SUMMER OF LOVE Bali Boom Box
During a quick trip to Bali in the midst of the isle's high season it's hard to find space to think, much less walk.
Beaches, sidewalks and roadways are teaming with hordes of holidaymakers. Most prominent are Australians, Europeans, and an increasing number of Asian faces including Chinese and Indonesians.
Trying to get a table at a restaurant in the popular Seminyak area means making reservations or else settling in for a long wait.
One effect of the tourism boom is an outbreak of road carnage, especially motorbikes. According to an article in the Jakarta Post, in 2010 606 people died on the two wheeled machines, while in the first four months of 2011 173 people have been killed and 483 injured.
All this on an island of 3.9 million. Poor road conditions and alcohol are two of the most common culprits. Traffic is increasingly become gridlocked, and little solutions are on the horizon given small streets and narrow passages.
Still talking to hoteliers occupancies are hitting the high water mark and demand for the destination continues to soar.
Comparing the two destinations is a bit like yin and yang, but certainly Phuket has a way to go to match the diverse eateries and assortment of quality shops of Bali.
I might have some angst getting on a plane and remembering dinner at Metis last night but I certainly won't miss the hours spent in the back seat of an automobile.