A Portrait of Phaic Tan

For the first-time Western visitor, a trip to Phaic Tan can be a genuine assault on the senses – an overwhelming explosion of sights, sounds, tastes, smells and strange colonic movements. But most agree that once you spend some time in this tropical paradise it has a strange way of getting into your blood.*

Peace at Last
Sadly, for far too long, the very name Phaic Tan has come to be associated with atrocities, poverty and bloodshed. This, combined with sub-standard duty-free shopping opportunities, has understandably limited the number of travellers visiting the country. But after years of bitter conflict, Phaic Tan is finally a nation at peace, with armed hostilities now confined to just a few northern provinces and the Bumpattabumpah Casino. Throughout the land citizens – who for years served in underground militia units – have at last downed their weapons and are now welcoming overseas visitors with an open arm.

Land of Contrasts
Phaic Tan is truly a beguiling land of contrasts, where traffic police wear face masks but surgeons rarely do, a country where littering is an indictable offence yet landlords may legally use torture to extract overdue rent, a nation that boasts the world’s highest number of amputees per head of population yet, paradoxically, has never won a medal at the Para Olympic Games.

Visitors to Phaic Tan also vary widely – from the ubiquitous backpacker drawn by the lure of untouched tropical beaches and 24-hour foot massage facilities – to the discerning luxury traveller keen to indulge in some of the world’s most exclusive coastal resorts, five-star retreats so luxurious that staff are sacked daily just to maintain freshness.
Such is the magic of Phaic Tan that many who come, intending to stay for a week, never manage to leave (see our section on Narcotics – Penalties for).
 

Phaic Tan boasts some of the lowest lying land in Southeast Asia. Here a typical family celebrate the arrival of the Dry Season.
* For more information, see our section on Typhoid.

Phaic Tan is now making
its mark on the international stage. The world’s number one exporter of cocktail umbrellas and disposable chopsticks, Phaic Tan was recently named as host nation of the 2006 Southeast Asian Hackey-Sack Championships.
This extract taken from PHAIC TAN – SUNSTROKE ON A SHOESTRING