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New years day a great day to reflect on what has occurred in the past year of our lives. One of the first thoughts that occurred to me was the devastation that has occurred as a result of Indian Ocean tsanumis. My buddy and I vacationed in Patong for 3 weeks in April & May of 2004. We stayed at the Tara Patong Beach Resort that is just across the street from the beach area in the main section of Patong, Thara Patong Beach Resort Hotel Phuket We had a wonderful time in Patong and very much enjoyed the staff at the resort and the people of Patong.

We rented a Harley Davidson for a few days and had a blast riding around Patong, there are very few Harley’s in Patong so the locals all waved and smiled at us as we rode by. I had a chance to tour around on a small 125cc Honda and really enjoyed my mini tours once I got accustomed to driving on the left hand side of the road and joining all the crazies on the road.

I have vivid memories of the overwhelming number of bikes crowding the two-lane road along the beachfront of Patong. It was not that uncommon to see three people on a 125cc bike and on occasion a family of four clinging onto each other on these small bikes. Women who are single and are bike passengers ride side saddle however most women have their own bikes. There are far more bikes in Patong than cars and if you want to be totally overwhelmed by bikes spend a few days in Bangkok as I did. Bike riding is very interesting and challenging as most of the traffic laws are totally ignored in Thailand especially in the small towns and countryside. One of the laws requires bike drivers wear a helmet, passengers are not required to do so, and most drivers don’t bother with helmets so there are great number of fatalities.

I do not know if the Beach resort we stayed at any longer exists as it was pretty much at sea level and a ½ block from the beach. The bar that we rented the Harley from was a block from the beach; I suspect the bar is gone along with the Harleys. There is no doubt that the scooter rental places on the beach along with the Internet café we frequented were demolished or swept out to sea.

I hope that the staff at the Tara Patong Beach Resort survived; they were just great and extremely friendly and accommodating.

For all the bikers that lost their lives, may their souls rest in peace.
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