06 February 2009

Phuket part 1

We're currently on Phuket, which is the largest of Thailands islands, situated on the Southwestern side of the country in the Andaman Sea.

A few people had warned us that Phuket wasn't particularly nice and had become horribly over developed. As we made our way from the airport we feared that the warnings were looking like they may be correct. The first main resort we passed through, Patong, looked like all the worst bits of the Costa Del Sol had been lumped together, transported half way around the world and dumped on the back of the beach. A chaotic sprawl of ugly, characterless, high rise buildings. Patong also has a reputation of being one of Thailands premier resorts for sex tourists and is rammed full of go-go bars, sleazy clubs and of course the odd ladyboy or two.

The next resort down the coast, Karon, looked marginally better but still didn't set our pulses racing.

Thankfully the town where we are staying, called Kata, is much more like it. The beach here is the most beautiful we've been to so far on this trip. A mile long arc of white sand with crystal clear warm blue sea, backed by a small strip of mangrove. After 28 days in Myanmar it feels like we've arrived in nirvana.

Thankfully the town is also a lot more restrained than Patong and Karon, being set back from the beach and blending into the surrounding tree lined hills. The resort is predominantly used by Scandinavian, German and Italian tourists and so there's a different (dare we say nicer), quiter atmosphere than usual. Liz is getting sacred that she's turning into an old fogey being as she is enjoying the peace and quiet so much!

We have 4 days here in total, tomorrow we take the boat across to Ko Phi Phi and then onto Railay. Then we head back here to Kata where we'll meet up with our first visitor, Anne.

Despite the beaty of the resort the new warning signs and a small amount of the remaining rebuilding work that is still underway give a sobering reminder of the tsunami that struck here a on Boxing Day a little over 4 years ago. More than 6000 people died in on Thailand's Andaman Coast when a 15m high wave flattened the shoreline.

1 comment:

  1. So on this wintry blighty evening I thought what would cheer me up? Reading your latest exploits - you write a very good travel guide. And your sunny photos made me forget about snow and rain....and booking a holiday. I'm taking Paul through your itinerary to persuade him to keep me company on a visit :)
    Happy travels and lots of love, Sarah xx