Phuket Island
Phuket is an island located about 500 miles south of Bangkok on the Andaman Sea. With its white sandy beaches, beautiful bays and coves it can easily be considered the French Riviera of Asia. Complete with lush tropical vegetation, some mountains and beautiful skies with brilliant sunsets the island is a perfect choice to wind-down and relax after two weeks of hard traveling and touring. We, Ken, Darla, Anne, Derek, Rose, their daughter, Patricia, and I looked forward to the rest and relaxation that I knew would come when we arrived in Phuket.

Our objective for our time in Phuket was strictly fun and relaxation. Ken, Darla, Anne and I, all certified scuba divers, wanted to do some diving in the Andaman Sea. As it would turn out we managed to get Derek interested in scuba diving while he was there and talked him into taking a resort course and going on his first dive. He enjoyed the experience and later he, also, became a certified scuba diver. Sightseeing was really not on our agenda for Phuket, but we did manage to do a little while there. Ken, Darla, Derek and Rose wanted to take a day's excursion to one of the other islands which did not interest Anne and I. Instead we hired a car and driver for a tour of the island. We enjoyed the day just sitting back and seeing some of the scenic sights that Phuket had to offer.
Our temporary home while in Phuket would be the Karon View Point resort on Karon Beach which opened in 1992. The resort, having the advantage of being new, was very nice and not too large. Our room was spacious with a king bed, mini-bar and nice bathroom, all for (as I remember it now) about US$80 a night. Not at all bad. The majority of the guests were Europeans. There was a nice pool (left), but the most memorable thing about the hotel for me was Popeye.

Popeye was a baby elephant, about two years old, who was the hotel's official greeter and mascot. We were introduced to him the minute our taxi deposited us at the hotel from the airport.

Anne feeding Popeye some bananas while he >>
performs just for her.

Positioned at the hotel's entrance Popeye and his trainer were there for the amusement of the guests and, I have to tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed it. On the side was a table containing banana bunches. For about 20 Baht, pennies in US$, you could purchase the bananas and feed Popeye as he went through his regimen of tricks. The cutest thing is that you'd hand Popeye the 20 Baht note, he would take it and give it to the trainer, and then proceed to the table to pick up a bunch of bananas and bring them to you. It was the cutest thing. With the bananas in hand he would perform different tricks at the direction of his trainer and you would reward him with a banana, or several, following each trick.

<< Me and my friend Popeye.

I'm sure you're familiar with the old saying that elephants have long memories. I can attest to the fact that they do and, not only that, they are good at learning new things. Popeye soon learned that I was a soft touch when it came to getting fed. He quickly began to recognize me and with that the show was absolutely over every time I went near the lobby. One day, when I approached the lobby, he spotted me from about 50 yards away. I quickly hid behind a fountain in the lobby area. Within seconds he presented himself before me. When I wouldn't budge from the fountain he went behind me and gently nudged me toward the banana table with his head. I couldn't believe what he was doing. His reward several more bunches of bananas. My reward, the delight in having made an unusual friend.
One evening, while sitting in the hotel's pool-side bar, Popeye and his trainer appeared. I was in for another surprise. There were no bananas to purchase so we ordered several trays of cashew nuts to feed Popeye. The amazing part was that he negotiated his way to our table by walking between very closely arranged tables and chairs. Once there and fed he managed to extricate himself from our table by walking backwards through the maze of tables without knocking anything over at all. I was impressed at his abilities to recognize where things were and avoid running into them given his relatively large size. Popeye was an unexpected benefit of staying at the Karon View Point Hotel.

Enjoying a drink while awaiting the sunset ...

almost there ...

Ah, that's nice!
Previous | Next
Planning the trip and Getting There
Singapore -- Orchard Road | Chinatown | Merlion Park | Arab Town and Indian District | Tang Dynasty City | Singapore Zoo | Mandai Orchid Garden | Sentosa Island
Hong Kong -- Hong Kong Island | Hong Kong at Night and the New Territories | Lok Ma Chau | Kowloon | Causeway Bay
Macau -- Monte Hill and St. Paul's | A-Ma Temple and Lou Lem Ioc Garden
People's Republic of China -- The Border and Farming Village | Lunch and the Ox | Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Home | Chinese Market
Bangkok -- The City and Weekend Market | The Grand Palace | Grand Palace (Emerald Buddha) | Grand Palace (Dusit Group) | Ayutthaya (Reclining Buddha) | Ayutthaya (Ruins) | Bang-Pa-In Palace | Chao Phraya River
Phuket -- Phuket Island | The Beaches and Local Wat | Promthep Cape | Top of this Page
Japan -- Tokyo | Niko & Toshogu Shrine | Osaka & Kyoto | Visiting Friends | Nara | Hiroshima & Miyajima | Going Home
Links to other Anniebees website pages
Anniebees Home Page | Annie's Kites | Drewry Family History | Vacation Paradise | Web Design Services