In fact, one might even think it is Australia... see the flag below.
Walking along this most popular beach at Phuket island is like walking through a mini town of an Western country. The number of Caucasians seem to outnumber the Thais - from being tourists lazing on the beach - sunbathing or suntanning, eating & drinking in the restaurants & pubs to even owning businesses here (eg. the lodge & hotels).
Going into a restaurant, you will bump into one or another. And on the road, they are at everywhere you turn.
Not that there is anything wrong with that - just somewhat unexpected. Right here in Patong beach, Phuket, South East Asia - more whites than Thais?
A Bigger Surprise
Maybe the many whites are acceptable as afterall, Thailand is quite a beautiful place for many tourists. So, ok, that surprise can be understood.
But the surprise one is even greater. Along the long stretch of Patong beach are hundreds & hundreds of small shops selling clothings & other knick knacks.
So What Is The Surprise?
If you think once again, that these are owned by Thais or the Caucasians, then you'll be in for a rather big surprise. These small shops are apparently owned/manned by the Nepalese (I asked one of them where they were from). Yes, nearly all of the hundreds of them - or at least the ones along the long stretch of this popular Patong beach that I visited.
So, once again, this beach really doesn't look & feel at all Thai - if not for the made in Thailand goods and the few Thai massage & service staffs. Or the occasional fruit vendors who push their carts along the stretch.
I'm not sure how the local Thais feel, but as a tourist, I'm a lil disappointed that I felt as if I was in a foreign land (and not Thailand). I was not able to experience the Thai culture like the one I've mentioned about - including the grace of the Thai smile, or just friendliness which now seem to come only when I make a purchase.
But, luckily, Phuket is not all about this Patong beach... and that is where the fun is! More to come! :)