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Posts Tagged ‘Phuket’

I’m not going back. We visited in March 2008, again at Christmas 2010/11, and now February 2012. This time it wasn’t really our choice. My niece decided to get married in Phuket, and we weren’t letting the rest of the family go without us! But you know, revisiting places can be tough. It’ll be a while before I can face it again.

We first visited Thailand together Christmas 1988 (give or take a year – my memory fails me). We flew in to Phuket, and stayed at Patong Beach. Phuket was only just opening up in those days. We stayed in the one hotel (still the ONLY hotel) on the beach – there were a few across the road though – and there was only the street parallel to the beach, and one other turning off diagonally with a few bars and restaurants. I remember the beach was wide and deep and had perfectly white sand. The sea was warm – so delightfully warm – and swimming every day was a delight. We enjoyed dinner that first night at a restaurant right on the beach – we tossed off our jandals and buried our feet in the sand, as we shared a whole fish. A perfect introduction to Thailand for my husband. Patong Beach was beautiful, pristine, and serene.

This is Patong Beach now.

Can you hear me screaming?

Words can’t express my horror. It looks like something on the Costa del Sol. But this is my beloved Thailand, not a crass Spanish beach! There is nothing – NOTHING – like this in New Zealand. Or I think Australia, or the Pacific. I have no idea about beaches in the US. Most of the people on this beach are Europeans. You can tell by all the men in Speedos, and women in bikinis, regardless of their shape. (My sister called it “The place where you will always find someone who looks worse in a bathing suit than you.”) We, in the Southern Hemisphere – or perhaps the New World – don’t know how lucky we are to have space. Space to go to the beach and to enjoy privacy, or at the very least not to have complete strangers just a few feet away.

Looking at Patong Beach in 2012 made me want to cry.

PS. I have to note we didn’t stay in Patong, but about 45 minutes away, in a very peaceful spot, and it was great.

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We came. We saw. We sweated. We gathered. Waves lapped. Sun beat down. Palms swayed. We smiled. Bartenders shook. And stirred. We drank. Fans cooled. Almost naked tourists stared. Music played. She descended. Dad proud. Mum cried. I cried too. He vowed. So did she. They kissed. We cheered. We hugged. Flowers thrown. Baby elephant Nadia arrived. Nadia kissed. Cameras clicked. Sun set. Guests swam. Dresses changed. Stars twinkled. Lanterns lit. Cocktails consumed. Speeches made. Eyes wiped. Cake cut. Dances danced. Lobster eaten. Tide advanced. Mango met sticky end. Sparklers sparkled. Boom! Fireworks enthralled. Fire dancer amazed. Moon rose. Band played. Shoes discarded. Bride glowed. Groom beamed. Moonlight shone. Surf gleamed. Palms swayed. Stars twinkled.

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Blogging isn’t always easy on the road. So usually I write something in advance, and schedule it to post when I’m away. Facebook is easier to deal with – they’re like mini-blogs. A blog in a two sentences or less. I wish all my readers could see my Facebook updates – it would take the pressure off posting here. But even keeping up with Facebook can be a chore. So, in anticipation, here are the Facebook Status Updates I am most likely to post over the next 12 days. But now I don’t have to.

Day :

  1. I am seriously allergic to economy class. 10 hours is more than enough. Any more might kill me.
  2. On this day in 198X, I did. He did too. I’m glad.
  3. Sawatdee kha, prateyt tee ruk! (Happy happy happy).
  4. Mangoes, warm seas, white sand. Who needs summer in NZ?
  5. Another foot massage. Is there much more blissful than that?
  6. This. Here. On this island. This is where I’d retire if we won the lottery. Sabai Sabai.
  7. So funny introducing my sister to the joys of a road-side food stall, complete with the ubiquitous dogs, and chilli. Wish other sister was here with us for the fun.
  8. Felt very old today, watching my niece get married. We were all very happy – yes I cried – and there was a funny incident with the baby elephant which I can’t repeat.
  9. Sticky rice, barbecued chicken, and green papaya salad. Still the best picnic EVER.
  10. Hate leaving. Hate anticipating long flights. Why can’t you beam me up, Scotty?
  11. Gasp. Allergic … gasp … economy class … gasp … (And it’s even worse when you have to read Board papers on the flight.)
  12. But it’s only 1 am in Thailand. WHY do I have to get up now? Oh right, holiday’s over.

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