… along the coasts – Phuket with a warm welcome but unexpected interruption caused by an earthquake
As soon as we picked up our Visa for Indonesia we packed our things, ready to leave Bangkok early morning on Tuesday. I took us a while getting out of Bangkok and we had a short stop in Cha-am. We said “Hello” to our room neighbor of our Guesthouse in Bangkok, Tony, but as the place was fully touristic and the beaches were packed with people and umbrellas we decided to continue direction south – hoping to find a more remote place for the night.
South of Hua Hin we turned on loop along the coast through a National Park where we found a lovely place under pines at the beach site to park our bike a build up the tent. A bit worried we were in the beginning about the monkeys which were playing around and watching us very interested… do they will take apart probably our bike over night??? But it seemed they were just going asleep when it turned dark and everything was fine the next morning when we crawled out of our tent for a swim. On the way out of the valley we passed several Shrimp Farms and in one of the coast villages we had a stop for our breakfast: Pad Thai with fresh shrimps. Honestly, it was the best and the cheapest (25 THB =0,60 €) one we ever had!!! (Pad Thai is a traditional meal, shortly fried in a pan: noodles, eggs, sprouts, spring onions, peanuts with tofu, chicken or shrimps served with a separated plate full of fresh sprouts, chili and spring onions). We enjoyed the small streets along the coast and suddenly more and more Resorts appeared… not really an area where it is easy to find a cheap place to stay or even to put up the tent. Having some tries we ended up in a small village asking in a guest house for a room… after talking a while the owner asked us if we have a tent with us when he realized we are travelling long and “low budget”. Saying it short: we put up our tent in his garden allowed to use his bathroom facilities for free, perfect!!! We really enjoyed the afternoon, swimming, watching the fishermen…
Next morning after a quick swim in the sea and a shower, we decided to cross the land over the mountains and went from the east to the west coast. Once more we reached the border to Burma (Myanmar) – this time going south along it. Reaching Ranong we had a short chat with an Italian guy who was riding his bike round the world as well but some years ago. Suddenly it went completely dark and he was telling us that there are heavy rain showers since a couple of days always late in the afternoon.. We decided shortly to drive into a canyon nearby to find a place for the night, even though this was the part which looked darkest. Driving through the heavy rain we saw a little wooden sign and followed the direction. Finally we reached a lovely little and remote place: A jungle valley with a little stream and a green ground where Tun, the owner, build up a three huts and his bamboo bar-kitchen. When we arrived the rain stopped and he was sitting with his friends drinking beer and listening to: Country Music! It was a little bit bizarre this scenery, especially the were speaking just a little bit English ;-) Anyhow, we found our place to stay for the next two nights in the middle of the nature: Joining Tun and his friends, watching and listening the animals around, the sunrise on one side and the sunset on the other site of the valley, at night the full moon… and making some trips around the canyon and to some hot springs nearby.
Now it was time to get closer to Phuket and to get in touch with our old friend who settled there. Unfortunately we found out that he had to leave to Bangkok for a couple of days. Never mind we were invited to use his flat where a part of his family and his girlfriend were staying at the moment. Warmly welcomed we arrived last Saturday and enjoying since then the luxury of having something like a “home” for a couple of days! Living in our own AC room with a huge bed ;-) and having a kitchen where we can cook, having good friends around us all the time. We spend an incredible lovely time together and were invited to a boat trip around the Phi Phi Islands as well. At the same time we found a home we are doing vacation! What a great combination. A big THANK YOU once again to everybody! Tell the little one that there is still a game of Yenga open! He just led by one point!
At Phuket we meet again another RTW pilot on his Ténéré whom we saw the last time about 6 weeks ago in Central Laos… We will see what we do; if we meet in Malaysia again to cross to Indonesia; if we share a container (if necessary)… The information we are receiving at the moment are changing on an hourly basis… But lucky us there are quite some drivers who want to cross to Indonesia…
Unfortunately we had an unexpected interruption yesterday: The earthquake which happened close to Sumatra and we could feel here quite intensive in Phuket. Because we were sitting in the fourth floor we felt quite save regarding the probably upcoming reaction of the ocean; the Tsunami. Of course we were worried for a while and following the news to take any action immediately if necessary and we packed the most important things together. Luckily it was relatively fast clear that we do not have to expect anything really bad here – nevertheless we spend the evening home with a spooky silence outside, but we were more worrying about the people who are closer to the epic center. Fortunately today is clear nothing happened to anybody really bad!!!
Today In the morning we brought the family of our friend to the airport. Now we are alone in this big flat… As we have the Thai New Year tomorrow we will not drive with our motorbike for sure and it is a good time to work at the pool! Waiting for our friend who will hopefully manage to come over tomorrow or after tomorrow, we try to get organized whatever we need for our further trip… having the luxury of the beaches, the pool and a “home”.