First off, a very happy new year to everyone as we kick off 2011. This is the start of the second decade of the century/millennium, and it’s so hard to believe the last ten years have gone by so quickly!
This is actually my third “new year” celebration since moving to Kuala Lumpur, and curiously, none of those celebrations have occurred (for me) in KL. In 2009, I was in Penang; in 2010, I went back to
Currently, I’m sitting in the rather crowded
We were torn between
Unquestionably the highlights of the trip were the actual night of New Year’s Eve itself and, after the effects of that night’s excesses subsided, the day trip that three of us took a couple of days later.
One thing about New Year’s in Patong: There is absolutely no shortage of fireworks. They don’t even bother waiting until midnight.. from about 10:00 p.m., and continuing for well over four hours, the fireworks never stopped, peaking from about 11:30 to 12:30.
For our countdown, we all went up to the third-floor open-air garden terrace at our guest house with a few bottles of liquor, two bottles of Moet & Chandon Champagne, snacks, and mixers. From that vantage point, we could see about half the night sky, including the sky over
From there, we hit the street with thousands of other revelers and stayed out until after 3 a.m. ringing in the new year. Truly a very fun night, and it only took me until about 6 p.m. the following day to fully recover! What can I say, I’m not as young as I used to be.
Much of the other time was spent shopping, wandering, and eating… typical holiday stuff. Sadly, though Patong is one of the most upmarket areas in Phuket, and about the most expensive place in
On the second day of the fresh new year, three of us took a package tour to
We all swam for an hour in the pristine waters, then got back on the boat to go to another part of the island for some snorkeling. The water there wasn’t nearly as clear, but there were loads of colorful tropical fish – butterflyfishes, tangs, wrasses, Moorish idols, and loads of green chromises and yellow tigerfish. It was great! We hung out there snorkeling for nearly an hour, enjoyed some fresh fruit, then got back on the boat to return to Patok Bay, where we walked inland about 700-800 meters for a buffet lunch that was really pretty good. We stuffed ourselves, then just the three of us wandered the northern tip of the island and found a stunning, stunning place called
And that was my trip to Phuket!
The surprise upgrade to business class on Qatar Airways was brilliant... vintage Champagne, amazing lie-flat seats, total comfort. I only regret that it was such a short flight! I could have easily handled a few more hours of luxury.
Next up on the blog... spending Chinese New Year (about a month later) in Penang, another birthday (groan!), and getting the news that I'm going to have to move to a new condo!