General08 Feb 2008 07:46 am

Today, I present to you a tour of some of the common and some of the rarer wildlife of Phuket.

Here, seen in one of their natural habitats, the Japanese Tourist.

Packed into small groups and herded by a fast talkin’, photo clickin’ head tour guide, they are often spotted boarding buses or drinking in bars. Blink, and you miss them. I saw this group in party central Phuket; Bangla Road. They were there to observe another “natural” phenomenon of the area…

The Crazy Eyed Rocktit, aka, Katoey or ladyboy. These nocturnal creatures are deceiving at first sight, good from far but often far from good.

People gather to watch them dance, blow kisses and flash their goods while performing a fantastic mating dance complete with elaborate costumes. Only to fear if you’ve had one too many big beers or buckets of Thai whiskey. Mostly only searching for tips from gawking tourists.

Less flamboyant than the Japanese tourists but often seen in the same habitats is the Euro couple (long maned variation). Often matching each other’s style and grooming habits, these majestic couples exhibit the same skin coloration and often the same hair patterns. During the day can be found on the beaches, fiercely guarding their ‘nest’ of sunbeds.

And a beach sighting, mid-day. From far, we’re not completely sure exactly what species it is…

Perhaps an elaborately dressed jet ski tout? A tour operator? He’s solitary, so that seems to indicate some sort of sales pitch. Upon closer investigation (and digital zooming) …

It seems as if it’s the rarest of them all, the Bearhat Ice Cream Singer.

Only seen during the hottest parts of the day, this singing salesman walks the beach, crooning to small children and cuddling couples, convincing them to buy an ice cream bar. The hat seals the deal for many.

Sure, you’re hot and cooking in the sun, but you’re not lugging a 20 pound miniature freezer up and down the sliding sand of the beach with a faux fur hat on your head.

The fact remains, whether you buy for pity or for pure enjoyment, the ice cream is damn good and that hat is pretty damn cute and remains my personal favorite spotting during this Phuket Wildlife Safari excursion.

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