It’s the afternoon Golden Hour here in Dalian and instead of roaming the streets looking for good shots I am sitting at my desk happily writing about something we did last month – or has it been two months? It doesn’t matter really. The combination of age and Asia has conspired to make the time go faster for us since we’ve arrived in China. Neither Blondie nor I are used to the amount of daily input we are getting from our new surroundings. In Texas I had to find things to do with friends in order to write this blog (we know how well that went, don’t we), but here I can’t go for groceries without having at least two paragraphs ready to cram in my journal. Does it sound like I am showing off a little? Am I employing the humble brag beyond the appropriate threshold? Yes, Yes I am, but I assume you don’t check in on Afield to hear about how well I am doing in Chinese Class (ech, not great – it’s giving me dreams about junior high math), or that Blondie works more hours than most teams do (Teams!). So, I will get on with it and show you some of the sights from our recent trip to Thailand, Phuket to be exact.
The editor and I agreed that the last post about Dandong was too damned wordy. I will make up for that by keeping the anecdotes to a minimum and the visual stimulation turned up, but before I plug in the photos let me give you a bit of background on the trip. Over the past year, we hung out often with friends Luci and AK, who we met in Fiji, and discussed going on another trip together. Since we were moving to China we all agreed that the next destination should be somewhere here in Asia. After a few grouchy text messages and some budget wrangling we decided to stay at The Pavilions Resort on Phuket Island, Thailand, bookended by a few days in Hong Kong. I have a future post planned for Hong Kong so we will just deal with Thailand from this point forth. So without any further BS, here are some of the good shots.
We spent the first few days at either our pool or the one at Luci and AK’s villa. Usually when you go to a nice resort like this the mini bar prices are so extravagant that no one touches anything in the fridge, but not at The Pavilions, by god. The liquor was plentiful and cheap and they would bring more at a moment’s notice – which was just dangerous and the reason no pictures exist from those first two days aside from a few blurry phone pics which are banned from being posted.
You can’t always sit by the pool and drink and read books, well, I can, but as a group we thought it wise to at least get out of the resort area once, and since we don’t do anything half-assed (we go beyond full-assed), we chartered a boat for eight hours so that we could see the Andaman Sea to the east of Phuket. The boat was nice and modern and just big enough to have a tiny bathroom that we all avoided using. The crew of three provided us with a great lunch and all the beer we could drink, which isn’t a lot when you’re on a tiny boat going forty knots over rough seas. Here is an important tip for you would-be boat charterers – eight hours is a tremendously long time to be in a mostly open boat, especially since half of us were fair-skinned enough to be considered translucent. We did make it through the whole day but not without an “incident”, however. After a particular stretch of rough water, the crew had mercy on us and let us off the boat near an island in the middle of nowhere to have a swim and do what people do when they avoid boat bathrooms. Within four minutes of us touching the water for the first time during the trip one of our numbers took a jellyfish sting to the inner thigh – it looked like they had been touched with a branding iron and I bet to this day that person still has a mark. That was a bummer but nobody died and we made the best of the day.
We made a few island stops during the day but the most interesting to me, to us, was on Koh Panyee, which is a small island village on stilts occupied by Malaysian fisherman. Legend has it that the 1,600+ inhabitants are descended from two Muslim fisher-families that settled there in the late 1700s. Everyone lives above the water in houses on stilts. They even have a floating football pitch.
Once we got back from our day at sea (old salts at this point and no one got seasick – miraculously), we commenced to relax and eat and do our best to catch a case of skin cancer for the rest of our trip, however, as is always the case, Luci and I walked the grounds during a boring and ridiculously hot afternoon so we could shoot some pretty things.
There you have it, my friends. We’ve only seen a tiny bit of Southeast Asia, but our trip to Phuket has given us the fever so I guarantee we will have more to say about Thailand, Vietnam, or maybe even Cambodia – you never know. Also, I will be spending some time in Hong Kong soon so I will let you know when I have something to show off.
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