Monday, April 29, 2019

April 28, 2019,   Phuket, Thailand,     107/183          -

Impressive sail-in this morning, past rambling homes perched on scenic hillsides, under a driving rain.  Luckily, the rain abated as we began our tour of Phang Nga Bay.  High speed long boats toured us around these world renowned limestone rock formations (Karst Formations, caused by colliding tectonic plates)

Few bits of history about the area:

- Phuket is one of 77 Thai provinces
- Thailand has 40,000 Buddhist Temples, unfathomable how they sustain this expense.
- Rubber (Latex) is number one export, but ironically rubber trees were imported to Asia from South
- Tin mining started here 400 years ago but many mines have closed due to economics and   
   ecological  concerns.
- Tourism is number 2 revenue generator.

Once again I am impressed by the advanced state of this area.  We drove for 4 hours on a divided, 4 to 6 lane highway, with nice landscaping, bridges and modern facilities everywhere.  This area is called a third world country?  Well isn't it interesting that we are facing a 2,500 km drive to Trilogy this fall, a journey over which two thirds of the roads will be 2 lane.  Something is wrong with this picture!

Limestone formations in the National Park

On our way!

Beautiful rock formations in the park

Limestone dissolves and reforms stalactites

Kao Ping-Gan island, where part of James Bond film, "The Man With The Golden Gun" was filmed in 1974.

Mangroves, build land mass, fish habitat, stabalizes shores during storms, climate moderator

Note the opening under the massive cliff

Boatload of our ship mates, scooting past us like raiders in the night.

200 years ago, about 50 Muslims settled on a acre mud bank under the rock backdrop.  Over the years, they have added buildings on piling to the extend that over 1100 people live here. Seems like most amenities available, like Internet, solar power, refrigeration, stores, mosque.  Fresh water is supplied via an under sea pipeline from the mainland.
   Probably a safe, defensible location back in the day.

Proud girl with her umbrella

Poster on school wall, where 113 students study.  Note the swim wear comment!

Usual suspects

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