Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hooray! I finally got my Blogger to work! It all of a sudden started displaying in Thai and I couldn't even figure out how to log-in. Whew. It's amazing that I survive in this country. =)

I just got back from Phuket a couple of days ago. Phuket was the area of Thailand most affected by the tsunami in 2004 but you would hardly know that anything happened there except for the fact that there are tsunami hazard zone signs and evacuation procedures posted everywhere. The area is filled with tourists, mainly German, Dutch, Australian and French. We stayed in Patong Beach just so we would be close to everything and I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing. There were lots of bars filled with ugly old white guys looking for young Thai girls and some of them unknowingly hitting on katoeys (ladyboys). Everything was very expensive in Phuket which was one of it's major drawbacks. We had ordered a bottle of water in a restaurant and only later found out that it cost 50 baht, more than 7 times the price that it would cost at a convenience store. We learned to be very careful of asking how much things were before committing to anything.

My favorite part about Phuket was going to the rainforest and visiting the Gibbon Rehabilitation Center there. Being an anthropology major in college and having done some research on gibbons I was very excited to see the gibbons in their somewhat natural habitat. They were very active and fun to watch. Unfortunately, the night before we had seen a guy on the street who had a gibbon and was charging tourists to take pictures with the animal. I wanted to call the police on him but my friend convinced me that I was being unreasonable. While we were at the center I mentioned this to the staff and they said that yes that was illegal in Thailand and I was able to report it to them. The next night we went back and I tried to get a picture of the guy. I felt so bad for that poor little cute gibbon. I hope that they are able to catch them. Anyways, while we were there we also went hiking to a nearby waterfall and it was very beautiful.

The next day we signed up for a day tour of the Phi Phi islands. We visited the beach where they filmed the movie "The Beach" and I could only imagine that before they filmed the movie there it was very peaceful. Now it is full of tourists (including myself) and I felt like I was at Raging Waters or some water park than on a tropical island. I didn't even want to swim in the water because there were so many speed boats (think stinky gasoline) and people (think bathroom). We also went snorkeling but unfortunately all of the coral was dead and there was a lot of trash in the water. Very sad. I don't know if the coral died as a result of tourism or if it died after the tsunami but it was very unhealthy.

Overall my advice to you would be to skip Phuket and visit some of Thailand's other beaches like Koh Tao or Koh Samet. They have everything that Phuket had, minus the vast hoards of tourists, trash, and high prices.

Tomorrow I'm off on a teachers trip to Kanchanaburi. The school is putting us up so hopefully it will be nice and relaxing.

Pictures slowly being posted on Flickr!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


youmisselena said...

I am traveling through Thailand soon with theworldbyroad.com. We are doing stories as we travel. Do to your extended time in Thailand, I was wondering if you had an advice as to things off the beaten path that would be interesting. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you for your time,

Trixie said...

your trip sounds wonderful. friends say that thailand is a very beautiful place, i hope to visit it one of these days.

thanks for the travel tips!

Sophie said...

Hey, I actually made it to Bangkok! It was pretty stressful packing, especially since I was packing in the middle of finals, but I'm here! I'm staying midway between the American embassy and Lumphini park. Do you live nearby?

I'm not on a school program--i applied for the internship independently. There will be 5 or 6 other students from the US and Cananda working with me this summer, but no one that I know.

By the way, my blogger has been displaying in Thai too! I just have to guess which button to push, lol. :-)

SavingDiva said...

Your pictures are really beautiful! I've never been to Thailand, but I would love to be able to visit.

Moneymonk said...

cool! Nice pics

Adventures In Money Making said...

did you go scuba diving in Koh Phi Phi?

if not, you're missing out!!!!!

I love thailand!!!! be sure to take some pics - I'll check back regularly.

I'm so jealous of you!

Webmaster said...


Firstly, a great blog you have here, shame you don’t up-date it more regularly!

I just wanted to drop you a quick mail as I think you may be interested (and your readers) in my new post that outlines the different buffet’s dinners on offer from the 5 star hotels in Bangkok. The list includes the address of the hotels, contact number, closest BTS, cuisine, opening times and the costs.

Feel free to check it out:

I’d appreciate it if you could also let your users know it’s there, it took me 8 hours to call each of them and add it to my Blog ! I don’t mind though, if people will use it and think it’s valuable then I’m happy to work on new lists in the future!

Take care,


Pual said...

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Coti Michele said...

Great advice on skipping Phuket. I am moving to Thailand in August and am gearing up for the big move right now! I want to visit a beach one of my first weekends so I will definitely take your advice on where to go! Thanks!


Pervaiz said...

Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog, however, can only agree with you partly about Phuket. You were staying in PATONG, the main tourist center of Phuket, which is the filthiest, most expensive, rip-off place in Thailand.
But it is not representative for the rest of Phuket. I have been living on Phuket for 6 years, hardly ever go to Patong, as there is no need to, and there are lovely spots all around the island, with regular prices, once you are away from the tourist centers.
Plus Phuket offers all amenities you would need for long-stay.

Agree with you about the sad state of Maya Bay on PhiPhi aka"The Beach" Diving around Phi Phi is great though, even snorkelong, just around the corner of that bay.

Visit my blog for more info: http://auswandernthailand.blogspot.com it's German though...

Rakesh said...

thanks for sharing this.

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