|After a twelve hour flight, we spent our first night in Asia in an airport hotel in Tokyo. (Small world story...the pursar/lead flight attendant on our Minneapolis-Tokyo flight was someone Jennifer went to high school with (Mary Pell, for those that are from Jackson).) We arrived in Phuket, Thailand, after another eight hour flight. We were greeted in Phuket by Jenny, from Sweden, whom we had met during our South American adventures in the Galapagos and Machu Picchu. Jenny is currently helping her mother run a guest house near Karon Beach, where we have taken up residence for a week.
Our adventures have already been numerous, starting with getting acclimated to the heat --we have come to the realization that we will be sweating continuously for the next month in Southeast Asia. The rains can also come up with little warning and can be very strong. Case in point, one night we had a great seafood dinner on the beach (literally, on mats on the beach, no chairs), when one of these storms hit. Luckily, we had just finished eating, but the moped ride home was a very wet affair.
We took a tour up north to the Phang-Nga Bay National Park. It is a group of more than 50 dramatic islands and rock outgrowths, including one where the James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun, was filmed in 1974. We have also visited a couple of Buddhist temples, and spent a day scuba diving on the Phi Phi Islands. And can we mention the fabulous food? We are loving it.
Evidence of the December 26th tsunami is still present, especially in the fishing villages. Most of the tourist areas have been, or are being, rebuilt. Jenny and her mother are working with a local relief agency for orphans of the tsunami. If anyone is interested in donating to this cause, let us know.