Photos: First days in Thai Waters
We have broken free of the invisible line that
was holding Sea Mist to D dock at Rebak. Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and is on the west coast of Thailand. The island was one of the major trading routes to India and China and derived its wealth from tin and rubber and was visited by the English, Dutch, French and Portuguese wanting to trade for the island’s tin. We have noticed large tracks of land covered with rubber trees, but nowadays Phuket is mainly a tourist destination. The island is very mountainous with beautiful beaches lining the shores. We left Langkawi bound for Ko Lipe as our first stop; the winds and seas were up so we didn’t bother to lower our dinghy just for two nights while John caught up on boat issues that emerged after a year of no sailing. And, we can stop there on our way back to Langkawi and explore the beach, resorts and small village.
There was lots of activity on the beach and in the water, it was nice just to sit in the cockpit kept cool by the winds and watching the people on the shore.
The cottages by the sea looked pretty inviting.
This resort looked like it was ready to tumble down the embankment but there were people on the decks…economy side of the beach.
We are in the harbor at Ao Chalong, this is where you check into Thailand. Our first night we were on the far side of the harbor with a good view of the giant Buddha on the hilltop. It is very peaceful on this side of the bay, just lots of condominiums and hotels.
The next day we moved over to the harbor front where the boats are all anchored and the many, many, tour boats are by the beach awaiting their next group of tourists.
The harbor is full of boats on this side, the only reason we could see staying there for any length of time was to provision and tour on land, just too busy with all of the ferries and tour boats.
There is a very long pier that you have to walk along to get to the offices of the officials for formal check in … and to reach the town.
We needed to get new sim cards for our phones and were told about a shopping center where we could get them, we saw dive shop after dive shop, but when we arrived at the small mall they couldn’t help us, just as we were walking away a woman putting her groceries in her car asked us if we were Americans, she was shopping for two weeks’ worth of groceries based on the advisory information she had received from the U.S. Embassy (result of the very significant anti-government protests underway….mainly in Bangkok…well in the distance from Phuket).
We asked her if she knew where we could go to get Thai sim cards for data and voice. She wasn’t sure as she had her iPhone for quite a while…. but …she told us to get into the car and she would drive us to the Home Pro Village where we should be able to find everything we needed and she was right – sometimes you meet a perfect stranger and they are so kind and helpful. Maggie, has lived in Phuket for 14 years, it would have been great to talk more to her about the island and living on the island; she was originally from Kauai, Hawaii. Neat person.
Home Pro Village Shopping Centre, indoor and outdoor shops.
Really cute bug shoes for kids
We got our sim cards, topped up our phones bought some groceries and made our way back to the pier, the very long pier and left the busy harbor of Ao Chalong and motored around the corner just before dark to Nai Harn Beach where we would finally meet up with David and Marian –S/V Kilkea ll. S/V Nefertiti was there as well; they have been our close dock neighbours for the last year at Rebak. We went for sundowners on Nefertiti and watched the hand gliders and the sunset.
There were lots of people sitting on the hill awaiting the sunset. A photo moment.
We will be sailing up the west coast of Phuket as well as perhaps going offshore to the Surins and the Similins. Tomorrow we are off to Panong Beach.