In Memory of Tsunami 2004, Phuket, Thailand

Rawai Beach, Phuket, Thailand. 2010

Coral washed ashore during the Tsunami of 2004 in Phuket can still be seen 5 years later along the shoreline at shallow water.

The overturned corals cause a hazard to local fishing boats especially during the rough seas of the Monsoon Season, but in a more positive way, they provide a breeding ground or shelter for various species of marine life.

At Rawai Beach, Phuket, Thailand, new coral can be seen growing in places where there was no coral before. Small corals are visible during low water scattered among the debris of broken coral damaged by the tsunami.

Holiday Time!

Well it seems that Phuket's high season is beginning! Lots of visitors from all over the world are here and enjoying the sun!

Some are here to play, some to enjoy the food!

The End of a Perfect Day in Paradise

The perfect end to a perfect day!

The last few tourists at Bon Island catch the last few rays of sun before it sinks into the sea behind Koh Gaew (Buddha Island) marking the end of just another perfect day in paradise.

Then as our boat pulls out of Bon Island, the sun slowly starts to sink out of sight, lighting up the clouds over Lone Island and painting the sea, before it disappears altogether.

On arrival back at Rawai beach the long-tail boats are silhouetted against the last rays of light. Tranquillity finally returns, all is silent until the new day breaks, the tourists return and the sound of the engines drown out the calls of the boat drivers.

The weather has been a bit strange over the last few days, brilliant sunshine with spots of rain falling at the same time, but Phuket's like that! Monday saw a brief return to the rainy season with SW winds, large monsoon season style waves and thick cloud in the morning that eventually retreated to allow the sun to break through. Today, Tuesday was thankfully a lot better, no waves and plenty of sun that helped make a wonderful day on the beach for all our visitors.

However by around 16.30 things began to change and a quick exodus had to be made by all!

The only thought was whether we would make it before the rain caught up with us, and as we pulled the boat in to Rawai Beach, spots of rain began to fall. Some streets were partially flooded including Nanai Road in Patong which was renamed as Nanai River!

Casualties on the Beach

Strong winds yesterday washed sand from the east of Bon Island's beach to the west (as mentioned in a previous post) leaving several beach chairs buried in sand. But this was not the only change to be seen. The sea had left the beach looking more beautiful than ever with a fresh layer of sand looking pristine like newly fallen snow, not a footprint in sight! It reminded me of just how the beach looked three days after Tsunami 2004, perfectly clean and edged with crystal clear water, almost as if no disaster had ever occurred.

Typhoon Gay Remembered

Today is the 20th anniversary of Typhoon Gay, the typhoon that devastated Chumporn, Thailand. The storm struck early in the morning of November 4th 1989, with a wind speed of 190km per hour, leaving over 400 dead, damaging 40,000 homes and effecting around 150,000 people. The strong waves did a similar amount of damage to the coral reef as the Tsunami of 2004 did to Phuket ( see photograph). Broken coral was washed ashore leaving a bank of coral almost a metre deep on one of the beaches in Chumporn.

Phuket is sunny again!

Perfect weather to be on the beach today! All our visitors had a wonderful time at Bon Island.

Phuket's High Season approaches!

As Phuket enters the 'High Season' the weather seems to be lagging behind. Last year the monsoon season's south-westerly wind changed to the dry season's north-easterly wind much earlier. However today brought us some hope with the first signs of some change.

Today was the first day in about six months that we could moor our boat on the west beach at Bon Island, the monsoon waves being too large for a safe mooring. By late afternoon the sea was really calm, the sunlight shimmering on the surface looked beautiful and added to the feeling of tranquillity.

However by the time we left for the mainland a heavy bank of cloud was approaching and the rain was falling in no time. Back in Kathu the Vegetarian Festival lanterns, still hanging even though the festival ended two days ago, added a bit of colour to the otherwise grey surroundings.

When the sea goes down.....

When the sea goes down and your driver falls asleep you may stay a little bit longer than you expected!

A beautiful sunny day, no wind no waves, but that doesn't mean that everything will run smoothly! The tides at Bon Island change with the moon, and alter by about 45 minutes everyday so the boat drivers have to keep a close eye on tide times and move their boats out to deeper water when the tide goes down. Of course there is always a day when someone falls asleep or we are all to busy to watch the sea go down, the result of course can be quite amusing!

Will we make it?

After Tropical Storm Parma has been circling the Philippines for days, it has finally turned towards China, and heading for Laos so it looks like we're in for another few days of rain!

On the way to work this morning things didn't look too good, however the wind pushed the rain behind the island and we were spared of a downpour. At this time of year we have to be prepared, although I have a waterproof bag, I still make sure to carry my mobile phone in a plastic bag, and have a plastic raincoat and umbrella on hand at all times. When it rains here it really pours!

Phuket: After the rain...the sun always shines!

After a few days of rain that caused flooding in some parts of Thailand, the sun has returned to Phuket! It was a beautiful day to be on the beach and even a small rain shower avoided Bon Island, passing from Rawai into Chalong Bay.

Just Another Day in Paradise

The side effects of Typhoon Ketsana were seen here in Phuket, but luckily not so badly! Just a strong wind and intermittent rainfall. My sympathies to all of you in the Philippines, hope you get things back to normal soon!

The lights were green but we weren't going anywhere! The usual scenario on a rainy day, when motorbikes are left at home in preference of something a little more comfortable.

Snorkelling in Phuket?

A heavy morning downfall leaves Phuket's temporary fresh food market awash, a great way to start the day!

April Showers

A sudden shower of April rain delays our trip to work, sending us running for shelter.

Bon Island disappears from sight but within minutes it passes, and off we go!

Back home again in the evening, just escaping a shower of rain as we leave Bon Island, we arrive at Rawai Beach at low tide. The sun breaks through the clouds bathing the sand in gold.

On other days our departure from Rawai can be quite different with beautiful blue skies, fluffy white clouds and crystal clear water

Sometimes it's a race back to shore before a large storm breaks. Often the rain is preceded by very strong winds that lash the sea up into large waves making it unsafe for smaller fishing boats

The Beauty of Weather

Despite the problems that bad weather can cause, there is a lot of pleasure to be gained from the beauty it creates. In Phuket you can get rain and sun at the same time, you can be sitting on the beach at Bon Island and watch the rain pour down over Rawai Beach or Lone Island!

Glimpses of sunlight breaking through dramatic skies turn the sea emerald green and within minutes change it again to dazzling turquoise, before the rain falls changing everything to grey.

A Freak Storm

In March 2009 on what seemed to be a beautiful calm day, we arrived at Bon Island to find, much to our surprise and dismay, a 'state of emergency'. During the previous night, a freak wind, probably a small cyclone, had torn across the island flattening two huts and spreading tables and chairs across from the north beach to the west beach. Luckily we were in the process of repairing our roof and had already removed the old roof so no damage was done to the restaurant building.

Somewhere in the region of 14 tables had been damaged, dining chairs had been blown across onto the beach and we were unsure as to how many had been washed away by the sea. The thing that amazed me most was that the wind had pulled a chair up into the roots of one of the Pandanus Pine trees, in a position that even I would have trouble organising.

Typhoon Nargis

In May 2008, Typhoon Nargis hit Burma causing severe damage and loss of life. (This event currently rates as 9th on the Weather underground list of 30 Deadliest Tropical Cyclones in History.)

The side effects were seen here in Phuket with strong winds and rain. At Bon Island we suffered some damage to our beach huts, two of which collapsed, fortunately no one was hurt.