Undoubtably, Phuket is a very lovely island with some amazingly beautiful sights to see.  However, it is also probably the most commercialized tourist destination that we have ever visited.  Although it was so recently decimated by the tsunami, there is very little evidence of that.  Hotels and restaurants are rebuilt and hopping with over weight and under dressed tourists.  The beautiful beaches are lined with chairs and umbrellas for rent.

chinese-lanternjThe highlight of New Years eve was watching the Chinese Lanterns,which are essentially four foot high hot air ballons made of rice paper. 

You light the wick and watch the balloons float out over the Andaman Sea until they burn out. 

With hundreds of them up in that air at any given time, floating gentlyand quietly, it really was spectular.







We spent one day on a boat trip to several islands in the Andaman Sea, which where very lovely. 

Phi Phi Island has gorgeous bays amongst giant outcroppings of rock and coral reefs, where we snorkelled and watched the dolphins romp.