Phuket is a fairly large island off the coast of southern Thailand, and is one of the hottest resort locations in the country. Pristine white beaches have driven the tourism industry into overdrive; nightclubs, overpriced food, and sprawling resorts make up much of the land here. We stayed for two nights, which was more than enough time to get a feel for the area.
After staying one night in the quiet Phuket town, we traveled the next day to Patong Beach. Unbeknownst to us, this area is teeming with clubs and fosters a thriving sex industry.
This series of restaurants, I believe 8 in total, all look the same and are placed right next to eachother under large tarps. There is almost nothing to differentiate them other than the color of the tablecloth and the number of the restaurant.
The view from a viewpoint looking back toward the west coast of Phuket. Each of the inlets you see here is a beach.
Incense sticks burn on the day of the Queen's birthday, August 12, with the spire of one of Wat Chalong's buildings in the background.
Wat Chalong was teeming with visitors for the holiday, many of whom prayed and stuck a gold leaf as a sign of respect to this statue of a Buddha.
Some of the impressive gold work at Wat Chalong.
This enormous Buddha (45 m tall!) sits atop one of the hills of Phuket. They were still collecting donations to expand the site and build an elaborate temple nearby.
On my way back down the winding roads from the Big Buddha (I rented a scooter), I stopped at a place that advertised the best pad thai on the island. I'm not sure about that claim, but here you can see a typical pad thai. Chilis, sweet chili sauce, sugar, and crushed peanuts are provided.
A parasailer glides by at sunset. Note the man hanging in the strings behind to steer.
The beach road next to Patong Beach. Lots of tourists riding scooters and, as you can see, western eateries.
Patong beach at sunset.