New Years on the island of Phuket is really quite a show... thousands of fireworks all over the towns, but especially on the beach, lasting for HOURS.... wow. The beach was more crowded than during the day, with all families, tourist and local, releasing "wishes" on paper laterns high into the sky, and lit by the BOOM of thousands of sparklers in the sky. Caron Beach, quieter than Patong, was still a zoo, and we were glad we lit our contributions to the show at 11pm, for fear of hitting some wayward surfwalker later on. We did see one palm tree on fire, and Rick helped douse those flames before it became a bigger situation, Thai people are so laid back, smiling quietly, and are not one to panic even in emergency..... what is their secret, truly?
Being Buddhist, the year is not 2011, but rather 2554, and according to their traditional calendar is does not change until April, but they have adjusted to the western dec 31/jan 1 to align with their tourist guests and I suppose business trading as well. Kids did not have Christmas holidays (no christmas for Buddha) but most seem to have the week following new years off school as break, and they exchange presents on new years eve. And celebrate, even opening the beach bars for the night of revelry. Smart, and very happy to please. Thailand is a very nice place to visit, because the locals still want tourists here. At least for now.