Thailand 2011 (II)

In Chalong, little more than half a kilometre or so from my friends at Sea Bees Diving, there is an absolutely amazing Orchid Farm, which is open to the public most days.

It’s a quite remarkable place to visit, with a seemingly endless variety of different orchid species on show. It is fascinating to see how they are grown, with many of them requiring neither soil nor water and instead they are grown in little more than a suspended mesh, with water being absorbed from the high moisture content of the atmosphere.

The lady I spoke with, Claudia, seems very knowledgeable of the many species being cultivated and her passion for these exquisite plants really shines through. Well worth an hour or two, if you ever visit the area.

(Please note: I apologise for the fact that the quality of both focus and composition of most of these images is lacking… I was a bit mesmerised and not paying enough attention… but I still think they are worth it…

Thailand 2011 (I)

I think the fact that this is the first post to this blog in a year – and one which carries on, in Phuket, Thailand, where the last left off – might be living proof of the truth in the saying, “Life is What Happens Whilst You’re Making Other Plans.”

Just a little west of Phuket Town Centre is a place known as Rang Hill, which is famous for a troop of (incredibly bold) wild monkeys. There are some spectacular views over Phuket Town, out to Au Chalong (Chalong Bay) and the inner islands.

There is also the fantastic Tunk Ka Cafe, perched on one corner of Rang hill and sharing the fabulous views.

And then there are the monkeys. Be warned: they are partial to pretty much any food or drink you might purchase – and they are both agile and bold enough to snatch it from your hand!

 

Thailand 2010 (V)

It’s taking quite a long time to trawl through more than 1,000 photographs and lift out those (hopefully) worthy of cropping and posting, but hopefully it will be worth it.

The biggest challenge so far is finding decent underwater shots – many have been “duds” with out of focus or with a badly cropped (and usually fast-moving) subject. But there are a few more yet to go…

Thailand 2010 (IV)

As the images in this post show, I’ve tried to make use of my “rest days” (non-diving days) for excursions around Phuket Island. The first two shots were taken at Phuket Butterfly Garden.

Sadly now closed, this attraction was a fascinating mix of butterflies and an intense distillation of the more exotic Thai plant life to be found on the island.

The third shot is a view from a vantage point above Karon Beach, looking west, whilst the last two shots are of Racha Yai island, seen from the east side.

Thailand 2010 (III)

A second selection of images taken from a dive to the artificial reef in Bay 1, on the east coast of Racha Yai island, just south of Phuket.

The reef consists of a large series of “open” cubes that have been scattered across the smooth, open sands of the bay and which now provide shelter and homes for teeming marine life. Not as wondrous as an all-natural reef of course, but an important boost to the local ecology all the same.

In this collection of images, I think my personal favourite has to be the Marbled Moray Eel – the one investigating my Dive Instructor’s prod. This is a relatively rare eel for the waters of Phuket [in 150 dives I’ve only ever seen this one] and the little fellow was smart, playful and adorable.