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For anyone going to Phuket....This is the thing to do. There is a company called Sea Canoe that brings you out by boat to various islands. The boat then goes to anchor off various islands and the guides discharge a bunch of canoes off of the boat.

At the first island, the guide stays in the canoe and paddles for the tourist passengers. Usually, the two people are newlyweds or sometimes BF & GF or sometimes it is just two friends of the same sex but the canoes go out at the first island with one guide and two passengers.

The guide then takes you into a cave at the first island. After going into the cave about 20 yards, we began to see light ahead. We soon emerged into the inner part of the island. This was really so cool.

I could look up and mountains towered over us maybe 150 to 200 yards in the air. The guides then told us that sometimes they were able to see monkeys in that location but on that day we saw none.

After about 40 minutes of wandering about the oasis in the inner part of the island, the guide canoed us back out of the cave to the outer part of the island and then back to the boat.

The next island was James Bond Island. When our boat stopped there, we were boarded these Thai long boats that look like this:

We were then brought to James Bond Island on the long boats. This place was so cool. This was the place that "The Man with the Golden Gun" was filmed:

We spent about 40 minutes there....What was so cool is that if a person wanted to, they could swim all the way out to the cool looking rock in the center of the island.

After that we went to another island where this time the guides would allow the couples to paddle themselves around. So, everyone went out and was exploring caves, beaches, etc.....

As I was sitting in my boat looking out, I saw this old guy maybe 70 years old paddling around in a canoe with some 30 year old Thai....It brought back memories to my very first ever trip to Thailand.

The very first time I landed in Thailand it was in Bangkok in 2001 or 2002 at 2 AM in the morning. Flying into Bangkok all by myself at 2 AM in the morning was intimidating at first but Bangkok was not the worst or most dangerous city in SE Asia at the time (Be careful now, though....because Bangkok is now Bangkok Dangerous )

Well, we do what we always do....we go where no man has gone is through immigration....through customs....then to figuring out transportation to the hotel....not as complex as I thought...hmmmm, Off to the races. I jump in the taxi and tell the driver, "Take me to the Nana Hotel".

Oh Geez,,,What can I say about the Nana Hotel. The Nana Hotel is a run down hotel which at the time I was there I would rate it at 2 or 3 stars but why did so many people like staying there? Why was this hotel always packed?

Well, it is because the Nana Hotel is across the street from the Nana Plaza complex. Hmmm...What can I say about the Nana Plaza complex. Well, the Nana Plaza complex is the second most famous place in Bangkok, right after PatPong.

Patpong has the reputation of being not only among the wildest places in SE Asia but among the wildest places in the world. I have walked the streets of Patpong before and despite it's reputation, it is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Bangkok.....maybe even more than the Buddhist temples, the Kings Palace and Thai Boxing at Lumpini Stadium . People even bring their whole families to Patpong because it is a carnival-like atmosphere especially during the night market. Patpong is like a late 70's or early 80's Times Square multiplied times Ten.

Here is a brief description of Patpong:

That description does not really describe the place adequately. The most adequate description of Patpong and Bangkok as a whole is this song from Murray Head called "One Night in Bangkok":

That song is banned in Thailand (For Real) because the Kingdom of Thailand claims is sullies the reputation of Thailand but I have been to Bangkok and that song is the most adequate description that I could give of the place....LOL

Well, any way....I get to the Nana Plaza Hotel at 3 AM in the morning arriving to a sight that I just could not believe. I never saw anything like it before or since....I might go into what I saw another time, though, because I tend to digress enough as it is.

Any way....up to the room and off to sleep. Too tired to run hard my first night. I wake up at 9 AM hungry and staring at the ceiling like Capt Willard in Apocalypse Now in the beginning of that movie.

I go down into the lobby and my jaw almost drops because what do I see? I see too old geezers maybe 75 or 80 years old sitting side by side in wheel chairs with Oxygen bottles and IV's attached to the back getting wheeled around by 4 twenty-something Thai girls.

I just go, "Wow....these guys went all the way." This is the story of the true expat. These are the type of guys that are not just tourists, not just guys that took a small assignment overseas but guys that went all the way.

I often thought about going all the way....many Merchant Seaman are already half of the way already. It is a Pandora's Box that once opened is hard to close....It is hard to reverse.

The way I look at people in the USA is that they are all riding on one big boat. The people on the boat are usually very afraid and fearful of everything outside of the boat. It is outside their comfort zone.

These types especially think of the people that do leave the boat as strange because America is Numba One and every place else is Numba 10, right?.....but I happen to work on ships for a living......and when a person has to work for months and months at a time on a ship, it becomes like a prison to them....a confining, I see no problem leaving the boat.

Here is how most people react when leaving the boat:

So....the lesson in all of this appears to be "Never get out of the boat.....not unless you are prepared to go all the way".

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very cool!

US has actually been a great place so far to generated savings for thos who want, the kind that go a long way in many other countries.

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I like that movie. The flying car scene is interesting. The funhouse is also a nice set. Some people are not big fans of that James Bond flick, but the scenery is what makes that movie in my opinion. Bridget Ecklund is not bad to look at either.
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"Some people are not big fans of that James Bond flick, but the scenery is what makes that movie in my opinion."

The scenery was so good that it caused a little known island called Ko Tapu to become internationally recognized when it was seen on film. Now Ko Tapu is known as James Bond Island.

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