Thailand’s west coast is world famous for its stunning vertical cliffed islands, idyllic white sand beaches and turquoise coves. A few have have made their way into popular movies like Leonardo Dicaprio’s The Beach and the James Bond film The Man With a Golden Gun. All the fame has caused the area to become a bit of a tourist trap with no shortage of excursion boats and and cheap trinket shops, but we’d generally agree with most of the praise this place gets. And we’re the first to admit the unique beauty has left us slack-jawed more than once.
It’s the rainy southwest monsoon season, which means we’re dealing with unpredictable weather many days. More importantly though it means our movement any further west from here is effectively blocked by the opposing wind. So we’ll be basing out of this area around Phuket until at least late November when the northwest monsoon develops, which will power us through the next (and final) major leg of our journey. We’re perfectly happy with this forced “delay” – it gives us plenty of time to explore the Thai islands, discover what notoriously crazy Phuket is all about, and also privides an opportunity to do another major road trip, this time through Thailand’s neighboring countries in south east Asia.
For the past couple weeks though, we’ve been focused on the smaller islands east of Phuket, and have been bouncing around like a pinball, rarely stopping for more than a night in each place. That changed a few days ago when we arrived in Phi Phi Don, as a big weather system is now ripping through and pinning us down here. Our pathetic attempt to leave yesterday for Phuket lasted just 10 minutes before 35 knots of headwind and 5 meter swells quickly forced us to make a U-turn, and we’re now settled back in the shelter of Phi Phi Don’s famous Tonsai Bay. We’re joined again now by Antra who we last saw in Indonesia a couple months ago, and like a true adventurer, she’s been nonstop smiles while bouncing around with us in the monsoon, and we couldn’t be happier about this addition to our team.