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Today, Tim and I checked out two places on Phuket that I'd been wanting to visit.

First we journeyed north to Thalang National Museum (east of the Heroines Monument on Pa Klok Road).  This nice museum was established about 17 years ago and has displays telling about the archaeological, historical, and cultural heritage of Phuket and the Andaman Sea region.  There is a large main hall which connects to several exhibition halls and an auditorium by covered walkways.  The story begins with a brief history of Thailand and examines some of the connections with Cambodia, India, and China.  The surrounding halls then cover Phuket and neighboring provinces in great detail.  All of the placards are in both Thai and English; there's a very nice variety of artifacts and dioramas.  Outside, there's even a reproduction of a sea gypsy village.  Admission is a very reasonable 30 baht (10 baht for Thai people).  If I was to have any complaint, it would be that the small gift shop didn't have an English-language book detailing the history of Phuket (I'd love to have a print version as there are many aspects of this island's past that fascinate me; perhaps the library can help me with that...).

We then drove west from Thalang across the center of the island, turning southwest through the predominately Muslim villages of Chengthalay and Bang Tao, past Surin and Kamala, and down into Patong.  We made a couple of quick stops at the beach and the bar where Jum has recently begun working (after a LONG holiday) and then decided to check out BBQ Hut.

I'd read on several Phuket-themed message boards that this was the best place on Phuket for Mexican food and that they had excellent barbeque and burgers as well.  We weren't disappointed in the least.  It being a bit past one o'clock in the afternoon, Tim and I were the only customers; she ordered the Tom Yum Goong and after quite some deliberation, I "settled" on the BBQ combo platter which came with a large slab of spare ribs, a thigh/wing chicken, smoked beef, a huge sausage link, two slices of garlic bread, and a choice of two side dishes (I chose the potato salad and cole slaw which were both excellent).  It was a lot of food (and well worth the 330 baht — USD $8.68); I finished everything on my plate except for a bit of the sausage but, unfortunately I didn't have any room for dessert.  I'll have to return sometime just to try the fried ice cream; this is something I used to enjoy on family outings to a Mexican restaurant when we lived in Nashville, Tennessee, but which I haven't had in probably 30 years!  The restaurant features the only barbeque pit on Phuket and all the meats are slow-cooked all day long.  It's located near the north end of Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road very close to my TEFL school (so I'll have ample opportunities to eat here after I begin my course at the end of August...