Phuket, Thailand

Thursday 1/12/16 –

Today, we arrived in Thailand, another corner of the world new to me that conjures up exotic images of lush green rainforests and idyllic beaches. Thai Brides and Lady-boys are also common associations, of which a group of young crewmen heading enthusiastically for shore leave were laughing and joking about…

We had no tour escorting duties today, so we decided to go for walk.

The port was so different from others we’ve visited that it hardly seemed like a port at all. A few hopeful craft stands had been erected near the ship, and there were a few comings and goings to and from a large container ship that was berthed next to the Voyager, but other than that, it was all very quiet and extremely low-key.

We walked the short distance to the gate, stopping often so that Tracey could photograph the birdlife, and when we came to the main road we turned left (right was towards the city of Phuket, a £5 per person shuttle bus ride away, and not quite walkable).

It was very hot, of course, as we followed the road for about 2 miles, through what seemed like a mostly residential district, turning right, over a small, heavily-wooded hill…

…and down into a small, secluded bay.

We knew we’d made the right choice; the bay was lovely. We were ready for a sit down, so we ordered cold drinks in a small bar on the sea-front and enjoyed a relaxing few minutes looking at, and photographing, the view. Boats were dotted around the harbour, overlooked by hills clothed in lush green rainforests. When we were ready to move again, we walked along the idyllic beach… this was sooo Thailand.

On the beach, we stopped to talk to a friendly chap in a high-vis jacket who was busy cleaning the beach. He explained that his job was to remove litter while another man was assigned to removing the leaves (of which there were many). India take note!

A small white footbridge provided access to the rocks along the base of one of the steep cliffs. We walked as far as we could, to a point where a man was stood fishing, but the tide was in and the rocks were damp and slippy. They soon became a little damper and slippier as it started to rain. When it rains in Thailand, it sure rains! We huddled under the overhanging trees until the rain eased off and then started retracing our steps back towards the port, tired and damp, but very content wiith out mornings meander.

After lunch, we talk a short walk back out onto the quayside to purchase a few odds and ends from the craft stalls there before retiring to the ship ready for departure.

We liked what we saw of Thailand, and left it with a warm, mushy feeling and a desire to go back there sometime… so different to the impression India made upon us.

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