A two-hour ferry ride from Phi Phi is the famous island of Phuket. We decided to stay in Phuket Town’s historic district. It’s far away from the craziness of the beaches and after Phi Phi we felt we needed a quieter area. Old Town in Phuket Town has 3 or 4 blocks of beautifully restored colonial and Portuguese homes, restaurants and hotels. Our hotel was in one of these old restored buildings. It’s a really nice area to wonder around and admire the architecture.
The most popular beach on Phuket is Patong. This beach is where most of the footage from the 2004 Tsunami was taken. Today you wouldn’t know it had happened except for the ‘Tsunami Escape Route’ signs posted in most low-lying places. There are also a few Tsunami Refuge towers, but they’re in such disrepair, I don’t think they’re very safe. Patong is a very busy beach and the surrounding town is known for its parties, so we were happy to go for just one day.
While lounging on the beach we watched a few parasailers and decided to try it. Having never done it we weren’t sure what to expect, but it was so much fun! After running a few steps, the boat quickly pulls you up and with a parasail on, you sail high above, enjoying the view all around. It was really thrilling!
One of the main things we wanted to see in this area was Phang Nga Bay. This island park has many large and small steep island pillars coming straight up from the sea. Cruising between these islands is so beautiful.
We kayaked in a couple of different areas including a bat cave and a secret lagoon, but the highlight of the trip was seeing James Bond Island. The island was made famous in the movie ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’. The most recognizable feature is a picturesque rock tower in a shallow bay surrounded by emerald green water. The island also has and a small cave that was used in the movie.
The easiest way to get to this area is to take tour. It was a typical tour with a lot of people from different backgrounds moving from sight to sight. On the cruise home however, the atmosphere of the cruise changed when all of a sudden the music started blaring and three ‘lady boys’ came up the stairs and started dancing and flirting with the male passengers!! These guys were so funny, decked out in fancy dresses, make up and wigs and having so much fun themselves! It was such a contrast to our last two months in Malaysia.
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