Pukhet inferno

9 Feb

Beach boy at sunset

Phuket… I suppose you can see it as a huge playground. There are bars and restaurants at every corner of the street and in between there’s a tourist shop or travel agency at every second step. And in certain areas of town, the lights grow dim, the clothes become scarce and the men older and fatter. Whatever it is, it certainly isn’t Thailand.

So what is it that draws dozens of millions of tourists to Phuket every year – both international but also local?

Many round-cheeked Russians around

It can’t be the ‘culture’ – as there’s hardly anything authentic there. It’s definitely not cheap, compared to the ‘real Thailand’ (prices are about double). There’s more Russian, Chinese, Arab and British spoken than Thai. And I must say that I was sadly impressed by that mix of tourists, and their holiday behaviour. A good exercise in confirming your stereotypes…

So it must be the weather (33 degrees C in February) and the Thai flexibility – with their ‘anything goes’ attitude – as long as you pay. And of course there is a beach – not as nice as Koh Phi Phi (pics here) – with a beautiful sunset and cheap alcohol (which probably has not such a good influence on the tourist behaviour). I suppose it is a bit like Gran Canaria or Ibiza in Europe, where the ruthless party people take over the place and not meet one single Spanish person.

But the tourist infrastructure is great and affordable – as you can see from the divine design hotel where we stayed.

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