Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Phuket Beaches and Towns

One of the best things on this trip was just wandering around and taking in the different area of Phuket (pronounced poo-ket) Island.  After getting some good pool time in, a group of us made our way down to Patong to check out the craziness.  And, it was crazy.  A good comparison would be Mexico during the daytime.  Lots of vendors, lots of touts (hey, good price, massagey, etc), beer and cheap beach food.  We had a great time stopping for a beer here and there, watching the sun set and just checking the town out.  We managed to find an awesome section of the street with a ton of seafood open air restaurants, so we stopped for a bite with a bunch of locals and europeans.  I had some killer mango sticky rice!

As we wandered our way back into town, the scene was definitely changing with the sun down.  More bar girls (some, no so girly) were out in force.  The lights were on and all the grime in the streets was hidden.  One of the more interesting things that I learned from a co-worker is that there are a ton of Aussie owned bars in Thailand as many of the Vietnam War vets had R&R here during the war.  When they went back home following their tours, they didn't really fit in, so they went back to Thailand and set up shop.  One of the bars we went in was just such a bar and they were selling t-shirts that went to the local charity that helps out these folks.

Above and below are the Laguna Beach areas...specifically, Ao Bang Thao.  The beach was so much different than Patong...clean, chill, great waves and no annoying parasailing or jet ski rentals.  The sand can barely be described...it was a little tiny rough, but just perfect...and, the pictures don't convey it, but the water was amazing. 

I had an awesome hour long Thai aromatic massage at the Hideaway Spa.  It was the perfect combination of a regular massage and a Thai massage.  The location of the massage was perfect.  An open air massage in a small building that overlooked a lovely lagoon.  No tourists looking around, perfect scent, flexing, bending, aaaahhhhh.  Wonderful.  Top it off with some tea beforehand and watermelon afterwords - I could have spent another two hours there.

Random temple and random wires driving along the main highway on Phuket....
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