Christmas of 2004 will always be remembered as a very difficult Christmas. On December 26th we woke up started another day of vacation only to have it interrupted by the tsunami. It was nice to return three years later and see that the tourists are all back and the people of Phuket are doing well. It doesn’t even look like anything happened. One thing that we did notice are the tsunami evacuation route signs on every street.
We should have followed these balloons. It looks like someone was going to have a party.
This has been a fun Christmas vacation. We headed back to Phuket to meet our friends Jim and Patty for the week. It was strange to be with them in the same places exactly three years after the tsunami. It felt great to walk down the ocean front streets and see that everything has been built up and businesses there were thriving more than ever.
Coconut shell washed up on Kata beach
Laura and I both remember the feeling in the days after the tsunami very well. There was a huge feeling of adrenalin from the disaster, sorrow for the lost families and strong feelings of community working together. Within days of the waves destroying everything in their path it was incredible to see the people rebuilding, selling t-shirts and cooking meals for the tourists. Many tourists felt like the best way to support the community was to visit the retailers and eat in the restaurants. It must have worked, because Phuket seemed busier than ever.
Laura enjoying the views after a day in the sea kayaks
Some of the beautiful islands we kayaked around
Our guides are waiting
Sitting in the front of boat after paddling through some very very small caves
Half the reason for going to Thailand is to enjoy the great food
The Andaman Islands come straight out of the water