Originally Posted by Atagrob
Thanks for sharing your trip. I think you would be surprised to learn how many of us would be interested in you and your small motorcycle. In the US we can't even buy the small bikes because they don't send them here. I have to go to the manufacture's European or Asian websites to learn about what the rest of the world can buy that we can't.
All of us love pictures from places we have never been.
Thanks for the comment and encouragement. Now for the first stage of the journey.
Chinese temple…. Decorated and busy during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival. The festival originated in Phuket a couple of hundred years ago, but is now also celebrated in other parts of Thailand. People of Chinese origin comprise about a 30 - 40% of the local population.
The road goes around the “Two Heroines Monument”, which is in the middle of a roundabout. Back in 1785 Phuket was being threatened by Burmese invaders. These two women organised the local women to dress up as men and carry mock weapons, so that it looked like Phuket was better defended that it really was. The Burmese fell for the ruse and sailed off without attacking.
Motorcycle mounted kitchen…. These can be found all over Thailand. This vendor is selling deep fried slices of banana and sweet potato, just north of the monument.
Tyres in the making…. Rubber trees are the main agricultural land use on Phuket Island. It takes about seven years before a planter can start tapping the latex, and the trees are good for 20 to 30 years production. They usually plant pineapples between the saplings to generate cash flow until the rubber trees start producing. Phuket has its own breed of pineapple which is prized for its taste.
Mosque…. There are quite a few small mosques along the way. Many of the coastal communities in the south of Thailand are Muslim. About 30% of the Phuket’s population is Muslim.
Phuket speed limits.
The Sarasin Bridge connecting Phuket to Phang Nga…… Phuket is only just an island. It is connected to the mainland by a pair of bridges about 400 metres long. They were recently completed to replace an older bridge, which was only partially demolished. Now it is a pedestrian way, with a raised section and a viewpoint in the middle.
Now a reasonable sized fishing boat or a small super-yacht can pass under it.
Jungle Cafe…. A good place to stop off for a break and coffee.
A family checking out the goldfish at Jungle Cafe.
Oil palm plantation…. In Phang Nga palm oil is an important agricultural product. Oil palms are grown on the lower land with rubber trees being planted on the upland. There are also orchards growing mangos, durian and other fruit tucked away here and there.
Andaman Dancer…. She’ll dance no more.
I stopped of at Tab Lamu, which is where boats headed to the Similan Islands depart from. The Similans have fantastic scuba diving, with rock formations on the western side, and coral gardens to the more sheltered east. I have been fortunate to have had three diving trips there, one on a small live aboard, and two staying on the islands.
The Andaman Dancer was a live-aboard dive boat that took divers to the Similans and other places. She went down in the early hours of one morning on the return from a trip, in an unexplained accident, as I recall with the loss of just one life.
Khao Lak Bay….. From the road coming over the hill to the south.
This serene looking place was hammered by the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. In the foreground sea floor rises steeply from the deep. There is a narrow sandy beach over a rocky base, backing on to a steeply sloping hill. The waves had nowhere to go but up, and rose 10 metres or more high. The swirling waters claimed more than 2,500 souls in that basin, about half of the total loss of life in Thailand. Two of our students were doing an internship at one of the resorts. Their bodies were never found.
In the distance the rise from deep water is more gradual and the land is quite flat. Unimpeded, the tsunami swept inland more than a kilometre. An acquaintance, who was swimming there at the time, just went with the flow. He escaped shaken, but unscathed.