THEY come with love in their hearts and dreams in their heads. Even if it rains, as it did tonight in many parts of Phuket, Loy Kratong
remains too powerful to stay at home, to stay away.
The banana floats are cut, the candles lit, the flowers look sweet and natural, the hearts and dreams cast adrift with prayers.
Is there a more romantic festival anywhere in the world? Somehow, we doubt it.
The children play their part, too. On the large expanse of public park at Saphan Hin in Phuket City and close to the beach in Karon, the kids are encouraged to send up their dreams.
And some dive into the water, too, because the money that some people set adrift with their banana floats form part of these kids' particular dreams.
The lovers and families come, set their floats adrift with their dreams and prayers, and the boys in the water splash and swim, and the coins are theirs.
Bright neon lights gleam off the water. A sky lantern, lit and sent up to drift, catched in a tree, and stays there, burning.
Issues such as jetski ripoffs, tailor touts, mysterious deaths and corrupt activities are likely to be raised when the Governor of Phuket meets expat honorary consuls regularly.
Anantara stays one jump ahead of rival resorts with forays into India and onto the Andaman in a Sunseeker Manhattan 60, with all the trimmings. Luxury? You're riding in it.
Efforts to register all 100,000 Burmese workers on Phuket are doomed to failure because most of them are actually ethnic Mon, who live in fear of officials.
November brings another opening north of Phuket for the prestigious Marriott brand. Courtyards have been springing up on the island, and there are more resorts to come.
Popular TAT Phuket director Sethaphan Buddhani is bound for Mumbai to open a new TAT office that should help boost tourist numbers from the subcontinent.