I’ve been in Patong, Phuket for a few days now, and it’s really overwhelming. I’m not quite ready to write a lot about things yet, but I hope you enjoy a few first impressions.
Phuket is filled with Russians and Australians, but there are people from everywhere here… the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Korea, Israel, Dubai, etc. The workers seem to be primarily Thai, Burmese, and Laotian.
There are lots of hot men on the beach, both of the local and imported variety.
Ronald McDonald has adopted the local greeting called the ‘wai‘, which involves pressing the hands together and bowing. When you enter the mall, a policeman will click his heels together and salute you. It’s a little startling.
Gasoline is sold in 1-liter bottles (for scooters) and direct from the barrel with a hand pump (for automobiles.) Notice the barrels below to the left of the food cart… that’s a refueling station.
Food carts are strapped to scooters and motorcycles. At the end of the day, the vendor simply climbs onto the bike and drives away, with the food cart acting like a sidecar.
Every night, restaurants lay out the catch of the day on ice right on the sidewalk. There are fish, sharks, crabs, huge prawns, oysters & clams, and quite a few things I don’t recognize. In 90°F weather, the ice can only do so much, so a walk down the sidewalk is a visit to the aquarium and an olfactory extravaganza.
At night entire restaurants blossom on the sidewalk. Tables are set up, propane burners are fired, and cooks will crank out dishes of whatever fresh catch you select, from curried squid to barbecue giant prawns to the most amazingly delicious fried chicken you’ve ever eaten.
The barbers are fabulous, as are their customers.
Medical care is widespread and inexpensive, and can take care of anything that’s ailing you.
Friendship bracelets are hand-woven with the Thai spirit of love and openness, perfect to bring home as a gift for your co-workers.