Yes, the air is much better here in . We experienced a bit of culture shock when we arrived as I expected a calm island oasis. Sam’s(my friend from NY who we are visiting here in Phuket) place is high on the hill and challenging for the taxis to navigate or find so we planned to meet him at a bar in city center. At our first bar, Dolphin Bar, we met some young kids that were heading to Afghanistan the next day and had cheesy, overly sweet cocktails(yuck). Patong beach, the area where he is based, is incredibly built up; I’ve never seen anything like it. What shocked me was the main street filled with “lady boys”, Thai transsexuals/vestites. The rampant prostitution and promotion of sex made me feel sick. If purgatory exists, this may be it. I’ve had my fill and I’m not going back to that street.
I blew my food budget last night with dinner at Baan Rim Pa, advertised as royal Thai cuisine with original recipes once served only in the Royal Palace. The food was outstanding but priced accordingly for Western tourists. I was shocked at the prices of wine there. Prices are double to triple NYC restaurant prices. I ordered a Fromm Pinot and South Africa Kanonkop pinotage, two properties that I’ve previously visited. I’ve had limited wine on trip as there is limited availability and when quality/availability exist, prices are exorbitant.
Yes, we are having fun. If you are interested, I’ve posted more photos on Facebook.
The weather is fantastic. Low 90s at the apex with cooling breezes. Headed to diving in the Gulf of Thailand now. Will write more later…