Phuket - February 2008

To most people, the idea of sitting on a beach in the sun for a few days is the very definition of a perfect vacation. To us it is actually stressful because we can't just relax and unwind. A city vacation for us is exciting. We really enjoy exploring new places, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. It is unlikely that sitting on a beach would ever be our first choice for a vacation, but if we were going to bring Elliot across the globe, it was the least we could do for him. We selected Thailand because we knew that we liked the Thai people, food and culture.

When we first arrived at the Sheraton Grand Laguna we thought that we would not stay here for the full three days. The place was huge and although connected to other resorts, it was completely isolated from the rest of the island and Thai culture. We decided to make the best of it and just try to enjoy it.

Since we arrived in the evening, we really couldn't evaluate where we were. The next morning we enjoyed the hotel breakfast and on our way back to our room we were greeted by the hotel elephants, Lilly and Lucky. They are both baby Asian elephants who like to play, tease and tickle.They also like to give elephant kisses.
Elliot was the perfect size to ride Lilly around the gardens.

After that we headed to the beach for some normal relaxation. Although we did not think it would happen, we all stayed at the beach the entire first day and had a great time. Even though we were at the resort, we learned that the beach in either direction was lined with small family run Thai shops and restaurants.

On our second day we headed to the Siam Safari elephant camp for an elephant trek through the jungle. First we headed up the mountain in some vintage Land Rovers.
We rode in a pack through some mountain trails guided by our mahoot.

After our trek we got a basket of fruit to feed our elephant. She was very happy with the pineapple, sugar cane, watermelon and bananas.

This is clearly a staged photo but is not every day that you get to sit on a water buffalo.

We were running out of clean clothes by this part of the trip so we sent out most of or clothes to a local laundry. Even our underwear came back neatly ironed and folded.

Phuket is an island that ranges from small isolated beach towns to a full throttle party city called Patong Beach. We felt the need to check it out, even though several people said we wouldn't like it. They were right, Patong had a spring break atmosphere and was very crowded. Fortunately we were there when most of the people were still sober.
The local Muy Thai kickboxing promotes itself with this mobile kickboxing ring. I would hate to get knocked out of this ring.

Each day Lilly and Lucky would make their way down to the beach for some fun in the sand.

Elliot's new friend Philip from Copenhagen. Somehow he was able to teach Elliot about Pokemon even though he did not speak English, nor did Elliot understand Danish.

We always try to stay away from hotel restaurants and with the exception of breakfast, we had all of our meals from the independent beach restaurants. At this restaurant all of the seafood is alive until you order it. It really can't be any fresher than this.

The Thai lobster in spicy chili sauce was extremely spicy and delicious.

Our trip is almost over. Time to head for the airport for our return to Hong Kong and our final stop on our Asia adventure.

Corinne, Keith & Elliot

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