Monday 10th December 2001, Bangkok Thailand.

Well, here we are. It is the last day of our world trip … and therefore the last entry for this diary.

Having done the beaches of Phuket, Bangkok’s markets, and seen the Kwai bridge, Brigid felt that we should make an effort to see the sights with which Thailand is most readily associated – the great Buddhist temples. Of course, we have already seen lots of temples.

You can hardly miss them, with their brightly glazed tile roofs, and golden ornaments. But Bangkok’s temples are special. We couldn’t see them all, but we planned a circuit that would take in the Royal Palace, the Emerald Buddha, and Wat Po (home to the gigantic ‘Reclining Buddha’).

(To get an idea of the scale of the Reclining Buddha, look at the tiny figure silhouetted in the doorway at the far end of the temple.)

Brigid also wanted to visit ‘Old Siam’ (a shopping mall with a difference), and Sampong Lane in Chinatown.

We were completely awestruck by the Royal Palace and its temple. We posed for photos beneath the great enamelled guardian statues. In the open courtyard we listened to the gentle tinkling sound of the wind chimes that adorn the eves of the temple roof. Then we removed our shoes to gaze at the statue of the Emerald Buddha high up on his throne. The Buddha has three outfits of clothes for the ‘dry’, ‘rainy’, and ‘cold’ seasons, which the King changes personally as befits the season. Being the ‘cold’ season, the Buddha was wearing a golden cloak.

Today is the second anniversary of John’s father’s death, so before leaving the temple, we each made a little offering to the Buddha for Mick and for ‘absent friends’.

Wat Po was a little different in that it was undergoing renovation works and photography was allowed inside the temple, which is highly unusual. The Reclining Buddha is so vast, that one can only actually see all of him from one corner of the temple.

We ate lunch in a steakhouse in Old Siam. The restaurant clearly had an extensive menu, but only the grilled steaks were given an English translation. Neither of us wanted a heavy meal, so Brigid ordered Pad Thai (fried noodles with shrimps and bean sprouts), a standard Thai dish, but John wanted stir fried beef with peppers or oyster sauce with plain rice. None of the waitresses understood a word of English, so John sulked over his beer – it was, after all, 3.30pm and we had had nothing since breakfast – and decided not to eat at all. Suddenly Brigid remembered that the Lonely Planet guidebook includes a short glossary of food – together with its Thai translation. Eureka! There on page 146 was ‘Beef with Oyster Sauce’. We beckoned the waitress over, and pointed at the Thai script. She beamed, and disappeared into the kitchen with John’s order.

The dish, when it arrived, was quite the best Beef in Oyster Sauce that we have tasted anywhere in Thailand (though perhaps a little spicier than most).

Sampong Lane went on and on. We moved slowly through the milling crowds in this narrow street, where the stalls’ canopies completely blot out the sun for most of its length. The market sells everything, but is heaven for collectors of fridge magnets, hair ornaments, and junk jewellery.

We caught a ‘tuc tuc’ to take us to the Skytrain. However, the driver had other ideas. “I take you to a shop. You no have to buy. You just say ‘very nice’ while I buy petrol.” Yeah, yeah, OK. We had heard that ‘tuc tuc’ drivers have a reputation for doing this sort of thing. Basically they get a fee for ‘introducing’ customers, and a commission on anything they spend in the shop. John and I weren’t in the market, but we made all the right noises until we felt it was safe to leave. Eventually we caught the Skytrain to Sukumvit for dinner.

We had an excellent curry at the Maharajas Restaurant but, by the time we arrived at the airport, Brigid was complaining of an upset stomach …

What a way to end the trip!

Sunday 9th December 2001, Bangkok Thailand.

Breakfast had to go on the room bill this morning, as yesterday’s shopping spree had cleaned us both out of cash. John went to the ATM, while Brigid finished yesterday’s diary entry. (Thank heavens we are going home tomorrow. They are getting longer and longer …) Then we left the hotel to find the ferry landing for Thonburi Station. Today’s plan was to see ‘The Bridge Over The River Kwai’ at Kachanaburi.

Using Nancy Chandler’s map as our guide, we arrived at Tha Phra Arthit, where a long-tail boat was just mooring. A Thai woman called to us from the bridge. “You want tour?” she asked, pointing at the boat, “350 Baht”. Brigid replied that we only wanted a river taxi to Tha Rot Fai, across the river. “OK. 250 Baht,” she said.

Now call us stingy, if you will, after all 250 Baht is only about £4. But, according to Nancy Chandler, long-tail boat fares start at 5 Baht, and we were only going two stops down the river! Grumbling, we set off on foot to find a closer ferry landing.

We took a slightly circuitous route, through the University grounds, but eventually emerged at Tha Maharat ferry terminal. The crossing to Tha Rot Fai cost us 2 Baht each!

The ticket office at Thonburi Station was closed, but an immensely helpful, English-speaking, policeman told us a train was due to leave for Kachanaburi in about an hour. What was less clear, was how long the train journey would take, and whether or not we would be able to catch a train back to Bangkok in the evening. The guidebook suggested that a bus runs from Kachanaburi at about 7pm, so we threw caution to the wind and bought a couple of single tickets.

Rattling through the Thai countryside on a third class train, windows wide open, is a strangely relaxing – if noisy – experience. Again, the train was scrupulously clean.

At regular intervals during the three-hour trip, an attendant appeared with a broom to sweep the carriages. The buffet service was provided by individual vendors, selling fresh satay, cold drinks, nuts, and fruit. At each station they would switch trains, giving a certain variety to the snacks on offer. At one station, a prolonged stop for hitching or unhitching freight cars allowed the passengers to take advantage of the trackside market.

We were slow to exit the station at Kachanaburi, which meant that most of the ‘tuc tucs’ and other motorised transport had already gone. Instead, we were approached by a couple of rickshaw operators, who promised us that the trip to the Bridge would take no more than 15 minutes – and they would show us the Allied cemetery as well.

Actually the Bridge itself was a bit of a circus. Of course we were glad to have gone to see it. But the sight of hundreds of people, elbowing each other out of the way to get their photos on the narrow track, surrounded by the usual tourist paraphernalia, brought mixed emotions. (Bearing in mind we are talking here about the infamous “Death Railway” where 16,000 Allied POW’s and countless thousands more labourers from neighbouring Japanese-occupied countries, died during construction.) Particularly sickening in this respect, was the behaviour of a group of five or six young Japanese men, who giggled and teased each other as they gathered their ‘happy snaps’. One has to ask oneself what the Japanese teach today’s children about this great feat of engineering.

We spent a few quiet minutes’ reflection at Kachanaburi’s war cemetery, before catching the bus back to Bangkok. At least most of the POW’s have known graves, which is more than can be said for the other labourers …

Saturday 8th December 2001, Bangkok Thailand.

After another poor night’s sleep, we were woken by the chambermaid trying to gain entry to the room.  (Luckily, we had put the safety chain on the door.)

After breakfast, armed with Nancy Chandler’s excellent technicolour “Map of Bangkok”, we set off to find the Skytrain to take us to Mo Chit and the famous Chatuchak weekend market. After a couple of kilometres’ walk, we boarded the train at Ratchathewi for the short journey to the northern outskirts of the City.

By the time we got there we were already hot.  The market is a veritable labyrinth of stalls, selling everything from garden accessories, to fine Thai silk, and second-hand clothes.  Everywhere, food vendors offer satay, curry, fruit and (mercifully) cold drinks.

To John’s despair, Brigid was in shop till you drop mode.  At every stall, she paused, hummed and arghed over some silk, blouse, or wicker basket, before rejecting seemingly exquisite items, and wandering on. Once we had finished our Christmas shopping, John was left holding the carrier bags, while Brigid (infuriatingly) fussed about, trying to get a photograph of the scene.

At last, nearly dead from the heat, we headed back to Ratchathewi, where we caught a traditional 3-wheeled ‘tuc tuc’ back to the hotel.  Swerving in and out of Bangkok’s traffic in one of these little vehicles could be said to be a ‘spiritual’ experience – at least one probably feels closer to God than usual! All around us, whizzed kamikazi motorcycles, hell bent on self-destruction.  Suddenly, from somewhere in front, came a clatter and the all-too-familiar sound of cracking plastic.  A small 110cc bike, loaded with about 10 cases of tinned fruit, had over-balanced at the traffic lights, sending its cargo spewing across the tarmac. We have now been in Thailand a week, but it still amazes us just how overloaded these little bikes can be.  The record number of passengers we saw on one bike was FIVE adults!

Back at the hotel we found that the tiny gift shop in the foyer offered a fine selection of cheap silk shirts and other souvenirs.  “Could have saved ourselves a long walk”, commented John rather sourly, as he wandered off to find the hotel’s masseur to ease his aching back!

Later we went out to find a popular riverside restaurant called Rim Nam for dinner.  Brigid took both cameras, hoping that she would get a good picture of the festoons of lights that bedecked Thanon Rajadamnoen Klang.  Better than any Christmas illuminations in London’s Regent Street, the lights were put up in honour of the King’s birthday, on 5th December.  However, on stepping outside the hotel, it was clear that we were out of luck.  The lights were off.  Brigid cursed herself for leaving the cameras behind last night!

Dinner was a rather solitary affair.  Far from the buzzing night spot, with live floorshow, that the guidebook had promised, we had the place more or less to ourselves.  The view across the Mae Nam Chao river was nothing to write home about – particularly as it was partially obscured by the bridge and ferry pier.  But the food was good, and the guitarist did his best to liven the atmosphere.  Perhaps it was just a quiet evening.

We asked about the lights when we got back to the hotel.  “Oh yes”, said the receptionist, “the King asked them to be turned off to help the economy”.  Long live the King!

Friday 7th December 2001, Bangkok Thailand.

Unsure when the train might be due into Bangkok (it had been delayed by 40 minutes when we boarded), we got up and dressed at about 8.30am. A charming but completely incomprehensible stewardess (with a voice like Betty Boop) showed us the menu for breakfast, while the carriage attendant folded down the beds and mopped up the mud that we had brought on board.

Our American breakfasts (2 eggs, 2 tiny bright red sausages – split twice down their length and daintily flayed out like a lily flower – and a garnish of salad), arrived with coffee and sickly-sweet ‘orange juice’. Afterwards we queued, with half a dozen saffron-robed Buddhist monks, for the carriage’s one (very clean) ‘squatter’ toilet.

It was lunchtime by the time we pulled into Bangkok’s Hua Lampong station. We caught a taxi to our hotel, The Royal. After a shower and change, we plugged our computer modem into the telephone line to pick up our e-mail. Unfortunately, the phone system is rather antiquated, and does not allow ‘direct’ calls from guest rooms.

Tired and hungry from our overnight journey, this seemed like the last straw. Brigid insisted that we should check out immediately, and find ourselves a less archaic hotel. However, the sense of humour failure was short-lived, and by the time we had eaten, we decided that our room was otherwise comfortable, and we could do a lot worse! The location seemed particularly good, being near to Thanon Khao San for Internet access, and also within walking distance of the river, the Royal Palace, and the famous Wat Po temple. (Khao San is an otherwise ghastly street, with cheap guesthouses, tacky souvenir shops, rip-off tour operators, and every manner of con artist, preying on western tourists.)

Thursday 6th December 2001, Train to Bangkok Thailand.

Time to leave Patong and head north to Bangkok. Fearing that the sleeper compartments would be sold out, we paid an early visit to the Songserm travel agent to see whether we could book in advance. We were too late, as the tickets have to be sent through to Patong. All we could do then, was to make sure we caught the 3.30pm bus from Phuket Town to Surat Thani (to meet the Bangkok train), and take our chances. We had a little time to kill and, as we didn’t want to have to wait in the Phuket bus terminal, we settled down with the papers in the hotel lobby.

When, at last, it was time to leave, we caught a ‘sawngthaew’ (a slightly larger, and more powerful, ‘tuc tuc’) into Phuket Town.

The tickets to Surat Thani cost us Baht 160 each (about £2.60) for the four-hour trip. Our air-conditioned coach had reclining seats, pink satin curtains (neatly pinned into rosettes at each window, ready for use) with a swagged pelmet, and a small Buddhist shrine on the dashboard.

It was (in common with all other Thai transport) spotlessly clean, inside and out.

We picked seats about midway back. The bus was quite empty, so to sit right at the back would have seemed unfriendly. On the other hand, sitting right at the front, with a clear view of the road ahead, would have been too much of a test of nerves. Thai roads have three lanes, the two that are marked, and an invisible third lane in the middle (used for overtaking around blind bends and approaching the crest of a hill). On-coming vehicles simply use the shoulder! (The guiding principle of the Thai ‘highway code’ is that the larger vehicle has right of way.) Our bus driver obligingly dropped us off at Phun Pin, Surat’s railway station, some 14km outside the town.

For Baht 2280 (£38), John bought two first class sleeper tickets for the 23:45 service to Bangkok, and all we had to do was find somewhere to sit for 2 ½ hours, and something to eat.
Thai railway stations have communities all of their own. At each end of the platform, food vendors sat with simmering vats of curry, sizzling satay, and other tasty snacks.
Each time a train arrived, they would fill a tray with portions of hot food, coffee, juice, little cakes, crisps, and other goodies, and parade up and down under the open windows of the train. Passengers simply reached down and helped themselves to whatever they wanted, and put the cash on the tray. Brigid bought a couple of searing hot chicken curries, which made our eyes water!

Our sleeping compartment was immaculately clean, with crisp linen and free bottled drinking water. The berths were comfortable enough, but we didn’t sleep much as the train rattled through the night at a fair lick.

Wednesday 5th December 2001, Hat Patong Thailand.

Up at sparrow fart again for the bus to Chalong Bay. This morning we were an exclusive little group of 6 divers and 5 instructors/divemasters. However, it was not about to be Brigid’s day. On arrival at the first dive site (the wreck of the Koh Phi Phi ferry, “King Cruiser”, inexplicably sunk in 1997 when it hit a well known hazard in calm weather), we were alarmed to see at least 6 other dive boats of equivalent size. There were already about 30 divers in the water.

We hastily made ourselves ready, doing the most cursory of buddy checks, and made our entry off the dive platform at the stern of the boat. Almost immediately, Brigid could feel that all was not well with her mask. Suspecting that she had hair caught under the skirt, she tried to scrape it back with her gloved hands. However, at 19m, the mask was still filling steadily, despite all attempts to clear it.

The other divers were fast dropping out of sight into the gloom below. Somewhat frantically, she caught up with John and tugged at his fin to attract attention. He could see immediately what the problem was. There was, indeed, a large chunk of hair trapped, preventing a proper seal around the mask. Unfortunately, his attempt to free the hair resulted in the mask filling completely, rendering Brigid effectively sightless. John had no way of explaining that the hair was still caught, as Brigid (increasingly desperately) tried again and again to expel the water from her mask. Getting nowhere, she signalled that she wanted to abort the dive.

Using John’s computer and buoyancy to control the ascent, we both arrived back on the surface after only 6 minutes ‘bottom time’ (it seemed a great deal longer from Brigid’s perspective!). Seeing how crowded the wreck was likely to be, and the subsequent poor visibility, Brigid decided to sit this dive out on the boat, leaving John and “T” to continue. In the event, Brigid didn’t miss much.

Simon described the chaos with up to 20 divers trying to peer into the same porthole at once. Brian had had his regulator knocked out of his mouth three times by other divers, and there was an unseemly jostle for a handhold on the ascent line. Ellie commented that she had seen “friendlier bar fights”!

The second dive was at Shark Point, named for its docile leopard sharks, sometimes seen resting on the bottom, or cruising the reef in search of crustaceans. These sharks are totally harmless: their mouths are so small that they would be unable to do more than ‘nip’ a diver. Sadly, once again, the dive site was busy with other parties of divers, so the sharks were keeping a low profile.

The site is comprised of a number of submerged outcrops of rock. Only one, Shark Point itself, actually protrudes above the waterline. All the rocks are home to colonies of the most fantastic colourful corals. The fish life is secondary, but we still saw lots of interesting species including a little yellow box fish, and a sea snake. (Their venom is deadly, but the snakes themselves are shy creatures with tiny mouths. It would be very difficult for them to ‘bite’ a diver!) The current did most of the work for us, making it a very relaxing experience – especially after the stress of the earlier dive.

On the surface, Brigid removed her mask and slipped the strap around her wrist, while we waited for the boat. After a few minutes, she suddenly realised she didn’t have it anymore! John looked down into the water, and saw the mask slipping away into the depths. He and divemaster, Anders, dived after it, but lost sight of it in the current. Just not Brigid’s day …

Without her prescription lenses, Brigid doubted the value of proceeding with the third dive. Nevertheless, she borrowed a spare mask and gave it a go. She was glad she did. Underwater everything is magnified by about 25%, and being a relatively shallow dive, there was plenty of light. The site was Koh Doc Mai, one of Phuket’s trademark islands so familiar to James Bond fans, as the setting for ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’, and ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’.

It was a classic ‘wall dive’ with a gentle current that swirled around the base of the island, carrying us with it. John was, for the second day running, the moray eel king, finding the grand-daddy of them all – a real monster, grinning menacingly from its lair! Even with her suspect eyesight, Brigid didn’t need to look too closely to know that she really wouldn’t want to venture much closer …

But, for all of us, the highlight of the dive was finding a huge octopus, nestling comfortably in a hollow, its tentacles wrapped around its body like a frilly cushion.

We might not have noticed it there at all, had it not blinked sleepily at us!

On the way back to the hotel we were delayed by a minor road accident. Two young girls on a moped, had failed to negotiate a steep hill, and had run into the back of a ‘tuc tuc’ in front. Wearing only the lightest of summer dresses, they were lucky to escape with a few grazes. Accidents of this type are commonplace all over Thailand. Ellie said that the ‘Bangkok tattoo’ (a deep scar caused by the burn of a hot exhaust) is very common among western tourists and locals alike!

Tuesday 4th December 2001, Hat Patong Thailand.

Scuba Cat’s mini bus collected us on the dot of 7.30am for our day’s diving.

At first we were mildly concerned about over-crowding, as we waited for two additional van loads of passengers to arrive, but our fears were unfounded. The 40’ boat was easily roomy enough for all of us. There was no need for us to have bothered with breakfast, as fruit, sandwiches, and coffee, were provided all day.

It took a while to sail out to the dive site at Koh Racha Noi, but the day was already hot, and it was nice to be at sea. Underwater, John spotted an enormous moray eel, poking its head out from its lair under the coral. He signalled to the divemaster, who came over for a closer look – a bit too close for comfort, perhaps, bearing in mind that this particular specimen had the girth of a small football, and a head full of razor-sharp teeth! One can only guess at the length of a moray that size … Luckily, he decided to stay in his hole.

During the surface interval, one of the divemasters (a rather shapely American lass) decided to go for a swim, and dived from the top sundeck of the boat. Deciding she looked cold in the water, John leapt in after her … eh, hum … hurting his right ear in the process (served him right)! Luckily no lasting harm was done, and he was fit by the time he had to don his scuba gear again.

Both dives had 20m+ visibility and the water was almost too warm for our 3mm suits. But Brigid, at least, was glad to have been wearing hers. She was caught in the face by a small, harmless, jellyfish (a strange tingling sensation). Jordan, our divemaster, however, was wearing only minimal protection, and was stung all down her legs.

We were back at the hotel by 7pm in order to receive our finished suits from the Phuket tailor shop. Brigid quickly washed and rinsed all our diving gear in a tub of clean water. The evening was warm, and we had every expectation that, if we hung our wetsuits over the balcony, they would be dry by morning.

After carefully arranging the wet gloves, swimming costumes, and fins, where they would dry, Brigid draped the first dripping wetsuit over the balcony rail. As she looked over, she suddenly realised that the hotel’s restaurant had positioned a satay barbeque directly below!!

What a disappointment. Both John’s suits, while being beautifully made, were far too big, and Brigid’s outfit made her look like Margaret Thatcher! John rang the tailor, and he agreed to come straight back to the hotel to re-fit the suits.

Meanwhile we ate quickly at The Port restaurant below our room. Amazingly, the singer from the band immediately recognised the eccentric couple who had danced on their balcony the night before.

The tailor duly arrived, and admitted that John’s suits looked as if “there is a person missing”! He spent some time tucking and pinning, and took them back to the shop for alteration.

Cheered by the tailor’s attitude, we took ourselves out for a Haagen Daz ice cream.

Monday 3rd December 2001, Hat Patong Thailand.

We ate at Mae Porn again for breakfast. Then we packed our bags and checked out of the Sinthavee Hotel. We clearly needed a taxi to transport us with our luggage to Hat Patong, but we had a choice: a saloon car for Baht 450, or a “tuc tuc” (not a ‘real’ 3-wheeled tuc tuc, like in the James Bond films, but a shiny little Japanese van – the type florists use – with bench seating in the back). The ‘tuc tuc’ option seemed much more fun. So we piled ourselves, and our luggage into the back, and set off for Patong. As we climbed the steepest part of the hill, we almost ground to a complete halt, and our descent was punctuated with a volley of pops and bangs from the van’s exhaust.

The Banthai Beath Resort was a breath of fresh air (literally) after the grimy Sinthavee. (Though, to be fair to the Sinthavee, our room was immaculate … it was just the public parts of the hotel that would have benefited from a makeover.) Our huge double room overlooked the esplanade, and benefited from all the little luxuries that we have quickly become accustomed to, in oriental hotels. We had a brief walk around the resort, before succumbing to the heat, and a wish to escape the over-keen tailors’ reps and souvenir vendors.

We had a good, but criminally overpriced, curry at the Narrang Mahal. Although the total bill came to about £13, it was many times more expensive than an equivalent meal in Phuket Town.
Later we stopped to listen to “Mad Dog McCrea” at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, before retiring to our room (above the hotel’s resident band). There was no hope of any sleep, so we poured ourselves a couple of beers and danced on our balcony till they finished.

Sunday 2nd December 2001, Phiket Thailand.

The day started well enough with breakfast in Mae Porn’s excellent café, on the corner opposite the hotel. However, quite soon afterwards, Brigid’s stomach started to complain and we had to hurry back to the hotel. There was little doubt that last night’s ‘green curry’ was to blame. In any event, Brigid retired to bed – leaving John with the computer for company.

It was 5pm by the time Brigid surfaced again. But there was still time to visit the Sunday Market, which turned out to be one of the largest open-air markets we had seen ANYWHERE!

There was absolutely nothing that we wanted to buy, but the spectacle was quite something.
The whole of Phuket Island seemed to be in town and, as it got dark, the market became something of a social focus for all generations.

Saturday 1st December 2001, Phuket Thailand.

Today, after breakfast, we wanted to organise some diving from Hat Patong, a beach resort popular with the British, a few miles west of Phuket Town.  We also needed to book into a hotel there.

Breakfast, served in the spacious, but rather down-at-heel mezzanine ‘coffee shop’, turned out to be cold ham and eggs.  We made a mental note to eat elsewhere tomorrow.  As soon as were finished, we walked down to the bus stop – dropping our laundry off at reception on the way. 

The bus was a small flatbed truck that had been converted for the purpose with a wooden-framed canopy, and bench seating.  There might have been half a dozen passengers when we set off to Patong, but by the time we started to climb the hill that separates Phuket Town from the coast, the bus was full to bursting.

Unable to find a seat inside, at least two late-boarding passengers clung to the ladders that normally provide access to the luggage space on the roof.

The bus negotiated the climb in first gear – overtaken by every other motorised vehicle.  Then, suddenly, we reach the crest, and started a cautious descent.  As we swung round the hairpin bends, passengers clutched at each other in a desperate attempt to steady themselves.  (Bus travel in Thailand is a great way to make new friends!)

We booked two days’ diving, and booked ourselves into the swanky Banthai Beach Resort hotel for three nights from Monday. (The Banthai Beach Resort is a four-star hotel, and would normally have been beyond our budget, but it was convenient – being just next door to the dive shop.  We went into reception to ask the price of a room and were told that the usual price was Baht 3500 at high season, but they had were doing a ‘special’ for Baht 2700.  Although that is only about £45 per night, it was more than we wanted to pay, so we turned to leave.  “How much do you want to pay?” asked the receptionist.  We looked at each other.  “About Baht 2000 …?” said John.  “OK”, said the receptionist, “… but no breakfast”.

As we strolled down a narrow side street lined with tourist shops, we were approached by a cocky northerner (Brit) on a moped.  After a cursory introduction, he passed us a couple of free tickets to a draw. (Now, we really should have known better than to accept them, having been caught like this before.) Lo and behold!  We had won the star prize, a “dream holiday” …

Four and a half hours later, we had been offered a ‘once in a lifetime chance’ to own a timeshare apartment in Bali.  To add insult to injury (these timeshare people’s tactics are akin to being kidnapped for the afternoon), when we refused to take them up on their offer, we were disqualified – on the basis of being unemployed!

At least we got a free lift back to Phuket Town.