Phuket...To go or not to go?

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June 4th 2005
Published: June 4th 2005
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Tsunami DamageTsunami DamageTsunami Damage

On May 30th 2005 we drove past these boats, in a small village, that were washed into the canal.
The answer is go! Where else can you stay on a tropical island, relax by a gorgeous pool AND help support a deserving economy, all at incredible bargain prices. The rebuilding is going strong and the people are as determined as ever to restore the splendor of Phuket. We have to admit we spent several days trying to decide if we should go to Phuket or not. After all we had seen the devastating news reports of the tsunami. The terrible pictures of loss of life, pain and destruction were still in our minds. We had such fond memories of visiting 10 years ago. Now we were torn as to whether we wanted the girls to see the damage. Whether we should listen to that small voice in your head that says don’t go where there may be danger of another tsunami. So, what made up our minds? Do we avoid driving on the freeways? Are we afraid to live in Hurricane prone Florida? Did we stop flying after 9/11? Of course not…Life is full of risks! Ultimately our lives are in God’s hands. However, we don’t plan to do anything foolish.

The biggest surprise in Phuket is how much of the area wasn’t damaged at all. Obviously we saw places where the destruction was heart breaking but the vast majority of Phuket is still as beautiful as ever. Unfortunately, subsequent to the loss of lives, one of the worst effects of the tsunami is the unfounded fear of tourists to return which is adversely effecting the economy.

We stayed 6 days in the JW Marriott. It’s a gorgeous resort 40 minutes north of Phuket Town. The Marriott was very fortunate to have very little damage during the tsunami. Only one of the pools, the beach and one restaurant had to be restored. Former presidents Bush and Clinton stayed at the JW Marriott when they came to assess the tsunami damage. We took a few excursions while there, seeing the amazing Fantisea Show and riding elephants. We took an afternoon horseback ride on the beach. Mostly we relaxed and enjoyed the pools and sunshine.

We are now back in Bangkok preparing for the busy days ahead. Tonight we leave Thailand heading for the Middle East, Israel to be exact. A total of 20 hours including a layover in London. We aren’t looking forward to the overnight flight! But
Sunset at our hotelSunset at our hotelSunset at our hotel

Amazing view at sundown.
if we keep our minds on the exciting places and experiences to come we should survive. Up to this point we have gone it on our own. Now we enter the world of escorted, organized travel. Travel in the Middle East WITH CHILDREN seemed to call for more planning and security than we could comfortably handle alone. With all this talk of what’s safe and sound, you can tell we take our kids safety very seriously. Some might even accused "J" of being an overprotective Mom! Okay… that may have been "a" and "j" who said that!

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


Rebuilding the Mc DonaldsRebuilding the Mc Donalds
Rebuilding the Mc Donalds

We took this picture at Patong Beach. Notice the tsunami sign in the foreground. While we were in Phuket the emergency warning system headquarters was opened.
Thailand Mini-VanThailand Mini-Van
Thailand Mini-Van

It's amazing how many people can ride on one motorcycle!
Thailand Beauty at "Fantisea Show"Thailand Beauty at "Fantisea Show"
Thailand Beauty at "Fantisea Show"

The show had traditional thai dancers and many elephants performing tricks.

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