Thailand is one of my favorite Asian countries

On Dec. 14, we were in Phuket, Thailand, for the afternoon and evening. Thailand is one of my favorite Asian countries and I wish we were spending more time here. As there have not been a lot of shopping opportunities on this cruise, many passengers were catching taxis into the town to getting their shopping fix or to eat genuine Thai food.

However, we opted to see one of the great sights of this part of the world … the islands of Phang Nga Bay. This was our most expensive short excursion of this trip ($139 each) but we felt the photo opps would make it worthwhile. We boarded a very fast speedboat for an hour’s ride to the bay…and there discovered some 40 gorgeous rock formations. If you have been to Halong Bay in Vietnam, the scenery is similar. I wish that the light had been better, but it was still worth seeing this beautiful place.

The rest of the trip was pretty unremarkable…a stop at a village built on stilts, another stop at the so-called James Bond Island where part of “Man with a Golden Gun” was filmed. This stop might have been better if about 200 honeymooning Koreans hadn’t landed at the same time.

Then we had another hour’s ride back to the harbor area where we had our last stop and it was pretty dreadful. They dropped us at a “swimming beach” at 5:30 p.m. The resort at the beach was closed so there was not even a bar open. The whole area was distinctly non-appealing and smelled very bad…it appears that the toilets here are pumped into the sea. While some of our group did snorkel and swim a bit, many were dismayed…this stop was definitely not a Seabourn experience and I recommend it be dropped from future itineraries.

There was a stunning sunset as we returned to the ship but unfortunately those of us cooped up inside could not get decent pictures of it. (Half our group was able to sit outside and the other half was inside…and no one switched!) All and all, a mixed report on this trip. I enjoyed see the rock formations but the rest of the trip was rather tiresome, particularly for those of us inside.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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