We dined there more than once during that brief stay so long ago. Nothing since, has compared to our experiences there.
|Cape Panwa House - Phuket, Thailand, 1988|
We’ve often pondered returning; wondering if the place would seem as magical now. . .
|'The Scout' jogging the beach at Cape Panwa, Phuket, Thailand, 1988|
The Panwa House was then part of the Sheraton Cape Panwa Hotel where we stayed during our time on this island in the Andaman Sea. Most visitors to Phuket, the largest of Thailand’s islands, come for its beaches. We went for the same reason and looking back at old photos of our time at Cape Panwa we remember that wonderful beach.
The Sheraton long ago sold the hotel and we’ve always wondered what happened to that magical mansion by the sea. We chose not to research it on the internet as we didn’t want to risk shattering those memories. . .
Fast Forward: Phuket Island, our Second Port of Call
Our 34-day cruise from Bangkok, Thailand to Istanbul, Turkey aboard Oceania’s Nautica (aka our Magic Carpet) included many new places that we’d been wanting to visit, but another selling point of its itinerary had been getting to revisit favorite places from long-ago travels. Spending a day in Phuket was a plus. We’d not been here since 1988.
Phuket was the only port of call along our routing where we ‘tendered’ into the shore on smaller boats while our ship stayed anchored in deeper water. If you’ve ever anchored at sea you know the ship turns with the current – like a slow moving kaleidoscope of scenery. It was fun watching our arrival and trying to figure out where on the island we might be landing. . .
|Oceania's Nautica anchored in the Andaman Sea|
I start smiling when I think of the joy in realizing we were just off shore from the Cape Panwa House -- once the home of a coconut plantation owner and now nearly 100 years old – still on the beach right where we’d last seen it!
|Cape Panwa House, Phuket, Thailand, 2015|
Phuket ~ The Same, Yet Different
Phuket, whose wealth comes in part from tourism, got its start back in the 1500’s with tin production, an industry that continues today. While the Panwa House looked the same, tourism has made its mark on the island. The contrasting beach scenes, my 1988 and current photos, are examples of the growth that has taken place:
|Cape Panwa Phuket Thailand - Then and Now (1988 left, 2015 right)|
|Phuket Town, Thailand, 1988 left, 2015 right|
We passed up visiting the tourist sites as we wanted to see the town again. It was interesting strolling the streets - squeezing past parked motorcycles when the sidewalk disappeared and dodging buses, taxis and people.
|We'd ridden a similar bus to town from Cape Panwa in 1988; this was a 2015 version|
|Food vendor Phuket Town Thailand|
Phuket was to be the last ‘familiar’ stop until we reached Rhodes, Greece. From this point on, our Magic Carpet Ride, was headed into new territory.
We’d have another day at sea and then wake up to find ourselves in Myanmar (Burma, as it once was known) where we left the ship for a two-night stay in Yangon – a place we are so eager to show you!
To our regulars here: For a short time, I’ll be posting twice a week; one post will continue the Magic Carpet ride through the Middle East and the other will be the return of Washington Weekend, featuring Pacific Northwest getaways.
For those of you social media enthusiasts, we’ve just joined the Google+ world, where you can find links to the posts under my name, Jackie Smith. (We finally link up and I read that Google is reducing the program features – timing is everything, isn’t it?)
As always, thanks for your time. Safe travels to you. Hope to see you again soon~
Linking this week with:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox
Our World Tuesday
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening