A Week in Phuket: Briefly

I want to go back to Thailand.

I want to go back to Thailand.

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.

Here we have a portrait of our villa-mates at the Pavilions Resort. They sang us to sleep every night.

Here we have a portrait of our villa-mates at the Pavilions Resort. They sang us to sleep every night.

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.

The motorcycle is king in this neighborhood. We saw a lot of people, animals, and produce being carted around in these things.

The motorcycle is king in this neighborhood. We saw a lot of people, animals, and produce being carted around in these things.

Sometimes they roll three and four deep on the bikes. No need for mini-vans around here.

Sometimes they roll three and four deep on the bikes. No need for mini-vans around here.

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.

The Pavilions Resort is perched up on a mountainside so there is no direct beach access, however, we had this sweet little pool. We could walk out of our bedroom and directly into the water - bathing suits be damned!

The Pavilions Resort is perched up on a mountainside so there is no direct beach access, however, we had this sweet little pool. If you wanted to you could get a running start from the bathroom, bounce on the bed, and lay an epic cannonball – bathing suits be damned!

I don't suggest taking your cameras in the pool but sometimes you have to get the shot - or you do it because you've drank too many shots of the local rum, which, I might add, was effective.

I don’t suggest taking your cameras in the pool but sometimes you have to get the shot – or you do it because you’ve drank too many shots of the local rum, which, I might add, was effective.

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.

The limestone islands in this section of the Andaman were once undersea reefs. This is what they look like now.

The limestone islands in this section of the Andaman were once undersea reefs. This is what they look like now.

Never has erosion looked so sexy. Near here is where they filmed some scenes from The Man with the Golden Gun, which is now a tourist trap.

Never has erosion looked so sexy. Near here is where they filmed scenes from The Man with the Golden Gun, which is now a tourist trap.

We were on a modern style boat but many folks were touring (or fishing) in boats like this. Roaring V6 engines with a propeller-tipped drive shaft attached to slim wooden boats.

We were on a modern style boat but many folks were touring (or fishing) in boats like this. Roaring automobile engines with a propeller-tipped drive shaft attached to slim wooden boats.

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.

Boats at the dock on Koh Panyee.

Boats at the dock on Koh Panyee.

Just your average Panyee street corner.

Just your average Panyee street corner.

The island has an impressive mosque that serves a centerpiece and meeting place for the inhabitants.

The island has an impressive mosque that serves as a centerpiece and meeting place for the inhabitants.

Koh Panyee is built next to an impressive edifice that isn't fit for living on, but it does provide clean water and shelter from storms.

Koh Panyee is built next to an impressive edifice that isn’t fit for living on, but it does provide clean water and shelter from storms.

We were on the island during mid-day. It was hot and many of the people we saw were napping in the shade.

We were on the island during mid-day. It was hot and many of the people we saw were napping in the shade. (not shown – people napping in the shade)

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.

Here's a frog in a stone turtles mouth. Have I mentioned how much I loved those frogs. No frogs here in Dalian - not many birds either - plenty of mosquitoes though.

Here’s a frog in a stone turtles mouth. Have I mentioned how much I loved those frogs. No frogs here in Dalian – not many birds either – plenty of mosquitoes though.

Flowers, birds, and now frogs are my favorite things to photograph.

Flowers, birds, and now frogs are my favorite things to photograph.

I'd like to shake the hand of each and every groundskeeper at the Pavilions Resort. Bravo fellas.

I’d like to shake the hand of each groundskeeper at the Pavilions Resort. Bravo fellas.

Always always always look up.

Always always always look up.

There were some big ass bees flying around these. Tropical stinging insects are no joke.

There were some big ass bees flying around these. Tropical stinging insects are no joke.

Ay yes, the best way to end a post is with a sunset photo.

Ay yes, the best way to end a post is with a sunset photo.

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.

 

© Peter Molgaard and Afield Book, 2012-2015. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of photographs and original content without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided that permission is granted and that full and clear credit is given to Peter Molgaard and Afield Book with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. If you would like to use any of the imagery displayed you may send your requests to molgaardpmo@gmail.com

 

2 thoughts on “A Week in Phuket: Briefly

  1. Very nice, thanks for sharing. Next time maybe take a small vial of white vinegar to treat jellyfish stings.

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