Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Phuket, Khao Sok & Back to Bangkok

Apologies for the delay (I dont know if I need to apologise), even with free internet you can still find more appealing things to do. So Phuket, what to say, I think to describe it as 'the comedown' island would be appropriate - but that might be because I'd just come from Phi Phi. It was in no way Thailand, it seemed to have been engulfed by fat, middle-aged white men parading around with their Thai brides - very seedy, especially on Pa Thong beach which is the hotspot for these people to flock to. I however just passed through on my motorbike. Apart from that everything was just meh - the beaches (major parosols), the shops, the markets, the scenery... Same same but different.

Luckily I met some really nice people so we formed a "Slaughterhouse 3" biking gang (kudos goes to Katheryn for that) and did a tour of the island. Phuket doesn't have like "a thing" which the island is famous for - well, apart from the aformentioned seediness. So a self-navigated tour was our only option. So yeah, it was me, Katheryn (an Aussie who'd been in England for 6 years) and Jeff (a pilot from America) that were our gang, and apart from the on/off rain, we had a good day (and by rain I mean storm).

And on the subject, rain. It's been thunderstorming everyday for over a week here. Mostly in the evenings or late afternoon, but weird things are going on with the climate here. It's still really nice and hot, but when the clouds start a-forming, you start a-moving (or pulling over if you're on a bike) because the drops are the size of your hands and face. I however avoided it all during the stuff I did so I dont mind if it rains now, I was spared when it mattered :)

So on the 21st of March I went from Phuket to Khao Sok National Park, back to the huts im so fond of but this time in the jungle, surrounded by greens I have only seen on a HD t.v, the trees brought alive by the rain I suspect. The day after I arrived I went on a trip to the Rajjaphapa Dam which envolved a boat tour, 3 hour jungle trek and 1 hour cave exploration. The path was relatively straight forward, it winded up through the jungle going in and out of rivers and mud towards the highlight of Namtaloo Cave. Inside it was pitch black, and a river (probably the same river we'd been traversing) ran throughout the cave - which basically formed our path. The entrance was something straight out of Lord of The Rings and inside were hundreds of bats clinging to the ceiling and huge 'Hunter Spiders' lurking on the rocks, all of which you'd find by torchlight. Our group of 7 or so people had to paddle, wade and swim through with obvious attention needed when navigating the slippery rocks and plunges. But it was f***ing-great(parental guidance, I know I have many young fans).

BUT, and it's a big but. After navigating the cave, and managing to keep my camera dry throughout the whole thing - all that frickin' water! I exited and decided to take a picture of the 'exit hole' and somehow dropped my fucking camera in a fucking pool of water. Seriously, I value my camera over my passport or money, if it got stolen or lost, I think i'd spontaneously vomit. So the camera spazzed out for a minute and I removed the battery and memory card (the important bit) and once back at basecamp I let it dry in the sun. Then when I got back to my hut I put everything back and it seemed to work - the occasional blip but that's it. Now however, although it's back to normal, there still seems to be moisture in the lense?... so there's a clouded mist over any pictures I take. I divided now about what to do, im back in Bangkok so a camera would be easy (and relatively cheap compared to home) to pick up. But I have feeling if my camera could just de-moisturise (?) then it would be ok (?). I might investigate borrowing a hairdryer... Does anyone have any ideas? A guy also recommended a rice streamer but I dont want to cook it :-/

Apart from that I sent another package home today, also put in my order for my Cambodian Visa and booked a bus from Bangkok to Siam Reap for Friday. Im also about to go to a district in Bangkok called "Pantip" which is like the electronics heart of the city, just to have a look at the cameras. If mine hasn't sorted itself out by Thursday then I'll know where to go to get another.

This post has been epic. I hope it makes up for the promised photos which never turned up. I'll post again before Friday and then it's off to Cambodia for me! - camera or no camera. X


  1. Hi Tom well what a lot you have done,shame about the camera somebody did tell me how to overcome the problem that you now have but I cannot remember what it was so that it pretty useless. Certainly wouldn't put in a steamer that will make it worse, still at least you have got the memory card. Don't fancy seeing the fat beaches pretty sick seeing all those desperate people. Hope things go OK in Cambodia don't think it will be as good as thailand but that might be proved wrong. Anyway enjoyed the blog and wish you well on the continuation of your travels. Take care love Christine and Malcolm

  2. Hi Tom, i spoke to the guy in cameras at work its not good.... he said either try drying it in the sun again or try the hairdryer, but moisture is the worst thing.. the blogs good not sure about all the spiders though :-(

    Take care lol mum & dad. xx