We woke before the alarm and the ship was still on the move for our first of two stops in Thailand. This was the first tender port and that meant first of all, a queue at the Wheelhouse Bar for our bus tickets for a Princess tour, then a wait in the theatre before our group was called. When we got to the top of the gangplank, with Col & Jude and two others, there wasn’t enough room on that tender for us. We heard on the two way radio that the tour was six passengers short. What we didn’t realise was that it was us! We were then shuffled to the other gangplank for the next shuttle, so by the time we arrived at the pier, the rest of the coach had been sitting waiting about 15-20 minutes. Not our fault.
Col & Jude managed to score a seat at the front, which was great for Colin as he isn’t the best of travellers. We were at the very back, with the washroom to the left so we could only look out to the right through a window that was less than clean. Thailand, like Singapore, drives on the left, the same as Australia/NZ and the UK.
From a dodgy start, this turned into a good half day tour, with the first stop at “Big Buddha”. We checked our attire just to make sure we conformed to the notice (see pic). Our guide explained the significance of the Thai colours, hand positions, days of the week of your birth etc., and at the top of the steps, we were invited to pray to Buddha, then strike the bell(s) for our wish to come true. I was sorely tempted to do my best Hunchback of Notre Dame impression, but I do respect the various religions, particularly Buddhism. On the water’s edge were 3 colourful statues.
On then to another temple complex, which seemed to encompass 3 different religions on the same site. Very photogenic and colourful. Stop 3 was a quick drink stop at the Beverly Hills resort on the cliff top, at the south eastern end of the island.
The last stop was to see the trained monkey (or two) harvesting cocoanuts. Not a very thrilling stop, but the picture should show why we were advised to use the “Happy Room” at the Beverly Hills! (Thai terminology was quite quaint. If the “Tide is In” or “You are at High Tide” you’ll need to visit the “Happy Room”.)
On our return to the pier at about 1:15, we deemed it too warm to walk into town, so it was straight onto the colourful local tender boat, rather than a ship’s lifeboat, back to the air-conditioned sanctuary of the ship.
Dinner at 6pm was our first official fixed dining with waiter Freddie (Mexico) and Oscar (Peru) as our waiters. We raised a glass to our much loved absent friends. Sad that they weren’t with us to continue the previous table experience.
We expected great things from the Thai chicken curry, but we all agreed that it was not very good at all... Shame.
The evening show we chose was the full Tom Briscoe (comedian) and we enjoyed it. I hopped into bed about 10:25 just as Paula checked our Princess tour tickets for tomorrow and found that they had supplied Vietnam tickets by mistake. So, out of bed; got dressed again; down from floor 11 to the front desk on deck 6 - where of course, they know nothing whatever about the tours. I did manage to get a meet time and we vowed to get up early tomorrow morning to see the tour staff, to try and get them changed. We shall just have to wait and see. Maybe there will be nothing interesting to report tomorrow. Some may well say that that the way I write, there is nothing interesting any day...