That was our sunrise this morning as we entered Phuket. Pretty spectacular, right? It’s a funny thing with cameras. I’ll usually get up early as we’re entering a port and get my camera ready. I keep forgetting about the difference in temperatures and humidity between our stateroom and the outside. Even though I’m ready for a shot, my camera needs to adapt at least 10 minutes to the humidity and temperature – it starts out totally cloudy. Sometimes I miss the shot but this morning was good.
Our excursion situation at Phuket was a comedy of errors. It all worked out but it was a painful process. You see, we originally had excursion tickets to see Phang Nga Bay – the literature said that the bus ride would be 1 hour 45 minutes each way and the total excursion would be 8.5 hours. After some consideration, we decided that 8.5 hours was too long. We traded our excursion tickets in and got Phuket Landmarks instead – that sounded rather boring but it was much shorter. I decided yesterday that maybe we had made a mistake and tried to retrieve our original tickets….. no such luck. It was fully booked. We got on the waiting list but it wasn’t looking good. Fortunately, we got our original tickets at the last moment and joined the group to Phang Nga Bay. We were on our way.
Toto was our tour guide and he was excellent. The island of Phuket is a fairly large island and we had to drive from the southern tip to the northern tip – just about 1 hour 45 minutes. We stopped one time along the way for a bathroom break – Toto said the Thais call it a Happy Room break. When we got to the pier we boarded our boat to view the spectacle of Phang Nga Bay – I can now pronounce the name.
Phang Nga Bay is spectacular and a natural beauty. It is one of the most visited sites in Thailand. The bay, all saltwater, is surrounded by some incredible limestone formations and vegetation. It consists of several small islands and some huge rock formations. Here are a few samples of the scenery.
And there are also natural caves and structural indentations in the limestone that make this bay so fascinating. You’ll see that there were several boats with visitors seeking out the scenery.
We also got to see the James Bond Island. This island is famous because it starred in the 1974 movie, “The Man with the Golden Gun”. It’s the most visited piece of Phang Nga Bay.
A few more rock formations that were extremely interesting.
We then visited a small village on the island of Koh Panyee. It is a small village of exclusively Muslim inhabitants. We toured the village and saw some of the natural lifestyles of the village. Many of the structures on the island are built on stilts.
I’ll end tonight’s post with the final photo I took as we entered the pier for disembarking the boat. It was a long day but so worthwhile to see this incredible bay. Although it was still extremely hot and humid, our time on the boat was pleasant because of the breezes and closeness to the water.
Good night from Phuket. We’re on our way to Sri Lanka and gain yet another hour. We’ll be on the sea for two entire days and everyone is looking forward to the rest and enjoyment of the ship. I’ll try to post some more information about the ship and our time onboard.