- It is more expensive than Chiang Mai, but a bargain compared to Singapore;
- It is full of tourists;
- It is a huge island;
- The tsunami damage is still evident, especially in the Patong Beach area;
- In another 10 years, it will have out-grown itself;
- It is a great place to visit, and I wouldn't mind living there.
I spoke with some of the locals there and asked them about the tsunami. Several had seen the wave; several had been "caught" in the wave. The waitress at our hotel restaurant said that it completely destroyed the hotel where she was working that day. She said she was at work when it hit, but you could tell she didn't want to talk about it, so I let it drop. There was a T-shirt for sale in the street market that listed the different tragedies like SARS, Bird Flu, Tsunami, etc, since 1999. The last line begged the question, "What's next?"
It was a strange experience "enjoying" a place that has had such devastation. Everyone there, however, kept saying "thank you" for coming and helping to support their economy. Still, as we played in the ocean, we couldn't help but to think of the untold numbers who lost their lives on that dreadful day. I hope they never have to experience that again.