What do you do when you are on Phuket Island? Why you go to the beach of course. The beaches here on Phuket Island are amazing. The water is so clear that you don’t need to use any Photoshop tricks to impress anyone back home. And at this time of year there are almost no waves so it’s like bathing in a big salty lake.
We caught a songtow (truck-like bus) from Phuket Town where we are staying over to Kata Beach where we started our daily walk. Kata beach is beautiful. You can swim around longtail boats that are anchored along the beach or sit on mats under umbrellas that Thai people sell to tourists. The white sand is hot but the water is delightfully cool. I had a short swim while Paul tried to explain to a sunglass seller that he did not want to buy a pair of fake Raybans. The seller’s response was that it was only Chinese fakes that are forbidden from being imported to Australia; Thai fakes are apparently okay. Still, Paul had the pleasure of saying “no” to the insistent man while I splashed in the water.
From Kata Beach it is a long walk over a headland to Karon Beach. The townships that sit behind the beaches here on Phuket are ugly, dirty, noisy and gaudy. Walking through them made us glad we are staying in Phuket Town instead of near one of the beaches. But the beaches themselves are stunning and it’s easy to see why the Thai people are capitalising on their beauty to bring in as many foreign tourists as possible. Most of the people we saw today seemed to be Russian and there were more signs along Karon Beach in Russian than in Thai or English. At Karon you can ride jet skis or parasail behind a boat. We settled for a swim while watching others take up these activities. The one thing I will give to the Phuket Island beaches is that they are large enough that it didn’t ever feel crowded. Yes, the streets behind the beaches are crowded and hot but the beaches themselves are stunning, large and restful.
Given that one of the things I most wanted to do in Thailand was go to a beautiful beach, I think today was definitely a success.