Thailand's Southwestern Monsoon has really kicked in and we've been rained in for the last few days. Having had a few tough but enjoyable days cycling from Phuket up the western coast, we had to turn back north of Khao Lak and seek shelter in the nearest hostelery, as the rain was bucketing down and storm winds were felling trees and blowing debris all around us. Not pleasant to cycle in!

It suited us to stay put for a day or two anyway, as Linda was busy writing an article for the Travel supplement of the Irish Times, no less (more on that to follow). As the monsoon rains were due to last for the foreseeable future we decided it would be advisable to vacate the southwest coast and hightail it to the east coast. We have done so and are currently in Chumpon, to which we arrived by bus (the bicycles and gear stowed in the luggage compartments beneath) and in which we were met by yet more rain! Hopefully, the rain on this coast won't last too long though.

We spent this morning pottering through a fascinating local market, with the most remarkable smells and sights. We had absolutely no idea what much of the stuff was, but it sure was going down well with the local shoppers, pigs' heads included.


Chumpon serves as a jumping off point to the nearby island of Ko Tao, a small island north of its better known neighbours Ko Pha-Ngan and Ko Samui. We don't have too much interest in visiting these, they don't seem to be the most family and toddler friendly of the Thai islands. Ko Tao is supposed to be a quieter, more peaceful option. However, if the rains and storms last, and they appear to defy forecasting, a small island in the South China Sea may not be a pleasant place to be. Time is also ticking.... our Thai visas run out at the beginning of June and we have made plans to volunteer for Allambie orphanage in Ho Chi Minh city for a few weeks at some stage in June. So, decisions, decisions! If we don't go to Ko Tao, we'll start cycling north up the east coast tomorrow, ultimately heading toward Bangkok. We'll have plenty of beach lazing opportunities en route, so we won't start feeling too sorry for ourselves yet!

12 comments:

At May 10, 2011 at 2:09 PM Roger said...

Lovely pictures of chillis ! Luca does not seem too impressed, though! Love YaYa Eva and YaYa Rog.

 
At May 12, 2011 at 1:33 PM Anonymous said...

Great to hear it's all still going wonderfully! Cant wait to see Linda in print! Lots of love! AINE X

 
At May 12, 2011 at 7:53 PM Tyna said...

hey! looks like you have pretty important decisions to make, whatever you decide to do- enjoy it and make the most of it. Thanks very much for your last text msg Phil, wish you were here celebrating the ring with us. Hope to skype soon, take care. Tyna

 
At May 14, 2011 at 7:15 AM Anonymous said...

Just read the article Linda!!! Wow!!! It's brilliantly written & the photos look amazing!! VERY PROUD BIG SISTER X

 
At May 14, 2011 at 10:31 AM eilis said...

I've just read your article in the IT this morning - it was excellent and so inspiring. I'll be following your blog from now on! Eily

 
At May 14, 2011 at 10:35 AM Kevin said...

Just read the IT article as well. Great article,its really inspiring what you guys are doing!Looking forward to reading some more of your articles. Enjoy the travels!

 
At May 14, 2011 at 11:17 AM paul stacey said...

Really enjoyed the article in the IT this morning, giving me the travel bug! looking forward to keeping up with your travels. If your still wondering about Koh Tao, we have an account of our time there and few other posts about Laos, Cambodia and travelling through Vietnam (although not by bike!)

http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/Thailand/South-West-Thailand/Ko-Tao/blog-203546.html

http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/Thailand/Central-Thailand/Bangkok/blog-206365.html

Enjoy the travels!

Paul, Elaine and baby Luca :)

 
At May 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM Emma said...

Congrats again on the article in the IT this morning Lin, it's absolutely fantastic. We miss you lots. Keep us updated. Lots of Love Emma, Niall & Isobel xxx

 
At May 14, 2011 at 5:46 PM Jules said...

Hah. Guys I just did a serious double take on the front cover of the Irish times GO supplement. "riding out the recession"... That kind of looks like Phil. Holy s#%t. That's Linda. That's Phil. Good work. I'll read all about you guys over my Sunday fry.

 
At May 14, 2011 at 10:46 PM Nial Coffey Fine Art said...

HI lin Phil and Luca
Well done on the article and website guys what brillant adventure. What a difference a year makes !!!Girls got such surprise to see their cousin and Aunt and uncleon Newpaper
xx ORLA NIAL AND THE GIRLS

 
At May 16, 2011 at 6:33 PM Linda de Paor said...

Thank you all so much for the lovely comments. Will reply to you all. Really glad you enjoyed the piece and really appreciate the feedback. Linda, Phil and Luca

 
At May 18, 2011 at 8:48 AM liz Ellicott said...

You guys are such an inspiration. Read your fascinating account in Saturdays's IT. Bet you have a book planned. If not, why not?

 

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