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Tuesday, as we were returning from our motorbike ride to Kata and Promthep, I was really craving a good hamburger.  As we rode through Rawai, I kept my eyes open for a likely eatery where I could buy one but didn't see any.  Tim promised me that we'd go find a burger the next day.  While perusing a Phuket tourist magazine later that night, I saw an ad for Perfection Cafe in Chalong which stated they had "American-style hamburgers."  The map in the ad made it look like this restaurant was very close to our home (just across from Wine Connection on Chao Fa East Road) so we made plans to visit it the following day for lunch.

In reality, Perfection was further down the road than the map indicated — actually some ways past the turnoff for the Phuket Zoo across from a Home Mart — but it was definitely worth the trip.  The cafe sits in front of a spa and is completely enclosed (a rarity on Phuket) with decent air-conditioning.  A number of chairs/tables surround a central bar and there are more towards the rear of the building.  It's very clean and they have a decent menu of pastries and sandwiches with only five or so Thai items listed (and a fairly extensive list of mixed drinks and wine).  My goal was a hamburger, which I ordered with cheese and bacon (costing a total of 160 baht).  Out of the three burgers I've had since moving to Thailand two months ago this was definitely the best — the bun was nice and soft (the previous two featured rock-hard rolls) and the meat was thick and juicy without being overly greasy; it was probably a half-pound pattie.  They used mozerella cheese which didn't have quite the same affect as cheddar but it was nicely melted and the bacon was crispy without being burnt.  The fries were the crinkle-cut variety and tasty if a tad too salty.  All in all, an awesome meal although the ice coffee had an odd taste to it.

After lunch, Tim asked me if I wanted to "look around" by which she meant "do I want to drive someplace scenic with no real goal to take some photos?"  We were fairly near the deep water port at Ao Makham and I knew that the world's oldest ocean liner (the MV Doulos, built in 1914) was berthed there on a goodwill visit so I suggested going here.  However, Tim misunderstood and said, "yes, we go airport."  I'd been wanting to try and take some photos of planes landing over the beach there so I didn't try to correct her and we began our journey north.

Passing Central Festival on the new Bypass Road, I happily snapped pictures while Tim drove.  Before you reach the Heroines Monument in Thalang, there are several large mansions lining the road and then plenty of maritime-related business close to the turnoff for the Royal Phuket Marina.  There are also several mosques along the way (more Muslim areas the further north you go).  I particularly like driving past the extensive rubber tree forests/plantations between Thalang and the airport.  Tim turned down the "wrong" road to head west towards the airport but this proved to be a blessing; there was much less traffic and it was much more scenic.  Looking at the map this morning, I would say we were probably on Highway 4026 (I didn't see any signs along the way; I usually take photos of the street signs on our travels so I can determine our route later).

After sometime driving through forested valleys we arrived at Sirinath National Park and Nai Yarn Beach just south of the airport.  It was a very nice area — plenty of large trees providing shade, shelters along the beach front and various fishing boats between the trees and the shelters.  The beach was virtually deserted.  I looked north towards the airport and realized it would be a VERY long and hot walk to get to the end of the runway.  Perhaps another day...  We did drive past the "checkpoint" to loop back east on Highway 4031 along the southern edge of the runway.  Despite menacing-looking signs warning that photography was prohibited, we did see several minivans of camera-toting aircraft spotters along the way.  Unfortunately, there weren't any planes taking off or landing during our ride.  We now know some good spots to take photos, however, so I can check some airline schedules before our next visit.

At the interection with the main highway (402), Tim asked if I wanted her to turn left or right.  Since we were already in the northern part of the island I thought it might be nice to drive a bit farther to the bridge that connects Phuket with the mainland.  Along the way, we passed a turnoff for Yacht Haven Marina (we stopped here on the return) and also for the Tsunami Remembrance Wall (I'd been wondering where this was; we didn't stop this time).  Past the Thachatchai Checkpoint (again unmanned), the highway divides and the northern-bound section first leads you to the west coast where we began seeing plenty of remaining destruction from the December 26, 2004, tsunami.  We stopped at Khao Lak Beach (this area was one of the hardest hit) which was still littered with debris (we found a toilet bowl and several other "interesting" objects) and there were memorial posts marking the tsunami hazard zone.  All too soon, we crossed the Sarasin Bridge into Phang Nga Province.  We stopped at a roadside stall just passed the bridge to buy some fresh fish and pineapple before turning south (recrossing into Phuket on the Thep Kassato Bridge) and speeding towards home (it was then after 4:00).  After brief stops at Yacht Haven Marina (very nice if somewhat remote) and Tesco-Lotus to buy some groceries we arrived home a bit before 7:00.

It was a very enjoyable day out.  We are finding that we can ride the motorbike ever farther distances without getting to much of what Dad and I used to call "bees in the butt."  I can see us driving to Phang Nga village or even to Krabi at some point in the future...

1 ความคิดเห็น:

Jamie Monk กล่าวว่า...

I'll keep reading your blog. Glad to see you get off the beaten track and explore, same as we do. Tell you where you can get a good burger - BBQ Hut (Patong). Just Google "BBQ Hut Patong" and you'll find it. They have a huge selction of burgers - my favourite is the Mexican Cowboy Burger.