THAILAND

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Beached long tailed canoes.

Thanks to an accumulation of frequent flyer points I was able to visit Thailand in April 1999.  I'd never been to Asia, except for a couple of hours at airports whilst travelling to other destinations, and I found Thailand a magical and fascinating experience.

We stayed for five days on Phi Phi Island then  and spent a further five days at Cape Panwa on  the Krabi Coast and finally three days in Bangkok.

The Thai people are very gentle and kind, the food was excellent.  Both my companion and I love Thai cuisine and we were able to indulge ourselves totally.  We always had to tell our waiter or waitress NOT to reduce the amount of chilli, because most restaurants now cater for the many Europeans who visit Thailand and are not used to "hot" cooking.   

Phi Phi Island is quite simply, one of the most beautiful places on earth but both of us were sorry we hadn't discovered it ten years ago, because today it's overrun with tourists, just like ourselves.  The beachfront is now a row of hotels and we were both struck by the huge number of cats.    As far as the environment is concerned, if care isn't taken now, the beautiful coral reefs which surround this island group, will deteriorate rapidly because there doesn't seem to be an awareness amongst many tourists, of how fragile coral is. 

The following pages contain some photographs which really do not do this lovely country justice.  Click on the photographs to see the enlargements.

Early morning on the beach at Phi Phi The beach on Phi Phi Island in the early morning.  The longtail boats and the brilliant tropical jungle behind the beach were quite a contrast to the hustle and bustle of the markets which were not more than 5 minutes walk from here.
Phi Phi Island harbour.  The wonderful soaring cliffs and the tiny but spectacular islands in this area of Thailand were a source of never ending amazement to me.  

Phi Phi Island Harbour

 

The "main street" on Phi Phi Island

One of the things I loved about Phi Phi was the fact that there were no motor vehicles.   Deliveries to shops and hotels are made by bicycle or push carts, in the case of hotels on the beach, we watched goods being unloaded from  small cargo vessels.   It's very common to be walking along the street and hear someone calling out "beep beep".  This is a signal to move over and give way to bicycle riders who are towing trailers loaded with fresh produce brought in from the mainland daily or goods to be sold in the many market stalls.