Just returned from a week in Phuket – the last visit was in 1986; almost 30 years ago. There has been massive development, especially in the Patong beach area, but even further south there have been substantial changes. I used to eat at a beach shack called the Boathouse, its still there, but now rather swanky and boasts the best wine cellar in Thailand. The next beach which had been the sole home of some fishermen is now fully developed and ‘utilised’ – especially at the far end where rather overzealous ‘security twonks’ will harass your attempts to even view their hotel.
Running south from Chiang Mai the old road passes through some small towns on the way to Lamphun. These old roads are often lined with huge trees – which must be at least a couple of hundred years old; it makes for a very atmospheric drive and in parts you can almost picture the old Ox drawn carts that must have made their way along these old roads hundreds of years ago.