Well, after ten days of more or less doing nothing apart from lying on the beach it was time now to rent a motorbike and make a little tour around Phuket. The only problem was once again that my driving license actually does not allow me to drive the 125 ccm engines which is standard here. My license is limited to ridiculous 50 ccm only.
The friendly hotel owner recommended to me that in the case the police would pull me out and check my license I should just show my German one. So they would see I have a licence but could not read nor understand what my license is really good for or not so good for.
OK! So what?! Basically it s not my first time either! Driving without a valid license and no insurance coverage! What I nedd is a good karma!
Today i was driving to the small island Koh Sirey east of the capital and connected to mainland Phuket by a little bridge. There is a little village with sea gypsies and a temple but not really much else to see.
A few hundred meters behind the bridge you are repeatedly warned of monkeys on the street before you arrive at a little platform from which you can watch those animals in their natural mangrove surroundings.
Visiting the Sea Gypsies on Chao Ley
Afterwards I was driving to the sea gypsies. They live in a small village on the beach. You will find a few stalls selling shells and some jewelry. Beyond this you can watch the people doing their daily work like hammering on oysters.
Or you watch the people doing apparently nothing at all. And that´s when I wondered why those people are still called gypsies as they do not really seem to move around a lot.
However as always I had the best fun with the cute children who welcame me enthusiastically and started posing for the camera immediately.
The Temple Wat Siray
Next stop was the Temple Wat Sirey. It lies on the top of a little hill and accommodates a pretty long reclining Buddha statue.
The Monkey Hill of Phuket Town
Actually I wanted to visit a nice viewing point on a hill north of Phuket town thereafter. It is called Khao Rang and everybody knows it. On my map it looked pretty easy to find it. And the friendly directions by local people who I asked for support, gave me a confident feeling to be on the right track. But for whatever reasons I ended up on the Khao To Sae. A little mountain also called the Monkey Hill by the locals. On the op of the hill there are lots of antennas. And as the name Monkey Hill would suggest you will meet quite a few monkeys who all look like this one or similar.
And the antennas look like this::
A nice view could only be found from a small parking space just below the top of the hill. But spectacular is different.
On the other hand there was also a small shrine, the Chao Por To Sae, with three somehow holy looking figures. And as there are crescents hanging over them it seems to be a muslim shrine.
By now I had been on the move for four hours without any drink and more importantly without any cigarette. So I was looking for a kind of bistro but unfortunately to no avail. In my despair I decided to move on to Rawai Beach.
The Rawai Beach
Rawai Beach is known for the sea gypsies living there right next to the beach in their wooden houses. And the fish market! On this market you can find not only really fresh fish and other seafood. But you can also buy lots of handicraft stuff and enjoy a good time in one of the restaurants where they prepare your freshly bought seafood to your taste and only charge 100 THB (2,30 €) per kilo.
I like the special peaceful and quiet atmosphere of this place. No puffery, only a few tourists and in between the gypsy kids who either try to beg some money out of the tourists or help their parents.
On my way back to Patong I made a short stop on Kata Beach, where i took some pictures in the warm light of the sunset.
At the exit of Kata it was no real surprise that my Karma wanted the police to pull out all motorbikes. And there was no escape. Around twenty motorcycles queued up waiting to be controlled.
I prepared myself mentally and was getting my “license” and my passport out of my photo bag. I then turned round to see and get a feeling for how long it would probably take until it was my turn. And my impression was that it would take a pretty long time. Too long!
I decided to take the offensive to speed up my karma. I sought eye contact with one of the police officers waving with my documents. The officer looked at me for a moment and obviously came to the conclusion that I must be a very trustworthy man. He was a wise man! And that is why he decided to let me go. He just gave me a sign with his hands and I could drive off. It is all about Karma!!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Click the slide show above the post to see more images.