Phuket-2005

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CoverPhotoLagoon
Cover Photo Lagoon

This was Gill's attempt to take the same shot that was on our cruising guide.  It was not a charted destination, but we were determined to find it and we did. Koh Kuda Yai
Freddy'sKlongMuang
Freddy's Klong Muang Near Leam Hang Nak

This was our first meal off the boat.  We had an intl. buffet of sorts at this restaurant owned by a German and his Thai wife.  We were told this was a common arrangement for foreigners to acquire land in Thailand.
TaggRestaurantGirlAuNang
Tagg Restaurant Girl Au Nang

The following day we dinghyed right up the esutary to a dock and tied up.  We were sooooo anxious for a curry we went to the first restaurant.  Limited english...curry too hot for Gill and Mel.  (and they always make the curries mild for the tourists!). 
FreeRideToAuNang
FreeRide To AuNang

The first thing we did was something we were told not to do. ..we accepted a free ride into town.  It was the restaurant owner and she would not take payment.  We gave her a Canadian bandanna.
MelBraidingAuNang
Mel Braiding Au Nang

Meli got her hair braided by 4 girls in the town for about 15 dollars.  The town was filled with knockoff stores, dive shops (met 2 Canadians doing business there, one from Toronto and the other from Carleton Place!!!), tour organizers (most offering just what we already had, like a BOAT!) and massage parlors.  Legit ones.   We got Birkenstocks and a Rolex.  Ha Ha.
MelAuNang
Mel Au Nang
IanFootMassageAuNang
Ian Foot Massage Au Nang

Ian was pretty hot so it was not hard to convince him to go the the salon with the A/C
TaggHairCutAuNang
Tagg Hair Cut Au Nang

"Tagg-don't-touch-Me-Jefferson" went for a haircut instead!
GillPhiPhi
Gill Phi Phi

PhiPhi was really hit on both sides by the Tsunami.  We were there for the anniversary.  This  is a backpacker's pardise.  Hippie central.  That night they sent off big paper lanterns for the victims and we say the phosphorescent algae for the first time.  Very cool.
MelFirstPedicure
Mel First Pedicure
GillfirstPedicure
Gill first Pedicure
IanTaggPumpingDinghy
Ian Tagg Pumping Dinghy

Our dinghy had a slow leak, so we had to do some pumping.  We also found ourselves doing long hauls over soft ground when we didn't time the tides right!  Even worse with garbage and jerry cans!
RockPicForCharlie
Rock Pic For Charlie

Ian took this for charlie.  Notice the predominant 'Bass' shoe embedded in the 1,000-year old formation.
TaggGillMelGuyEelphandPhuket
Tagg Gill Mel Guy Eelphant Phuket

Kids and Gill did the elephant ride thing.  Very big and wrinkly.  They are brothers and 30 and 40 years old.  They are likely part of the last generation of elephants to be bred for work.  The only work left for them is tourists!  They will live to 100 apparantly!  Our guides didn't speak English.
TaggElephantPhuket
Tagg Elephant Phuket
taggWetElephantPhuket
tagg Wet Elephant Phuket
GillMelGuyWetElephant
Gill Mel Guy Wet Elephant
ElephantsWaterPlay
Elephants Water Play
MelGuyNamgninTaggChamnianDorainan
MelGuyNamgninTaggChamnianDorainan
IanMelScooter
Ian Mel Scooter

Kids and Gill got back from their elephant ride and  side trip to Gem Intl. (largest jewellry store in world) where they all purchased a black pearl to find Ian whizzing by on a bike!  He ferried us up a hill one by one for our final evening's dinner.
LastNiteJamesRestaurant
Last Nite James Restaurant
SunsetFromJamesRestaurant
Sunset From James Restaurant

Near the aquarium on Phuket Island. 
MelTaggShantiLodgeBangkok
Mel Tagg Shanti Lodge Bangkok

Our Bangkok digs came recommened by Tagg's science teacher.  Just off the beaten track it is a hippie hangout with lots of dedicated workers that live on-site.  Very family oriented.  We had a big room with a bunk for the kids and our own toilet and shower (all in one...like on the boat!).  It was about 20 bucks a nite but we had to buy our own toliet paper.  Thais don't flush anything and us a small sprayer beside the toilet.  Some places did provide newprint for use, however!
TaggJamesTailorBangkok
Tagg James Tailor Bangkok

We got picked up at the Shanti to get measured for shirts and pants.  We took samples and they did the copies.  Treated like royalty and the copies were great when they were delivered to the hotel, 'cept Gill's pants no longer fit!  Too many carbs.

GillMarketBangkok
GillMarket Bangkok
GillTukTuk
Gill TukTuk

These 3-wheelers are the mode of transport other than taxis.  You have to usually tell the taxi driver to USE the meter or negotiate.  The tuktuk drivers are relentless in trying to get your business.  The bargaining always started at 100 Bt and we never paid more than 40!  (1 us$ =40 Bt)
IanTaggMelPoliceBoxBangkok
Ian Tagg Mel Police Box Bangkok

These cute little police helmets were all over, but never really had anyone sitting in them.  We took this shot pretty quickly!
TaggMonkBowlVillage
Tagg Monk Bowl Village

Lonely Planet suggested this destination.  Most Thai men spend some time (2 mos - life) as a monk and the alms bowls are now mass produced.  This group of artisans (living in wren-like squalor) are making them for toursist as they were made long ago.  We bought a medium sized one.
GillMelBangkokPalace
Gill Mel Bangkok Palace

We found it easiest to divide and conquer.  Gill and  Meli set off and found the palace.  It was the New Year Holiday, so there were lots of people and special activities (not that we could understand the signage). 
MelTaggRiverFerryBangkok
Mel Tagg River FerryBangkok

Bangkok has a major river and several canals.  Taxis and ferry routes were convenient and much cooler.  The kids and Gill went to Wat Mahathat (Wat-temple) and took a meditation lesson.  It was pretty cool for the relaxation aspects but we found the buddhist ideology as it was presented, a little strict.