En route to Phuket

Welcome to Thailand! Land of the free. It felt like we finally entered paradise again. We had a few lovely stops on the way to Phuket. It’s roughly 120 NM from Langkawi to Phuket, so, we split the journey up in three very comfortable day-hops.

Our first anchorage was Ko Bulon Le, a small remote island with a lovely beach, a wooden shack-type beach bar and a couple of backpacker-type lodgings. We were welcomed by bar-owner James Bond, or at least that what he told us his name was. But when Seathan introduced himself as Sean Connery, he had no idea who that was. 😀

Anyway, first Singha was free. Welcome to Thailand. Yay! We like it here already.

That evening we were in for another treat. We heard there would be a super-moon and were watching it in awe as it rose in the early evening. Little did we know that there was going to be an eclipse too! What a sight. How awesome to see this from our anchorage.

The next day we continued to Ko Muk, where we parked in a stunning bay underneath towering cliffs. Ko Muk has a famous hong to explore, accessible only through a cave and a tunnel at low tide. During the daytime, hundreds of tourists were dropped off to go into the hong but after 4pm everyone was gone and we could venture in on the dinghy.

One more stop before Phuket: Ko Phi Phi (pronounced pee-pee). Probably the most famous island in Thailand. Especially after they filmed “The Beach” with Leonardo Di Caprio there. It consists of two main islands: Ko Phi Phi Le and Ko Phi Phi Don. Ko Phi Phi Lee is where THE famous beach is located, in Maya bay. We went in but turned around quickly. It was busier than the Singapore Straits. The big difference was that nobody here seemed to know their Col Regs, who cares at 35 knots. And I don’t think there was room for one more person on that beach anyway.

So instead we stopped in Ko Phi Phi Don. A narrow sandbar separates the two main bays and we anchored on the quieter side. I was there 20 years ago or so and was shocked to see the difference. Of course there has been the tsunami in 2004 that swept everything away but the amount of building and infrastructure that is now set up on this tiny sandbar is incredible. We didn’t stay long and fled back to the boat to have dinner onboard.

Next stop: Phuket and catching up with my parents who are on holiday here and I haven’t seen for two years. Bliss!

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entering Thailand

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approaching our first anchorage, Ko Bulon Le

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and there’s a beach bar!

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James Bond, the beach-bar owner, showing off his tat

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free welcome beer. Yay!

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view from the bar

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and then there’s the moonrise

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it’s the night of the super-blue-blood moon

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and on top of that, there’s an eclipse!

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our first Thai sunrise

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onwards to the next anchorage

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Ko Muk

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lovely evening light

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off to find that hong

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entrance to the cave and tunnel

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entering the cave

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inside the cave

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there’s light at the end of the tunnel

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and the tunnel enters into the hong

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inside the hong

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inside the hong

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looking up inside the hong

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one more sunset, couldn’t resist

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Ko Phi Phi Le on the left, Ko Phi Phi Don on the right

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Ko Phi Phi Le, where they filmed The Beach

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We’re not the only ones heading there, plenty of speed boats around

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and local transfers

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Busier than the Singapore Straits

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No room left on that beach now

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so we make a quick exit

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to Phi Phi Don

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tide is going out…

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let’s go see what this island is like

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Phi Phi Don at sunset

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time to head back to the boat, tide is out

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but we left the dinghy in a safe place, tied up to some local boats

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our anchorage in Phi Phi

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Rehua in the sunset

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and finally, the next day, we approach Phuket

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Nai Harn beach

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first stop: clearing in at Ao Chalong

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All done and we’re legal in the country

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And then a happy reunion with my folks

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Nai Harn beach the next day, great surf

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aaah, we like it here

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evening over Nai Harn

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busy parking lot

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one more sunset ….

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