New beach photos of Phuket!…Shopping for shoes in Vietnam…Good deals!…

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 of 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.  Challenge’s most noticeable feature is its 720-metre 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 harbor master service to assist visiting vessels, as well as a new marine rescue centre.”

It’s been hot in Phuket, much more so than it was in Bali.  In an attempt to avoid using air con, by mid afternoon we begin to fade a little, feeling we need an escape from the heat and humidity for a while.

Tour information and sales building surrounded the area, a popular tourist location. Life jackets are ready on the sidewalk for the next tour group.

With the master bedroom’s ceiling lower than the ceilings in the main living areas, it’s more economical to use the AC in the bedroom. By 3:00 pm each day we’ve been turning on the overhead fan and AC in the bedroom to spend 90 minutes watching mindless drivel on my laptop while we cool off before heading to the kitchen to make dinner.

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

Not only does this cool us down before we begin preparing dinner in the hot kitchen (too many mozzies to eat outdoors) but it gives me a chance to get into a prone position for a while to straighten my spine. Sitting and standing for extended periods seems to have a negative effect. 

Entrance area for tourists to access the tour boats.

In Bali, we did the same, even prior to the injury, to take a break from being so hot. Having dinner at 5:00 pm is definitely early, but eating only one meal a day makes dining at the early hour more appealing. While on cruise ships, we tend to dine after 7:00 pm since we’ll have had another meal earlier in the day.

Tourists preparing to load the boats.

Each morning when it’s cooler, we do all the meal prep. Now, instead of leaning over the short countertops, I use the cutting board while seated at the dining room table as Tom brings me everything needed for the meal and then putting everything back into the fridge. Bending over, pulling food out of the refrigerator is impossible at this time.

Under usual circumstances we’d have walked this pier.  I wasn’t ready for such a long walk.

Once I’ve washed the veggies in a large bowl of bottled water, I dry and chop them as needed for the upcoming meal. This may include as many as 10 items when each night we have salad with lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, onions and celery plus a cooked vegetable or two on the side, plus whatever veg may be included in the main course.

Another pier in Chalong Bay.

Having everything prepped keeps the actual cooking time down to about 30 minutes preparing the main course, to tossing the salad with homemade dressing, to cooking the side vegetables. By the time we sit down to eat, we’re both hot and sweaty.

No motorized vehicles are allowed on the pier.

Note:  Bali is located 957 km from the equator at 8 degrees south, while Phuket is 872 km from the equator at 8 degrees north, making it hotter in Phuket than Bali.

Photos from Vietnam continue from this point in today’s post

Tom had worn this pair of tennis shoes since we began our journey over 45 months ago. It took them falling apart to this degree to get 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. 

I don’t know if we could live long term in such a hot climate only using AC at night. No doubt, the majority of the world’s population that live in hot climates don’t have access to AC and many are without electricity and running water as we’ve seen in our worldwide travels.

Tom’s new tennis shoes, most likely knockoffs. At that point he had no choice but to make a purchase after checking out three stores in Saigon. I negotiated these down to VDN 300,000, US $13.45.  Surprisingly, the quality seemed good, but if they only last a while, no big deal at this price.

None of our vacation home landlords have prohibited us from using the available units located throughout the houses we rent.  That’s why they’re available, for example, in each room of this lovely house in Phuket. 

The shoe stores appeared to have all knock-offs.  Kong advised us to negotiate.

But, due to a sense of responsibility for our energy consumption, we try to use air con as little as possible in the same manner we frugally use other sources of power and utilities as we travel the world. 

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.

Yesterday, after we uploaded the post we decided to head to the beach for photos on the sunny day. Also, the idea of being in the AC in the less-than-stellar rental car was somewhat appealing. 

Although reasonably priced and nice looking I had no interest in buying jewelry.

By 12:30 pm we were out the door returning a few hours later in time for our 3:00 pm bedroom cool down. We enjoyed the drive more than we’d anticipated. Once we were off the bumpy road and on the highway, the drive was tolerable for me although there was a fair amount of traffic for a Sunday afternoon. 

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

Tom stayed cheerful amid the wild traffic with tuk-tuks, motorbikes and cars running amok and helpful as always after we parked the car and walked at the beach taking photos as he carefully hung onto me. After many weeks of lessened activity, he’s assuming I’m not as steady on my feet as I’d been before the injury.

Interesting use of color and design.

Tourists were everywhere at the beach, shopping, eating and spending money at a variety of shops, venues and tours. More than once we were approached by boat ride “sellers” asking if we wanted to go out on a boat.  I doubt we’ll be able to do so while in Phuket as I continue to exercise great caution in everything I do. Bouncing on a boat would hardly be suitable at this point. 

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. 

In any case, we thoroughly enjoyed the time out and about. In a few days, we’ll head out again to explore other beaches and points of interest in the area as we’ll continue to share new photos during our remaining month in Thailand.

Pretty colors.

Continuing on, as we wind down to the final stories from the Cambodia and Vietnam cruise/tour, we have a few fun shopping photos to share.

Have an pleasant last day in July or first day in August depending on which side of the International Dateline you reside!

Photo from one year ago today, August 1, 2015:

This was the first time since we’d arrived Queensland that we saw this many sunbathers at a beach in Australia. The sun was very strong resulting in the use of rental umbrellas and many beach-goers staying in the shade. For more photos, please click here.