Tuesday, May 27, 2008

pass the bad dream : Phuket after the Tsunami

"Is It Okay to Come to Phuket"

This is the question that we are frequently asked at Phuket.com
And the answer is a resounding YES!

We are not aiming at glossing over the extensive damage done by the tsunami, but we would like to present a balanced picture to help you make a decision.

Visitors will be surprised at just how much progress has been made since the tsunami. Many hotels have already been restored or rebuilt especially in the main beach areas like Kata Beach, Karon Beach and Patong Beach.

Communications and infrastructure around the island are perfectly normal as the wave affected parts of the coastline and did not reach more than 500 metres inland in Phuket Island.

What's the situation now?

It's a great time to visit Phuket with hotels offering value packages with added extras like Spa treatments and candlelit dinners just make your stay a little special…

You can take trips to the islands on un-crowded ferries, laze on pristine white sand beaches and get great discounts when you go shopping. In Patong, street vendors and markets have returned to the beach road and international chains like Starbucks have re-opened. Some hotels like the Holiday Inn Phuket remain closed for renovation, but a glance at the hotel status will show you just how many hotels are operating normally.

What about nightlife? Patong's legendary nightlife, slightly subdued, still pulsates, restaurants are open for business, Banana disco is still pumping – although a little quieter than usual for high season.

Is it Safe?

Yes. Official tests have proved that the sea is clearer than in the last 20 years (but you will see this for yourself on a snorkeling or diving trip.) The streets are clean and there is no threat of disease.

Just relax on the beach with an iced coconut and stop worrying.

Are local tours operating?
Dive trips have resumed. Divers report that the coral received minor damage and in the offshore sites the underwater coral gardens are more vibrant than ever. Fishermen report large schools of fish not seen for a few years.

You can still play a round of golf at one of Phuket's five courses, charter a sailing boat for the day to the islands, or go elephant trekking in the cool forested hills.

Should I feel guilty visiting a tsunami hit area?

Not at all. Your visit will help the local people enormously. Tourism and the local economy has been badly affected, yet people still need to pay school fees, everyday bills and get on with their lives.

You will be having a great holiday and helping enormously by contributing directly to those who need it.


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