I was in the USA when the tsunami hit Asia in 2004. My wife Kade was in Bangkok. However, once met up again in the Spring of 2005, we planned a trip to Phuket. So we flew from Bangkok to Phuket in early June 2005.
- an e-mail I sent to friends
Hey guys! Hope you are fine and dandy. Just wanted to share some images from a recent trip I took to Phuket, Thailand. As you may recall, Phuket was one of the many places ravaged by last year's tsunami. Compared with Sri Lanka and Sumatra, actually Phuket received very little damage, especially in terms of loss of life. However, just an hour or two north of Phuket, in the Kao Lak area, the majority of Thailand's 10,000 victims (dead ones, that is) met their fate. As a result of the tsunami, tourism in Southern Thailand is at a low point, despite the efforts of the government and tourism sector to convince travelers that Phuket and its surroundings are back on their feet and better prepared to deal with catastrophic disasters. Well, my wife and I can attest that the island is indeed beautiful and that much has been done to restore the confidence that was lost last Dec. For example, a new tsunami warning system has been installed and evacuation drills have been rehearsed, just in case. Furthermore, on an even brighter side, in a recent Conde Traveler's Magazine, Phuket was ranked the second best island in the world - only Bali surpassed it. The food is delicious, accommodations are plentiful, the water is crystal clear and the people (most of them) are warm and friendly. Come visit Thailand!
More images of Phuket here.