Thailand 2008 (VII)

Another medley of images from Phuket. The “Big Buddha” that watches over Au Chalong has an amazing haircut – shown in the first image. The second is a shot of one of the beaches in the Similan Islands. In the trees of the headland, if you look closely, you will see some well concealed buildings. These are part of the holiday home complex used by the Royal Family. The third (central) image is of a fresh fruit stall that opens during the day on the high street that spans the headland between Karon beach and Kata beach on the west coast of Phuket Island. There is a truly amazing selection there, every day. The last two images on this post are taken from a Sea Canoe tour of Phang Nga bay. Up towards the north end of Phuket Island (actually very close to what is commonly known as “James Bond Island”) are a number of larger limestone pinnacles. Because the stone dissolves in water, the tidal zone of each of these islands has become an incredibly complex series of caves and rocky overhangs. In these two shots you can see some of the limestone “tears” that are caused when rainwater starts to dissolve the rock. The overhang is literally vast – it cuts more than 15 metres under the island from the “true edge” back to where the sea has eroded it, yet the stone above it seems relatively secure. Not that I’d want to try climbing it, you understand!

Thailand 2008 (VI)

Here’s a bit of a mix of images… The first is the sheltered portion of the so-called “Donald Duck Bay” in the Similan Islands, which takes it’s name from a curiously shaped rock, on the ridge that edges the bay. The next two shots are a couple of luxury yachts that we encountered whilst adjacent to “Island 4” in the Similan chain. This is the island that has a small naval base on one side, and also a holiday home for use by the Royal Family in a secluded spot atop a ridge that overlooks one of the bays. Next we have another green sea turtle, who seemed to enjoy the banana that we were offering by way of a snack, but wanted to pull funny faces at us nonetheless. Lastly, a shot taken from Kata beach, back on Phuket. The portion of land in the shot is actually a section of “Koh Poo” Island, and if you look to the left of this you will clearly see a water spout, which hovered off the shore for more than 20 minutes. In fact, at one point in time, there were three to be seen all together.

Thailand 2008 (V)

And there’s more… Here we have a selection of nudibranch, a Frog fish, starfish and, a bit of an odd one out, part of the Wat Chalong complex, which is located near the centre of Phuket island, a little inland from Phuket Town.

Thailand 2008 (IV)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the experiences of Thailand in January and February were sufficient to prompt a return visit in November the same year. Again for three weeks’ duration, this visit was going to be an opportunity to get some quality diving experiences. The first week was spent completing both the Enriched Air [Nitrox] and Advanced Open Water PADI Courses. Then the middle 6 days were spent aboard the Marco Polo, Sea-Bees live-aboard cruise ship that visits the Similan Island National Park every week during the high season.