Long time no posting but I seem to be back today! And had a look on the 'Where have you Been" thread to see ...well, where people have been! has anyone been to Phuket? I'm off there for ten days in August to stay with a friend; I know it's not proper 'season', which will be rainier than the usual time to go which is December/January; but presumably less touristy, too, which will be nice.
Re Burma again - things are far more unsettled than when we last discussed it here; there is an election in November and unrest meantime. It's such a lovely country, with such lovely people; I do so hope they manage to survive all these awful political shenanigans, not to mention tribal wars. I'm so glad I went when I did. It's not all doom and gloom but it is very volatile at the moment, I believe.
Phuket is beautiful!!! I've been several times. If possible, though, get off the island, which is quite crowded and touristy. Krabi, which is the other side of the bay from Phuket is LOVELY, as is Khao Lak, just north of Phuket (an easy drive). There are several pretty waterfalls to the right of the main road north (Rte 4). The nicest is Tam Nang (spelled variously… they do phonetic translations, and the spelling is anyone's guess a lot of the time!
) waterfall in Si Phangnga National park. It's a LITTLE bit of a hike from the parking area, but not far, and there is a BEAUTIFUL waterfall with a nice swimming hole at the bottom. I've included photos of the waterfall in various seasons and also the sign on the main road to help you find it.
The next photo is the main beach in Phuket. Although there are definitely stretches without boats, the beaches are often crowded. And the last photo, if you have a car, is the beach just heading over the causeway to the mainland. THIS is where the beautiful beaches start, IMO!
Krabi Bay is supposed to be a fabulous place for diving and snorkeling, though we've never had time to pry ourselves away from the fresh water plants to see the reefs.
As far as the weather goes, weather all over the world is changing. The "dry season" in southern Thailand isn't always so dry, and the "rainy season" isn't always so rainy. So we'll cross fingers for you for good weather. OTOH, going in the rainy season is the RIGHT time to see Thailand's spectacular waterfalls. And if you have the time, to get to Khao Sok NAtional PArk, it is gorgeous. The place I liked best to stay there was:
The Cliff & River Jungle Resort
251 KM. 97 Moo 7, Khao Sok National Park, Phanom, Surat thani, 84520, Thailand, 800-491-9631
Not expensive by our standards and SOOO pretty. It is right on the edge of a cliff over the river, with trees growing right up through the deck where you eat your meals (there is covered dining for wet weather, and the food is good) Each guest house is rustic but well appointed and pretty. The pool makes you feel like you are swimming on the mountain top. You can take raft trips on the river right from the steps below the resort. We were treated to gibbons in the trees right over our heads one morning.
I love Thailand SO much. I'd love to go back there, but our work has taken us on to India… which I don't like NEARLY as much in SO many ways… but there are nice plants there!