We were looking forward to a restful time in Phuket following on from our whirlwind tour of India. We certainly got that, although Patong Beach was probably our first experience of a very un-Thailand like resort. It is very much an international beach destination and you could really be anywhere in the world. There were certain features which reminded you that this was Thailand, but many of them were of the more dodgy variety. We did a tour of the island which mainly consisted of stopping of at various viewpoints and beaches but we did also visit the ‘Big Buddha’ which is still being constructed and we now have a dedicated wall tile to us somewhere within the structure. The highlight of our time in Phuket was the cruise to the Phi Phi islands. Everyone who had been there had raved about it and we were not disappointed. We visited a couple of beaches, saw the monkeys at monkey bay, and snorkelled amidst the tropical fish. Visiting Maya Bay where the film ‘The Beach’ was shot was a surreal experience. Much of the treeline is unrecognisable because they brought in their own one for filming and then replaced it with the original after, but the bay and the beach itself was unmistakable. Unfortunately because it was so close to the full moon the tides were low so the boat could only get so close and we had to paddle bare foot painfully across the shells and coral, I know you are all thinking what a shame!