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Phuket – a tiny beach called Paradise Beach

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

© Frank P. Schneidewind

Not all beaches on Phuket island are disgusting forests of beach umbrellas and full of the human hordes, that mass tourism brings to that Province of Thailand. Some rather secluded beaches can almost not be found on the touristic maps. Paradise Beach is one of them. It's relative close proximity to the nightlife hub and overly touristed beach in Patong, never really has bothered Paradise Beach, which has been a heaven for a selected few. Even before the big Tsunami devastated the coastline here, this was my absolute favorite place in this neck of the woods. It was a nightmarish ride on a moped over hills and through forests to get there. A dirt road, that never saw any maintenance, was the only way to get there. A boat ride from Patong was optional bookable, but always has been prohibitively expensive for me. Perhaps, if I would be doing my traveling and exploring in a group, I would opt for this, or if budget reasons would not be important.

Small way-markers could be spotted along the path, but the trail head was well hidden for many years. One just had to follow the coastline south of Patong and get to the hilly flank to the left side of Patong Bay (as seen from the beach).

A forestry trunk road or something similar, used to wind its way over the seaside hill. It stretches for a few miles uphill, before it descends dramatically to almost ocean level. If you were an inexperienced rider, your knees may have been bleeding by now, as the hill climb outdoes the climbing capability of small mopeds in the end. The relatively loose ground also did call for something with more tread, than ordinary motorcycle road tires. They covered the loose gravel now with a layer of cement, that greatly enhances chances to make it. Make sure to attempt this only as a single rider or on a dirt bike. Dual passengers were hardly able to make it to the top together.

The best is to drive ahead and signal your other passenger to come and follow afoot, when you have reached the peak safe. Groups of bikers should attempt the final leg one by one and not in a convoy, as the incline may require some sudden zig-zagging over the with of the road surface.

A small beach side restaurant here also sells refreshments to take away to your beach mat. That is for the case, that you do not want to hire one of their loungers.

Ocean kayaking was a big hit here, before the Tsunami rolled by. Paradise beach was not hit by the brunt of the massive wave, but it sure destroyed some property when it came by on it's way to hit Patong and all West facing beaches. This one basically faces North and is not as huge as others on Phuket. Accommodations never were built here, which may have added to preserve the beauty. The restaurant and shop owner picks up his goods and on occasion passengers, with his powerful 4×4 truck.

Unless you come in peak season, it is not crowded here and a lot cleaner than Patong for sure. No notorious Tuk Tuk pilots or jet ski dudes to spoil your day here. The restaurant surprisingly has reasonable prices and the rental fees for beach or snorkel gear, are not exaggerated. Ocean kayaking here requires slightly skilled paddlers, because there are currents, drifts and waves to negotiate out there.

A boat is stationed here and makes occasional pickup trips to Patong or Tri Trang beach. Tri Trang is the almost undeveloped natural beach to the South of Patong. One has to pass it, in order to get to Paradise Beach.

The water here is superb and very clear, it appears not to be contaminated at all. Patong gets bad headlines too often for my taste. Coliform bacteria and other unwanted things were found there in higher than average concentration, just recently again. Phuket has lost all 4 and 5 star rated beaches in 2010, this one they probably never checked.

Paradise Beach is too insignificant for tourism, no lewd drag queens in sight, no 24 hour big macs on a beach side road, no beer bars or kathoey shows near here. Not even those notorious beach sales people make it here. The beach sand has a very light color and is powdery fine. Some larger boulders on both ends may be climbed or used as a natural chair or lounger. This beach appears to be good for kids as well, as it is fairly easy to supervise them. Plenty of things to do as well.

Across the bay, one can spot Kamala Beach, another famous touristic hot-spot. Not quite as raunchy, as Patong, more of a family holiday area, but well developed. Parts of Patong can be seen at times, but the noise from there luckily doesn't carry this far.

The sand here at Paradise Beach is probably so light colored, because of many reefs in nearby proximity. Broken corals at the flanks denote the existence nearby. Snorkeling is supposed to be rewarding here,, as reefs attract an abundance of marine life forms. Please do not feel tempted to take any coral from here, it is prohibited and may give you a problem at customs here or at your home airport!;)

The long stretch of Tri Trang Beach, can be spotted from the hill. A scenic viewpoint here is not signposted, but worth a photo stop on your way back.

Make sure to pay this beach a visit, when coming to Phuket. It is pretty here on a nice weather day and even then hardly as crowded as most other beaches.

Der Lauf ums Leben, Seeschildkrötenbabies bei Ranong

Friday, January 8th, 2010

© Frank P. Schneidewind

Die Andamanensee an der Küste Thailands zum Indischen Ozean hat sehr viel zu bieten. Sobald man den Isthmus von Kra in Richtung Süden überquert hat und Ranong hinter sich gelassen hat, ist man im Bereich eines fast durchgängigen Mangrovenwaldes, der von Felsküste und Sandstränden nur gelegentlich unterbrochen wird. Auf der gesamten Strecke bis nach Phuket gibt es fast nur kleinere Fischerdörfer, aber auch Nationalparks und das bekannte Khao Lak, eine Scheinidylle für dem Massentourismus hergerichtet. Alljährlich werden große Summen für das Werbebudget dieser Zone ausgegeben, für die Natur und Arterhaltung der Flora und Fauna fehlen solche Riesensummen aber. Zu Khao Lak, einem ehemaligen Geheimtipp, da gibt es nun einen eigenen SIAMPEDIA Report. Hier kümmern wir uns nur um Bemühungen zur Arterhaltung der Seelebewesen.

Ein wenig aber wird getan und so gibt es beispielsweise einmal jährlich eine Aussetzung von Schildkrötenbabies am Strand eines Nationalparks, der ca. 40 Autominuten südlich von Ranong liegt und somit weit genug vom Massentouristenbeach Khao Lak entfernt ist. Eine thailändische Universität züchtet kommerziell Seeschildkröten für die Meere Thailands, diese Turtlehatchery wird von Meeresbiologen und Veterinären betreut.

Einmal im Jahr kommt dann der große Moment vor dem Einsetzen der Monsunzeit im Frühjahr, wo Hunderte von kleinen, lebensfähigen Seeschildkröten ausgesetzt werden. Diesen Moment passte Team Hinigugma ab und erstellte im Vorjahr diesen Report für Sie!

Ich durfte dabei helfen, diese kleinen Kreaturen aus ihrem Transportbehältnis zu befreien und in Wassernähe laufen zu lassen. Das war ein unbeschreiblich schönes Erlebnis, vielleicht sehe ich eine ja mal wieder, wenn ich zwischen den Similan Inseln und Koh Payam wieder tauchen gehe!

Die Kleinen rannten, was die Flossen hergaben, zum Wasser und wurden oft wieder angespült, erst bei kurzen Wellenpausen uder günstger Rückströmung gelangten sie ins Wasser, so dass sie schwimmen und unter Wellen tauchen konnten. Nun waren die Babies zu Hause und wir sahen Ihnen noch lange nach. An den Strand, oder besser an einen noch viel versteckteren, da kehren die Weibchen wohl erst zur Eiablage wieder retour. Im normalen Zyklus würde das Protein auf 4 Flossen nach dem Schlüpfen wohl oft im Topf eines Tom Yam oder auf Delikatessenmenüs gewissenloser asiatischer Köche, besonders denen von Chinesen landen. Wir drücken unseren gepanzerten Freunden die Daumen, hier müssen sie keine Jetskis oder Powerboote fürchten, nur den Gefahren die da im Meer lauern, denen sind sie nun überlassen und haben nur ihren Instinkt.

Das tolle Erlebnis haben wir auch auf einem kurzen Video festgehalten, dieses möchten wir nicht vorenthalten:



Siampedia wird in der Folgezeit vermehrt von Situationen berichten, welche löblich und positiv für das Umweltgewissen der Thailänder sind. Reports, in denen wir von überbevölkerten Resortstränden oder untragbaren Vermüllereien von ausgewiesenen Badebeaches schrieben, die gab es ja auch schon.


Wer der thailändischen Sprache mächtig ist und das hier entziffern kann, der kann auch diesen tollen Strand erreichen, entweder per Taxi oder mit dem Chauffeur.