Saturday, July 30, 2005

Phuket Post-Tsunami

(Or, flying to paradise for S$14.95)

Just got back from a much-needed four day vacation in Phuket. Apart from the dearth of tourists, a little construction, and stacks of tsunami survivor t-shirts in Patong shops, there was very little sign of the tsunami that hit last Christmas. Most of the Patong, Karon, and Kata area was either undamaged or already restored.

Phuket "local expat" residents hanging out on the Lonely Planet ThornTree message board showered us with recommendations on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. The consensus was that we should avoid over-developed Patong ("We call it the zoo," quipped one expat) and spend our time elsewhere. Kata beach was still touristy, looking at the number of tailor shops lining the main road, but it was quiet enough in the low season. We counted one bored backpacker waiting for his girlfriend to get her blond hair beaded, a German couple in their sixties, and one newly-arrived Irishman still acclimatizing to the humidity.

Rawai was laid-back and the beachfront mats were filled with Thais enjoying a family dinner. Apart from our host Richard, there was only one other Westerner on the beach.

More on our adventures in future posts... I’ll stop for now by saying it’s an excellent time to visit Phuket. Zuji is advertising 4-day, 3-night flight and hotel packages with airport transfers and a free Thai massage, for just S$128 via Tiger Airways. Even when you add in the S$79 Singapore airport tax, it’s still a good deal.

Other blog entries on Phuket:
  • Phang Nga Bay by Kayak
  • Furry Friends in Phuket

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