Day #131 in lockdown Mumbai, India hotel…Sightseeing photos from Phuket, Thailand and Saigon, Vietnam in 2014…

We arrived at the pier and main entrance area to Chalong Beach. Here’s information about this bay from this site: “Chalong’s muddy East Coast shoreline makes it rather unsuitable for swimming but it’s an ideal and natural spot for yacht mooring. As well as the Boat Lagoon, Yacht Haven and Royal Phuket Marina, Chalong is a center for intense boating activity. Early mornings and late afternoons are the busiest times at Chalong when diving and day trip groups are bundled on and off boats. The Ao Chalong Yacht Club, which organizes regular sailing races, makes its base here, and its bar is a favorite spot for sailors to swap yarns and party.  Chalong’s most noticeable feature is its 720-meter long, seven-meter wide jetty, which replaced the rickety old wooden pier in 2001. A parking area and a number of restaurants, shops, tourist information kiosks, and open-air waiting areas have been built to serve the many visitors passing through. There’s also a one-stop customs, immigration, and harbormaster service to assist visiting vessels, as well as a new marine rescue center.”

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Today’s photos are from the post from August 1, 2016, while in Phuket, Thailand, including some photos from our tour of Saigon, Vietnam. See the link here for more photos.
The tour information and sales building were surrounding the area, a popular tourist location. Life jackets are ready on the sidewalk for the next tour group.

When we aren’t particularly enjoying a region in a country, we tend to feel less interested than usual in heading out sightseeing. Invariably, we force ourselves to jump into the car and venture out, most often with a plan in mind.

Tourists dining, shopping, and staying undercover while awaiting their boat tours.

Of course, there have been many times we’ve headed out without a plan other than to drive to and from a certain point of interest known for great scenery. Often, along the way we’ve found many treasures.

The entrance area for tourists to access the tour boats.

In all, we’ve hardly taken off on a road trip and been disappointed since we both revel not only in the astounding feats of nature but, also in the “small things” which in every country, every city, every region, are in abundance.

Tourists preparing to load the boats.

Thus, the repeat photos we’re sharing today are from a day’s outing in Phuket, Thailand, which in yesterday’s post we explained, we didn’t love as much as many other places we’ve visited over the past many years.

We walked a portion of this long pier.

It would be wonderful if we could get out and walk the streets of Mumbai to search for those special sightings. Instead, we’re left with the photos we posted in February, (after the train tour), and the first half of March while on a portion of our private 55-night night tour which ended abruptly due to COVID-19. See our archives for the photos from those months.

Another pier in Chalong Bay.

Due to the virus, no leisurely walking is allowed in the streets when the city is buttoned down due to the lockdown with many restrictions. Subsequently, we remain trapped in our hotel room for an indefinite period. 

No motorized vehicles were allowed on the pier.

A few readers have written inquiring why we haven’t walked the grounds of the hotel. Based on the way the hotel is situated with an underground parking lot, there’s really nowhere to walk other than the drive-up space in front of the main door. 

At that point in time in 2016, Tom had worn this pair of tennis shoes since we began our journey over 45 months ago. It took them to fall apart to this degree to insprire him to purchase a new pair.  It was less about being frugal and more about his lack of interest in shopping. Thank goodness, he gave these the heave-ho at the shoe store. 

Plus, hotel management prefers staff and guests to stay safely in their rooms to avoid possible contamination. There hasn’t been a single case of COVID-19 in this hotel since we arrived on March 24th, the day the lockdown began.

Tom’s new tennis shoes, most likely knock-offs. At that point, he had no choice but to make a purchase after checking out three stores in Saigon prior to arriving in Thailand. I negotiated these down to VDN $300,000, US $13.45. Surprisingly, the quality seemed good but if they only lasted for a short period.

The only time we’ve left the floor is when we go downstairs to pay our bill, which is upcoming again on August 3rd. I usually handle this task and head downstairs, never sharing the elevator with anyone, wearing a face mask, and maintaining social distancing from the markings on the floor in front of the registration desk, never leaning on or touching the counter space.

The shoe stores appeared to have all knock-offs. Kong, our guide on the Viking Mekong River cruise, advised us to negotiate which we did.

Our room keys and credit card are sanitized in front of me before they are handed back. Once back in the room, I scrub my hands, arms, and Fitbit with soap, along with the two key cards and credit card, tossing my mask for a new one. 

On our last day in Saigon, on a bus tour with the cruise passengers, we stopped at the lacquer factory.  Since we have no home there was no point in making a purchase although many passengers did so.  These are popular items travelers often bring or ship home after visiting Southeast Asia.

Every few days I use a clean washcloth, covered in hand sanitizer, and clean my phone, its case, and my laptop. Tom does the same. Our door handles, both sides, are sanitized daily by our room attendant who also sanitizes the room phones, TV remote, and all surfaces. It feels clean.

The craftsmanship appeared to be of high quality if one could use such décor in their homes.

Not much new on the agenda today. We finished binge-watching a few excellent series; Reign and Australia’s 800 Words. Now we’re watching season 9 of Suits, and the hysterically funny Catastrophe (Amazon Prime). 

We wondered if these pretty plates were suitable for serving food or merely decorative. One never knows when purchasing products such as this, if lead-based paints are used in production. 

Otherwise, all is well. No news on international flights resuming. Thanks again, dear readers/friends for all of the supportive email messages!

Stay safe.


Photo from one year ago today, August 1, 2019:

Family of four walking along the road in Connemara, Ireland. For more photos, please click here.

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