It looked like in our bid to go for day trips to Phi Phi and Phnag Nga, we had been using Phuket only as a transit place. This being our fourth and last day here, we decided to have a dekho of our host place. So we rented a car with driver for full day (around 1500 Baht) to take us for some sightseeing. We decided on a few places but kept the itinerary flexible.
To strike a conversation with the driver and out of curiosity to know about the Tsunami that hit Phuket in 2004, we asked the driver if he had any memories of it. Memories he did have …and we were the ones to stir them with such a casual question! He used to have a place for business right on the Patong beach which turned to ruins in the Tsunami. He lost a total of 10 members from his family and does not remember how exactly he survived. The day left him with a slight limp in his leg (which we too had noticed when we met him first). There were promises from government to compensate the loss to businesses but nothing much came of it and later he took to taxi driving. I felt little ashamed of the shallow question…..what kind of answer were we expecting? We all fell silent, not knowing what to say. He spoke first – ‘Everything OK now…life goes on…I am not sad anymore.’
Is it strange that he still loves nature ?
In rest of the post, pictures will do most of the talking..
On our way towards the Big Buddha we were hungry (yes yes all the pulling work was done by the elephants but we were hungry nevertheless). The driver knew of a small place and what a gem it was. We saw lovely views of the more up market Phuket and the more serene and peaceful beaches in contrast to the rough waters of Patong. So this is the place to stay in Phuket if you want some far-from-the-maddening-crowd experience. (It will also help to make your wallets lighter in the process!) There weren’t any tourists there and we had the place pretty much to ourselves. We spent some time there just taking pictures and walking around.
The sacred thread in Thailand is akin to our lachha that we tie at all auspicious occasions. But here they have a kind of bangle made of thread that you can wear. It comes in different sizes to fit children and adults. So the monk will just slip it into your hand. Photography was allowed here. Pranav was so happy when the monk sprinkled some water on him.
Next we stopped at another temple which had golden Buddhas. There were buddhha statues with so many different expressions and poses that after a certain point we just gave up and decided to go back.
We made some more stops on the way back – the gems factory, a famous tid bit shopping spot (cannot recall the name!) et all, but on reflection I think we could have skipped them.
The four days were a heady cocktail of beach fun, speed boats, water sports, rugged landscape, adventure, larger than life stage shows, nightlife, pampering with massages…and a little religion too…!!