While Phuket is the largest island in Thailand it’s only three-quarters the size of Singapore. Like much of this portion of South-East Asia Phuket grew because of a Tin mining industry supplemented by trade in Rubber.
In 2004 the island was hit hard by the Boxing Day tsunami which devastated its west-coast beaches and lowlands. Officially some 250 people including tourists were killed, unofficially 1000 illegal Burmese workers were also thought to have been killed. Within 2 months most of the resorts in the area were back in business and within a year little evidence of the tsunami remained.
Our visit to Phuket would begin with sickness. On the bus into Thailand I succumbed to a virus that would see me sleep through our first two days. Whenever I awoke I would be so groggy all I felt like doing was sleeping. After forcing myself to eat, I took some pain killers and seemed to snap out of it. On my first well afternoon we went for a walk and discovered the pretty Wat Suwankiriket.
Near where we were staying, Karon Beach is popular with tourists especially couples and families. The area has a strong Eastern European influence and a very popular holiday spot for Russian visitors.
Not far from Karon Beach, Patong Beach has amazing golden beaches. The Patong area is popular with singles and those who enjoy partying as it has extensive nightlife in areas such as the famous Bangla Road and the Paradise Complex.
Sickness Strikes Again
I extended our stay in Phuket to make up for the days I’d lost due to sickness. This was to allow me to see places such as Bangla Road at night, the Giant Buddha, Old Phuket Town and Promthep Cape. But alas, the sickness I’d experienced on the first couple of days struck again. I spent much of the day in bed sleeping it off. I’ll just have to return to the city at another time.
Next we’re off to Koh Phi Phi Islands where I’m hoping to have better luck with my health.
The Trail Wanderers