Leave your Flip Flops at the Door

frip frops

Whew! We made it to the summer, are back on the road, traveling and learning about this little thing called happiness!

Ah, Thailand ….
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Fan buzzing overhead. It’s humid, but it feels like Paradise feels. The coffee comes out first and for some unknown aesthetic reason, reminds me that I’m not in China anymore. Next comes the hot & fluffy, buttered bun with jam that seemed to involve smashing berries in the back; this isn’t the kind of bun/jam experience you get with some crappy continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn … this bun tastes like the person who made it actually cared about it’s perfection.

In the background, the lady who owns the restaurant is singing in Thai. My omelette comes out a little later… it is perfect. It’s as if nothing can possibly go wrong.

A lizard skimmers down the far wall, but it doesn’t have the effect that it would have back home. Instead of being repulsed or considering over cited health regulation, I wonder more about where the lizard came from and where he’s going … in this restaurant, in this country, he is part of the experience.

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Aside from a life-changing breakfast we did a lot of other things as well! To start with, we met up with my parents for a week! It was good to see them after being in China for the last year and we managed to see a decent amount of Phuket with them in a week. 

My parents have a timeshare with Marriott so we stayed in a resort/villa style room which was a nice change of pace from hostels and budget traveling. During the week we smoked cigars, drank scotch, solved world problems and did touristy things. It was a relaxing and enjoyable week. 

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Some of the highlights of Phuket include:

–  Karon Beach and Patong Beach  –
IMG_3488They are both on the southern end of the island and Patong Beach especially, is renown for its party and late-night culture. Check it out… the beaches are perfect!

–  The Food  –
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Pad Thai … try it! Street food is delicious, cheap, and will leave you wondering why you would ever leave a place with such great food. 

–  Phi Phi Island  –
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This is the island made famous by The Beach (Leo movie) and also the book. The upside of the tour is that you literally see one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. The downside is it is an absolute zoo of tourists and boats. Di Caprio may have found serenity at this island, but he would be appalled at what the Island has become now. It’s worth seeing, but forget about any illusions of solace and hidden discoveries. 

–  Scooter Rentals  –
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I love riding scooters … but I suck at them! The first time I tried to ride one I smashed a vespa into the back of a horse trailer; the 2nd time I tried to rent one in Capri the owner wouldn’t even let me leave the shop because he thought I would break it…

In Phuket though …. they seem to let anyone take them out! I finally got a chance to learn how to ride a scooter (after 28 pathetic years). They are a blast and a great way to zip around the beaches and more secluded areas of the island. Be careful though, they drive on the left hand side of the road and the Thai people seem to have grown up on scooters. They are good drivers but no one leaves anyone much room for error. 

–  Snorkeling  –
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Snorkeling is always a good change of pace! You can find snorkeling and diving everywhere in Phuket. 

–  Massage  –

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A Thai massage is quite an experience! You can find just about any version of a massage that you can imagine, they are experts at them, and they are super cheap by American standards. Just get one … you won’t regret it. 

–  James Bond Island  –
I didn’t actually go to this island but if you have seen The Man With the Golden Gun, this is where they filmed the movie. Sounds like a bit of a tourist trap, but a lot of people seem to like it. You can also do a lot of trips that incorporate kayaking into these excursions.

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