Christmas in Phuket

Caught the Air Asia flight from BKK to Phuket on Christmas morning. Can’t really recommend Air Asia though. I had a 10:50am flight that took off sometime around 12:30. I got the impression that they consolidated two flights as some people had been waiting a long time for the flight and the flight was 100% full.

Stayed at the Yorkshire Inn that my friend and I had scoped out on our previous trip. Nice place. Owner is a very cool guy. Only complaint would be that the rooms are rather small. But you spend so little time in the room it really isn’t that big of a deal.

Christmas in Thailand is very interesting. Being 90% Buddhist they don’t really celebrate Christmas. They know about it and they decorate up the city for it but they don’t necessarily “get” it.

The Bangkok Post had an cute story where they interviewed Thai children and asked them about Santa Claus. One kid said he didn’t believe in Santa Claus because reindeer can’t fly. Another said he didn’t believe because every Christmas he wishes for gift but he never gets any (his parents obviously don’t celebrate). One of the more insightful responses was from a child who said he didn’t believe in Santa but that he thought that Santa was a positive personality that showed people that it is good to give to others. Okay, maybe the Thai’s do “get” it. :-)

I don’t know if Phuket has become more pushy or I’m noticing it more. The shop owners have gone mainly Central Asian and they can really test your nerves. The ones I hate the most are the ones who stand in your path and try to shake your hand or try to put their arm around you as they say something cheesy like “Hello boss. Where are you from?” The Thai vendors are much less pushy in that way. If you see a Thai vendor and just smile and shake your head they will pretty much leave you alone. What the Central Asians do boarders on harassment.

I think it’s funny that most of these guys are touting for tailor shops as they all have the fashion sense of someone stuck in the 1970’s. Yeah, I want to buy a suit from a guy who can’t dress himself.

The other thing that gives me a chuckle is the complete ignorance of irony. They sell these shirts here that say:

No, I do not want a f*cking:

Tuk Tuk Ride

Thank you very much!

Here’s this guy harassing you on the street to buy a t-shirt that makes fun of exactly that sort of behavior.

Anyway, hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday. I will be returning to BKK on the 29th so I’ll send some more updates when I have time.

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.