Most will support the need for unions, that is until they are on a cruise holiday and the taxi unions do not allow shuttle buses to operate. My introduction to this paradise starts only to dampen your excitement a little. I have the most wonderful memories of Phuket and the glories of Thailand and would go back there in a heart beat.
Cruises will know that ships often end up in container docks that are not so pretty. This is why, when the weather permits and not in the monsoon season, your ship may tender straight onto Patong Beach – Result!!!!
If the ship docks at the single berth Phuket Deep Sea Port which is close to Vanish Bay Front Ville, you are about 20 miles / half an hour from town. The cruise terminal is sparse and not always open, the souvenir market is predictable and if you are off the ship late the taxi stand can be empty. If that is the case walk outside the terminal and catch a taxi. There is little to see near the dock so this is one place a beach on your own type tour or historic excursion might be wise. These are great beaches.
Sun hat, water, and bug spray. We first stayed there about 35 years ago when our daughter who many of you know, Laura Aikman, was mullered by bites when we were in a local hotel over night. I was there for three months shooting the main body to a set of Camel commercials. The main unit director shot the pack shot which was the model in the last ten seconds of the commercial and the materials fused in the edit. Jean flew the children there via India for the middle few weeks and we stayed in Phuket on my weekend off. It is a fun exciting place that really swings in all colours of life when the night draws in.
One of my favourite things to do in Thailand is the restaurants where you walk through the grocery store with a basket buying what ever looks good, pay, then get assigned a chef. He will look at what you have bought, suggest an outcome then cook for you. If you bargain with a taxi for a tour you might include that. Street food is also delicious.
The beach is great, so on you day there I would not suggest trying to get to Phi Phi where they shot The Beach with the young Leonardo Di Caprio.
Thai culture and traditions are worth experiencing, and the historic temples contrast the wild beach life. See Big Buddha or the Wat Chalong, one of the biggest temples in all of Thailand. Take in the gilded sculptures and colourfully painted interiors, but do climb up to the third story for the view. Where ever you go, you will find a friendly smile. The Portuguese swept in and made a settlement which can still be seen in the Old Town’s colourful shopshouses which are so not Asia.
Sirinat National Park offers snorkelling in crystal-clear waters with vibrant coral reefs.
Enjoy a local cafe, enjoying the local art play on the beach or become far too cozy in a local bar where you may still find an old Vietnam vet who never went home. Keep together and don’t be distracted and lose the children, especially if you visit the amazing Phuket FantaSea. It is a 60-acre theme park that adds a nighttime entertainment extravaganza if you have an overnight there. It features elephant performances, dancers, elaborate costumes, and trapeze artists.
I dig into these memories and add research when writing the cruise novels. I am currently arriving, in my head, in Phuket on a cruise which may be based on a similar one that you might take. There has already been an unexpected loss of life and the investigators have purpose during a mission to try and rescue money still trapped on a ship from book one in the series Cruise Ship Heist. In this novel, book seven in the series, Cruise Ship Murder Reunion, the CSCI team have already met up with a school reunion and their plans to take the money off the ship in Mumbai are already under threat. All the novels can be read as stand alone books, and some love to start a series a way through because the writing inevitable gets better. However, after six books, I revisited the novels and produced second drafts so they are all feel like they have the experience of half a dozen books, because they do. This is the planned route.
Singapore School Reunion meets at Raffle day 1
- MIAMI Agents morn loss in Miami day 1
- Singapore School Reunion meets at Raffle day 1
- At sea agents arrive hotel Penang day 2
- Penang Agents join ship Malaysia day 3
- Phuket Thailand day 4
- At sea day 5
- At sea day 6
- Hambantota Sri Lanka day 7
- Columbo Sri Lanka day 8
- Cochin India day 9
- Cochin India day 10
- At sea day 11
- Mumbai India day 12