Koh Sirey (Sirey Island)

Just to the east of Phuket Town, just a few kilometers from the center, past the fishing port and the Rassada pier (from where you catch the ferry to Phi Phi), you cross a short bridge to Koh Sirey (or Koh Siray if you prefer). Every now and then, we "take a drive" in this direction. We like to take drives and over the years have explored just about every road in Phuket! As you cross the bridge to Koh Siray you'll see fishing boats in the narrow channel between Phuket and Sirey island.

Siray Island, Fishing Port

Koh Siray Fishing Boats

The channel and the surrounding land are full of mangroves where you can spot monkeys most of the time. A "monkey seeing" viewpoint was set up a few years ago. It's a bit dirty and there are better places to see monkeys in Phuket like Monkey Hill or Bang Rong.

Monkey on Road!

Sirey Island is only about 20 square kilometers, and you can drive all around the island in half an hour. Much of the island is hilly and there are lots of rubber plantations. Around the coast there used to be small fishing villages, but development is catching up! There are a number of villas being built and some very big seaview houses around the shoreline. This has only recently been noticed as prime real estate. The Westin Siray Bay hotel opened a few years ago and is the only big hotel in the area. Some of the coastal views and quiet roads are fantastic.

Road on Sirey Island

View from Koh Sirey temple

Sea Gypsy Village

There are still sea gypsies (Chao Ley) on the island, and you can visit their village at Laem Tukkae (see photo above - view over the village as seen from Koh Sirey temple). The village suffered some damage in the 2004 tsunami and some new houses were built for them nearby, but as far as I can see the old village is now back to normal and the new houses that were built look terrible. There is a certain amount of old traditional sea gypsy life here. But do also expect to see 20 stalls selling shells. The few photos of the village on this page were taken back in 2004. One of these days I need to go take some new photos!

Making Fish Traps

Sea Gypsy Village, Phuket

We go for drives around Koh Sirey now and then. The views can be very nice and we really like the temple on the hill which features a big reclining Buddha statue (see more here : Koh Sirey Temple). The area is very quiet. There are a couple of local seafront restaurants that offer great views along with decent, inexpensive food. We went to "Haad Pleum Suk" a couple of times. The food is decent, the beach there is clean and with views to the east across the sea to Koh Yao Yai. If you're staying in Phuket Town, it's only 15 minutes to drive on a bike over to Koh Sirey and well worth the effort. I think another drive is due soon!

Beach at Koh Sirey Island near Phuket

Koh Siray (Koh Sirey) - Location Map

View Koh Sirey Island, Phuket in a larger map

Thai Driver’s License...

I got my Thai driver’s license today. It wasn’t the first time but was interesting nonetheless. You see the first time I got one was 25 years ago. In those days the process was not set up for Farangs so you found a guy in the parking lot who ran your paperwork for a fee and returned with the finished product after a bit of a wait. Then all you had to do was go back every year for a renewal. They moved office a couple of times over the years and in the end I was paying 105 baht for the renewal.

I let my license expire seven or eight years ago after I sold my last car. I had moved to a very central Bangkok location where things were so convenient that a car was more of a nuisance than convenience. Now it has become necessary to have private transportation again. Village life is remote enough without being at the mercy of others for transportation.

It took 3 trips to the local license office and a flight back to Bangkok to get my Hawaii driver’s license but I ended up with a 5 year Thai license for the cost of 550 baht. As usual different officials gave us different information on each visit. We did keep track of who said what so used that to our advantage in the end and did not have to take the written or driving test. They did test for color blindness, depth perception, reflexes and peripheral vision. After being told we would be there all day it only took about an hour or so. Now I will have the “pleasure” of trying to teach my wife to drive. Won’t that be fun!

The truck we ordered earlier got sold to someone else while I was trying to get my license. Now they say another should be sent up from Bangkok by the end of the month. So if lucky we should get it on my birthday or maybe our anniversary at the latest. Besides needing to shop around for things for the house, it would be nice to do some sightseeing and go visit friends in Chiang Mai.

Anyway, it is all part of our starting a new life up here in our Northern Thai Village. In my estimation moving or starting over in a new location is a great way to take stock of ones life. It is too easy to get set in our ways and become lazy, inflexible and intolerant. By starting from scratch in a new place the world becomes new again. We usually take our old problems with us but there is that off chance that we can reinvent ourselves.

Return flight to Chiang Rai..

Returning to Chiang Rai from Bangkok started out typically uneventful. Even had a normal delay of flight. Thought things were looking up when I found that I had an exit seat with business class leg room, right over the wing. When we finally got started I looked out the window and couldn’t take my eyes off the view for the rest of the flight.

In the outlaying areas of Bangkok the fields were reflecting the setting sun, like sheets of glass. Everything was perfectly rectangular and symmetrical. Heading North things soon got more jagged and uneven like pieces of broken mirror reflecting daggers of light back into my eyes. As we hit the forests things got very dark but everything was still sliced and bordered by ribbons on water large and small.

It wasn’t until we were on decent to Chiang Rai Airport that thing really got exciting. On final approach the rain started to gain force and the plane began pitching about like I had never experienced before. Suddenly something else I had never experienced. The pilot aborted the landing as the engines strained to get us back up to safer air.

The next forty minutes or so we spent on an amazing arial dance between the various thunderheads. Breaking through clouds to find still air and blue sky above, surrounded by billowing giants. The upper reaches looked soft and ethereal, belying the force that had kept us from landing. At times I could see all the way to our valley and see that it was still lit by the setting sun. The worst air was centered on the airport it seemed.

On one circle of the Chiang Rai area we flew so close to a mountain range that you could nearly make out the leaves on the trees. The flight was at the same time perhaps the most beautiful and frightening thing I have ever experienced. As with all memories that are accompanied by strong emotion that flight will no doubt be seared into my brain much like skydiving with my wife in Hawaii.

Lucky for me my wife was waiting at the airport to pick me up. If she had been on that flight I doubt she would ever fly again. Needless to say we were very glad to see each-other. Believe me it had crossed my mind during that flight that it could be my last.

I’m not one to worry about things that I have absolutely no control over but for a moment I found myself taking stock of my life to date. Things return to normal ever so quickly but I find it inspirational to think back to the feelings I had on that flight to Chiang Rai.

Paradise Beach and Tri Trang Beach

Picture this...Patong Beach...crowds...tuk tuks...tailors...bars...McDonalds...jet skis...traffic... To put it mildly, not my favourite place in Phuket. And yet, just a few minutes away you can find a sort of paradise. Just head to the far south end of the beach, follow the road over the bridge and over the hill towards the Merlin Beach Resort, then go a bit further.

It looks like the road isn't really going anywhere, but keep the faith! On the right you will find the entrance to the Tri Trang Beach Resort, which may not sound all that interesting, but the beach is very nice, very uncrowded and yet within easy reach of a Big Mac and fries! The hotel looks decent - I think it would be a great place to stay (it's all about location) and there is the bizarrely named "Fine Thank" restaurant right by the beach.

View of Tri Trang beach from the road to Paradise Beach

Tri Trang Beach near the Tri Trang Beach resort

We didn't stop there for long on Saturday, just to take a couple of photos, though we have eaten in the restaurant before, and been to the beach many times in the past. A little further along the road is the other end of Tritrang beach, which also has a small restaurant, but it looks a bit worn and the beach not as nice. There has always been a steep dirt road that carries on over the hill. Finally this road has now been paved, and will lead you to "Paradise Beach". It's a narrow and twisty road. Sound your horn to warn any traffic that may be coming the other way and be aware that in places the road is just about wide enough for a car and nothing else.

I recall diving off Paradise beach several times a few years back. A "not bad" bit of reef considering the location. Plenty of fish, water not too murky. A line of buoys offshore marks the moorings. Longtails from Patong will bring people here for snorkeling. Being that this is the low season, Paradise beach was very quiet on Saturday. We sat and ate and drank and some people swam or snorkeled. No noise, a very peaceful place. I somehow forgot my snorkel gear, so I reckon we might go back next week!

Paradise Beach

It's not a big beach, but with blue waters, clean sand, nice boulders ("that's a nice boulder", said Donkey) and a view over the water. There's a small restaurant serving Thai or western food and not at rip off prices. They have snorkel gear and kayaks for rent. You can see part of Patong beach from there; well, more like Kalim really, but otherwise there is a remote feel to the beach and you can pretend that tourist central isn't just up the road. Yes, there are some beach chairs for rent at Paradise beach, but this is a lovely place to escape for a while.

Paradise Beach view

Kayak coming in to Paradise Beach

Note - this blog post was written back in 2007. Here's an updated post:

Paradise Beach near Patong
Suggested Hotels in the Patong Beach area

Puppy Love...

Dogs in Thailand are not like dogs back home. I was reading another Farang’s story about his dog problems. Namely his neighbor’s dogs trying to eat his dog while on a leash. He was incensed at how irresponsible his neighbor was at letting his dogs out unsupervised to terrorize other animals. Remember, we are talking about Farangs living in Thailand. 

It reminded me of how very different the Thai Village situation is. Until recently, nobody in our village had ever seen a dog on a leash. I’m using a leash to try and train and safeguard our yellow lab puppy and the locals think I am very strange. Being in a distinct minority of one, I feel it is up to me to try and train my dog to deal with the locals.

The village dogs seem half wild and have divided up the sois like LA street gangs. If a dog acts too scared they torment it mercilessly. If he acts too bold they call his bluff and put him in his place. They often limp away wounded but usually have no permanent damage. They bark at everything that moves and strangely seem to be afraid of people. It is very difficult, and takes a long time, to get close to them and win their trust. With some you never do.

At the same time they are extremely loyal to their neglectful owners. Westerners would be appalled at the way village dogs are fed and treated. The thing I realized though is that people treat their dogs like “dogs” and the dogs in turn treat their owners like Alpha pack leaders. Often dogs don’t last long in this environment. Many are lost in road accidents while others are killed if they develop bad habits and the owners are unable or unwilling to pay for the animals they have injured or killed. While many dogs form alliances, others manage very well on their own. A lot seems to do with personality and body language.

Our puppy came into a ready made family of three other dogs. We have two Thai dogs that were given to us as puppies and raised Thai style as we were not around enough. One other Thai dog belongs to an aunt but has adopted us as his family. Although he is treated as the Omega, and chewed on from time to time if he forgets his place, he refuses to go home. He had the hardest time adjusting to the arrival of the new puppy.

I have noticed that the puppy is picking up some bad habits from the adults but there is always a balance of good and bad. Without the adults to help with socialization and act as playmates and chew-toys for the puppy, we would be completely worn out. At first it was quite scary to see the Alpha male on top of the puppy. Now we find it kind of cute. The male growls and snarls and the puppy wags his tail, grovels and inserts his head into the males mouth and licks his tonsils. In-spite of the squeals and shrieks the adults never actually hurt the puppy and are usually very patient with him.

Since he will end up much bigger than the adults we are trying to train him, with pretty good results so far. We also plan to have him neutered at 6 months to help control some of his urges and potential bad behavior. No one around here has done that before so don’t know how it will go down with them. If, however, things go as we hope, we may be setting a precedent that could help the dog population in the future. In the end though our little puppy will grow up and have to find a way to deal with the local dogs. There is only so much we can do to prepare him for that time. The rest is up to him. After-all he is a dog, not a little person, no matter how much we love him.

A quick Bangkok break...

Surprise, I’m in Bangkok for a few days. These days the journey is pretty easy and much cheaper than before, with the advent of low-cost air carriers. Until the house is finished we are still connected to Bangkok in many ways. Thus, here I am taking care of business all by my lonesome. It has become rather clear over the last few months that we are not just building a house in the North of Thailand we are actually living there, already.

With the roofers doing their thing and the electrician doing his thing and the walls and windows going in, my wife couldn’t get away. They have a million questions and even-though the blueprints are good you can’t help but come up with little modifications, here and there. It is one thing to see it on paper and something else to watch it unfold before your eyes. This is coming from a guy who never even thought of having a house, until a few years ago. But then again I never thought I would end up married either.

It’s funny how life happens. You think you have it all figured out and then it gets all turned around. That is when all the best stuff happens though. Being willing and able to embrace those scary opportunities that present themselves is the secret to a life that is rich, rewarding and out of the ordinary. Everybody dreams but how many of us dare to live our dreams. It is not safe and things can go horribly wrong, from time to time, but it does make for one hell of a ride.

It has been brought to my attention that some readers would like to see pictures of the house and perhaps have more of a DIY guide to building a house or life in Thailand. I understand where your coming from. However, there are forums (like at ThaiVisa.com) that deal with those kinds of questions better than I could. I am reluctant to insert myself into someone else's dreams of life in a foreign land. Each life is different, with different players, on a different stage, in a different time. It just isn’t possible to recreate a life that has evolved over a span of three decades. 

Everybody has their own unique experience in Thailand. Thailand is not for everyone but if it is for you then you will need to find your own way. It is much more rewarding that way and there is less chance of falling victim to Thais or Farangs that might not have your best interests at heart. Don’t rely too much on others. I like to think that it is the adventurers that end up living overseas but the truth is there are a lot of shady types that are running away from something too. I have met some of the best and worst people while living here, both local and foreign. Just use common sense.

Back with a whole new story about...

I have been away for a while if you haven’t noticed. Not really away, just trying something new. The house is moving along so there really isn’t much to report. Weather has caused a few delays (while making things cooler and eliminating the need to water the grass) but the roof is starting to take shape and people are beginning to see what it will look like.

Now the question is not “what will it look like?’ but “why does it look like that?”. I’m enjoying this way too much. People here are very simple, conservative, traditional and not prone to trying anything new. I know I should be more sympathetic but, well, it is just down right fun to watch all the angst over our little project. You never know how things will turn out when you start something like this but the wife and I are very happy with what is unfolding. All in all, the lack of drama makes for a boring story though.

Back to where I have been lately. I have posted this blog in a few different places to get a little more exposure and to see if I could elicit a few more comments. Sadly people don’t comment much on blogs, at least not mine, and without feedback one doesn’t know what is of interest and what is not. One of my posting sites has various forums so I decided to see what that was all about.

After creating an identity I threw out a few postings to see what would happen. I tried positive and not so positive threads and found, as expected, that you rack-up bigger numbers with the negative controversial stuff. It didn’t take long to see the appeal. It is almost like I imagine a chat-room to be, having never been to one. You throw out some bait and wait to see if anyone bites. Then you pump it a bit to keep it going. 

The feedback and gratification is much more instantaneous than a blog. It is also much more superficial and less personal. It was easy to bring out the worst in people but surprisingly there was a lot of good out there too. You just have to figure out how to get to it. There are also the people genuinely seeking information and help with a problem. You could say that I am an old dog that keeps trying to learn new tricks. 

Well, I went from a “newbie” to “member” to an “advanced member” in a little more than a week. Who knows maybe I will drop back in sometime when I get bored but for now I think I’ll go back to writing my blog. Maybe nobody will read it or comment but I think I get more out of writing it than I do playing in the forums.

The best part for me was getting people to open up and write something more personal than the typical wisecrack or one liner. Since the personal stories are of more interest to me I think I’ll try and lead by example and continue to share glimpses of my life in a journal form. A blog or journal also seems to better fit the laid back pace of life in a small Northern Thai Village.

Phuket Aquarium - Great for the kids

May 2007... You know, I've lost count of how many times we have been to Phuket Aquarium with the kids. We first went years ago before our daughter was a year old, and we've been back again and again. It's cheap to get in, I love looking at fish, we like the Cape Panwa area, it's airconditioned, so is good for hot days OR rainy days and it never seems too crowded.

The aquarium was already on this blog back in 2006 but now they have a new section - an outdoor "nature trail" with a path along the shore for a couple of hundred metres, a turtle breeding centre and a "marine endangered species unit" which we still need to check out (Saturday was too hot and my son was in need of rest).

Indoors are countless species, mostly in small display tanks, though there is the "tunnel" - not a huge tunnel, but you do have water all around and fish overhead. The big tank has a couple of larger species like leopard shark, eagle ray and some pelagics like trevallies dashing around. You can spend an hour indoors, though if you have kids they will charge around rather like the trevallies from tank to tank - "ooh! look at this one", "wow, look at that", and as dad the diver (me) tries to explain the hunting habits of the lionfish, they find Nemo or an electric eel or a "what's that daddy?"...

The lionfish hunts by herding it's prey using it's feather like fins...

Cowfish - not bad for an aquarium photo, eh?

At the exit is a souvenir shop that should please all tourists. Nothing in there that really takes my fancy. But it is airconditioned, so worth browsing a few minutes on a hot day! A small shop sells drinks and snacks, but there is no restaurant. Next to the shop, steps lead down to the nature trail and you walk past the water filters and pumps for the tanks along the rather nice shoreline.

Beach at Phuket Aquarium

The shoreline near the aquarium

Along the shore are some interesting signs explaining about plants and birds and giving environmental advice...


A little way along is a little marine research boat which is now beached. The kids enjoyed "taking the wheel", and we sat there in the shade for a few minutes looking at the view and pretending to be sailors. Just after the boat are some open water pools where we found baby turtles. The marine biological center has a turtle breeding program. The baby turtles were obviously used to seeing people and rushed across to see us - sorry, we don't have any food...

Baby turtles at Phuket marine biological centre

And a little farther you find a pool containing adult turtles of several different species - the photo below shows 2 hawksbill turtles. At the shallow end is an artificial beach no more than about 15 meters square - we could see the marks on the sand made by turtle flippers.

Hawksbill turtles

The path does not end at the turtles. You can also see the endangered species unit, but we'll have to see that next time, as it was a hot day and we dashed back to the shop for drinks. We'll be back again sometime soon!

Updated - for more information and photos, look at this newer, updated post:

Phuket Aquarium updated 2012

Also around Cape Panwa:

Khao Kad Viewpoint
Cape Panwa Hotel
Panwa Beach Resort
The Beach Bar

Phuket Aquarium - Location Map

View Phuket Aquarium in a larger map

Whole lot a shakin goin on...

Just as we sat intertwined on the sofa, deep in our thoughts and conversation, that unmistakable and unforgettable queasiness came over us as we looked at each-other and knew instantly that it was happening again in less than a year. The last time we felt this giddy lightheadedness was last year in Hawaii and we were kind of high at the time. It was much stronger then and because it was out first time, we weren’t instantly sure what was happening or what to do. It didn’t take long to get the idea, though. Don’t get me wrong we had read about it and seen it on National Geographic but had never really, been there, done that.

Maybe I had better start again. As my wife and I sat on the sofa the earth began to move...again. Only this time we were 60 km outside of Chiang Rai, not in Hawaii. It might not have been as strong as Hawaii but that could be due to our ground level location here and being on the 11th floor in Hawaii. The feeling was similar, however. You get instant motion-sickness. Where you're sitting turns into a waterbed, as you slosh around on what you thought was solid ground. Anything freestanding or hanging or balanced on a surface starts to sway or swing or fall.

My wife went straight for the TV to make sure it stayed where it belonged. It seemed to last a very long time and there seemed to be three or four attempts to start up again. In Hawaii we spent the rest of the day with no power, water or telephone. All we could do was sit in the dark and look out at all the other people on their balconies in Waikiki trying figure out what was going on and what to do. This time something happened to the local water supply and the whole village was without water until nearly noon today.

We have a Western style bathroom, so no extra water for a Thai style bath. There was one of those large earthen jars out back, however, so later last night we got naughty and went out in the yard, striped down, and gave each-other a bath. I “felt” like a teenager again, skinny dipping in our backyard pool. And I swear that my svelte little wife “looked” like a teenager standing there naked in the dark.

The water was cold as ice but this time of year that was quite refreshing. Actually, right after the earthquake we headed for the house site to check on the workers and make sure everything was OK. They had been pouring the crossbeams and quickly climbed down when the iron rods, still sticking out of the pillars, started to sway back and forth.

Under normal circumstances, other recent events could have rated separate entries of their own. Like the snake that decided to slither through the kitchen while my wife was doing the dishes. We don’t know enough about snakes to take a chance so we did the unthinkable. I wouldn’t think of hurting the one that likes to swim in our pond and poach the occasional minnow. But trying to takeover my wife’s kitchen was a big mistake.

There was the rocket launching that went on about five kilometers down the road. I’m sure they were too drunk to feel the earthquake. From the safety of the rice fields I saw what must have been the winner of the day. It left a tremendously long and brilliantly white trail across the deep blue sky and in the end disappeared into the top of a massive thunderhead miles away. I would never go to the actual event but it was an interesting distraction, from what I was doing at the time, from a safe distance and without all the noise.

There was the experience of taking the puppy for his first visit to the vet. There was the planting of the grass on the slopes and the subsequent daily watering until it started raining everyday and relieved me of that duty. Happily the grass seemed to take root before the first big rain and didn’t get washed away. So far so good, as it seems to be doing its job.

The pond filled to the brim overnight and the fish started jumping onto the grass. The wife’s mother wasn’t really happy with the thought that somebody else might steal some fish, so easily, so got to work and put this ugly little blue net around the pond. We will have to do something about that next year but right now there are more important tasks at hand.

All in all, it has been an eventful few days since my last entry and I don’t seem to be missing Bangkok at all.

Rawai Beach

Update 2013 - There is a new page on the blog about Rawai Beach. The post here was from 2007.

Rawai beach is found on the south side of Phuket, between Chalong Bay and Phromthep Cape. It's not a swimming beach really, and there are only a few accommodation options close by (such as the Evason Resort, just to the east of Rawai). What you can find there in profusion are small beachside restaurants with foot-high tables on the beach, mostly no more than shacks selling grilled fish, crab, chicken. You sit on a mat on the floor and eat simple food by the sea. There used to be just a few of these places a few years back, now half the beach is covered in them. When we stopped on Sunday it was very busy too..mostly local people. In fact I don't think I saw a foreign face. There are some other restaurants around which have discovered chairs and tables and the foreigners do tend to eat at these. But for a local taste - sit on the floor! Also you find a fair number of small bars and good dining by the beach such as the long-popular Nikitas Bar, a British owned bar/restaurant which has been there since before time began!

Hotels in the Rawai beach area

Eating on the beach at Rawai

Rawai Beach

Aside from the restaurants you can find multitudes of boats at Rawai - you can rent boats here to Koh Lone, Koh Bon, Koh He (Coral Island), Racha Yai and more. We do intend to check out Koh Bon one day, and I think the boats here will take people round to Koh Kaew too - a small island off Phromthep Cape with a golden Buddha on the beach. (update 2013 - yes, we did this trip a few years ago : Boat from Rawai beach to Koh Kaew Yai / Buddha Island)

Longtail boats at Rawai Beach

At the far east end of the beach you find a little fishing community with a daily market selling fresh fish and prawns. There are also some "touristy" stalls selling shells and other such souvenirs of the sea. The market is small but gives an idea of the old way of life. Phuket still has many fishing communities around the coast despite the tourism that has taken over many of the western beaches. We bought some fish and I took a few photos. (update 2013 - there are now a bunch of restaurants there by the fish market, so you can buy fresh fish and then take it to a restaurant where they will cook it for you).

Rawai Beach Seafood Market

Rawai Beach Seafood Market

Rawai Beach Seafood Market

Rawai Beach Seafood Market

The Southwest corner of Phuket is great for small beaches, views, seafood and a bit of peace and quiet. You can visit Rawai, eat at Kan Eang 2 Seafood in Chalong, get the view at Phromthep Cape, stop at Ya Nui beach, get the sunset at the Kata Viewpoint. If you get the idea - it's a nice area of Phuket!

Boat Lagoon - Another side of Phuket

Quite aside from the "tourists", be they backpacking, flashpacking, on package tours, on a dive trip, here for the nightlife - whatever.. there is another side to Phuket that many don't know about. Phuket is home to several yacht marinas, there is a thriving boat building industry, there's the Kings Cup sailing event every year.. in short, there's lots of yachties around!

You'll find yachts in the high season moored in every bay from Bang Tao to Chalong, but these are open bays and offer little in the way of boat services or security. Boat Lagoon is found on the east coast, about 10km north of Phuket Town and is way more than just a marina or boat park. When you enter it's like a different world. You could be in a marina in France. Where has Thailand gone? Everything is neat and tidy, and if you like boats you're in dreamland. I love to look at them and dream of being a rich man! OK, not all boats are super expensive, but in Boat Lagoon you'll see some beautiful craft. Well worth stopping here for a quick look.

Boat Lagoon Phuket

We stop in sometimes to walk around, look at boats, maybe have a coffee and cake at "The Bakery" - they also do great sandwiches and salads. There is also a restaurant here called The Watermark which is a bit too posh for us. We also use the pool at the Boat Lagoon Resort sometimes. Very nice place to stay if you like boats and are not bothered about being close to a beach.

The Bakery at Boat Lagoon

Appartments and shops at Boat Lagoon

Boat Lagoon also has houses and apartments, a supermarket and plenty of shops for yachties (selling a multitude of gadgets and essential bits for your boat). There are also yacht rental and sales centers. The boats are everywhere, in and out of the water. Boats are serviced here and they have some huge boat cranes for lifting boats out of the water. Like I say, if you like boats, this has to be on your list of places to see in Phuket.

Yachts at Boat Lagoon

Lady Anna a long way from home

Phuket Boat Lagoon - Location Map

View Boat Lagoon Phuket in a larger map

Boat Lagoon and Yachting Links

Boat Lagoon Resort
Boat Lagoon Website
Phuket Kings Cup
Phuket Race Week
Phuket International Boat Show


We have run into a bit of weather. It rained all night last night and most of yesterday and it has been threatening all day today. It means it is too wet to work right now. It might workout to the benefit of the landscaper who is coming out to plant turf on the slope by the pond. To keep erosion to a minimum this year we have decided to landscape all the sloping areas. If it doesn’t rain anymore today the ground will be just perfect for planting.

Yesterday, while inspecting the site work, the contractor showed up with his whole family so we spent a fare amount of time visiting and getting closer with the family, as well as discussing various aspects of the work. After they left my wife and I decided it had been a long time since we had made the 45 minute (one-way) walk to the dam. It was heavily overcast and we knew it would rain but we went ahead anyway.

She carried a big umbrella while I made do with my wide-brimmed hat and off we went as it began to sprinkle. Before we got to the dam it was poring down rain but it was beautifully quiet and peaceful and the clouds hung low to the mountains which was more reminiscent of our hikes in Hawaii. Believe me it was very romantic and we lost all sense of time on our little walk.

Recently we have been riding our bikes more because you can cover more ground and see more varied landscape. But there is nothing quite like going on long walks with my wife.  Whether on day-hikes in the many National Parks we have visited in the United States, on evening strolls around Diamond Head with a Waikiki sunset to top it off, or walking the fields and trails around the village, it is all good.

It is real quality time when we can talk about things undistracted by the normal goings on of life. We feel closer and more connected to each-other on our walks. It’s just us and nature. Yeah, I know, it sounds kind of sappy. But, what can I say? After 10 years, I’m still in love with my wife. I know there is probably a scientific explanation dealing with the right mix of exercise, endorphins, hormones and pheromones but I chose, in this case, to be the romantic and just call it “Love”.

I’m sure that is not what the locals called it, however, when they passed us walking in the rain. They had been caught out in the forest and fields and were rushing back on their bicycles, motorcycles and makeshift tractors. They were heading for shelter like any sane person would be doing. Being the friendly sorts that they are, they offered us rides even when they didn’t have room. I couldn’t be certain how much of their expression was surprise and how much was relief, that we preferred to get wet and walk the rest of the way home. I’m sure they will just chalk it up as another of my Farang eccentricities.

I almost forgot. We were chaperoned by our dogs, who if anything, had more fun than we did. Of course by the time we got home they were unrecognizable, being covered in mud and ash and who knows what, from their adventures off trail. For me it was just, one more perfect day...