In July of 2012 I got to experience the trip of a lifetime. My husband and I spent over ten days exploring various parts of Thailand. One of the places we visited during our travels was Phuket, Thailand.
Phuket was the location of the tsunami caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake on December 26, 2004. The Thai government reported 4,812 confirmed deaths, 8,457 injuries, and 4,499 missing after the country was hit by the tsunami. Thai authorities estimate that at least 8,150 are likely to have died.
The recent release of the movie, The Impossible, and Naomi Watts nominations for Best Actress for her role in this film had me thinking about my travels to Phuket and the amazing true story which inspired this movie. According to an excerpt from the movie’s website,
“A powerful story based on one family’s survival of the 2004 tsunami, The Impossible stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor and is directed by J.A. Bayona. Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the center of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her. Based on a true story, The Impossible is the unforgettable account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. But the true-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion, courage and simple kindness that Maria and her family encounter during the darkest hours of their lives. Both epic and intimate, devastating and uplifting, The Impossible is a journey to the core of the human heart.”
I have yet to see the film (we have two young boys, movies typically involve some type of animation), but it is definitely on my list of must-sees if we happen to get a night out or once it comes out on DVD. Just reading about some of the stories from survivors of the 2004 tsunami brings tears to my eyes, I can’t imagine how I will feel watching the movie knowing I was there. The film’s trailer looks amazing!
Sadly, I must confess. Although I remember the news of the 2004 tsunami, it wasn’t until I saw previews for this movie that I realized my 2012 trip to Thailand took me to the exact area where the tsunami struck. Perhaps I didn’t put the two together because the area had recovered so well. Quite frankly, Thailand was breathtaking and was so serene and peaceful. To think it was the location of such horrific devastation is almost unimaginable. However, I do remember seeing signs like this all over the island.
We arrived in Phuket, Thailand after spending time in Hua-Hin and Bangkok. Of all the areas we visited while in Thailand, Phuket was by far our most favorite. We traveled to Phuket from Bangkok via a quick, 1-hour flight via Asia Air.
This was the view from our airplane as we descended into Phuket.
Here is a the view from our hotel room and the hotel grounds. In thinking about the tsunami and images from the film’s preview, being so close to the water is usually considered a luxury and yet it can be so dangerous.
And we even canoed and swam in Phang Nga Bay which was one of the hardest hit areas in terms of loss of life and property destruction.
I feel so blessed to have experienced such an amazing trip and even more blessed to have returned home safely. Never in my life did I imagine I would visit such an exotic location. Thailand is magnificent and a place I will forever cherish.
Tomorrow I will share with you some of the food and culinary experiences I had in Thailand and even share with you some original Thai recipes I learned while there. If you love exotic foods (and want to see more fun vacation pictures), you definitely don’t want to miss tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned! xoxo
Disclaimer: The Impossible, it’s Director, Actors, Producers and any others related to the film are not connected to this post in any way.