet Charmaine next Sunday.