I'm going to try to keep a journal of my travels. I'm not sure I'll have enough online time to do it though, so please bear with me.
The first part of my journey takes me to Phuket, Thailand. I haven't been here for 22 years, when I took a 2 1/2 year journey around the world. Much has changed here in the intervening years. Thailand has industrialized, urbanized & developed to an amazing degree. Much of this development is haphazard, which has created a whole set of problems, particularly pollution and degradation of their beautiful country's environment.
On top of that they are now recovering from the devastating Dec 26th, 2005 Tsunami which hit Phuket & surrounding areas & islands very hard.
Tsunami devastation on Phi Phi Don Island, Thailand
There used to be a market, restaurants and bars where now there is only sand.
Despite the enormous toll in human life and property lost, the resilient Thai people are rebuilding and those areas untouched (the majority) by the Tsunami are open for business but suffering because tourism is down. Many Thai people working in the hotel & restaurants are having to take huge pay cuts to keep their jobs.
Many places were untouched by the Tsunami, including the famous Maya Bay on Phi Phi Island, where "The Beach" with Leonardo DeCaprio was filmed. This is perhaps the most beautiful beach I've ever been on (and that's saying a whole lot!)
More Thailand Images here:
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