Thailand Rainy Season - A Walk on the Beach
Sept 1, 2004 - "I plan on being in Phuket from September 11-15. What will the weather be like on Karon Beach?"
Maybe because westerners take many of their holiday breaks during Thailand's rainy season; web sites, travel forums and bulletin boards are deluged with emails and posts like the one above.
As you may guess, the odds are, that since September is smack in the middle of the rainy season, a pretty common answer is:
"It will probably rain."
But that's only part of the story.
I was living on the Gulf of Thailand a couple of hours south of Prachuap Khirikhan. It's a resort area that caters mostly to Thais and an increasing numbers of westerners.
It rained like **** the past couple of days. The rain wasn't quite torrential, but it was "stay-at-home" miserable and a little cold.
Today I decided to run a virus scan on my 'puter, and since that takes so long, I glanced out the back window, the window that looks across a coconut plantation to the beach. The sky was non-committal, but I decided to take a chance on a trek.
I had walked less than 50 meters out toward the beach when I felt very light sprinkles. But my backwoodsman spirit kicked in and I trudged on toward the beach.
I couldn't quite figure it out. There were few clouds in a blue sky and none looked malevolent.
Fifty meters further, just as I reached the road running along the
beach, the sun burst forth in one of those splendid displays of
nature that leaves you standing in awe.
The sky was a glorious blue and winds were gentle and dry. Some offshore storms had generated some abnormally strong surf. Now this surf isn't Hawaii North Shore surf, but it was half a meter high. Whitecaps played across the water as far out as I could see.
This area has a double break since a ridge of sand runs parallel to the beach about 30-50 meters offshore.
The water was clear with such a nice mixture of hues that I kept staring. The air smelled so fresh I tried to remember when I had experience such a nice day.
As I walked in the shallows I felt the coarser sand shifting under my steps as the sea rearranged the earth. The sand just above the surf line was firm as tarmac and the dry sand so fine it squeaked under my bare feet.
On that wonderful stretch of beach, all 15 km of it, I was mostly alone. A few fishing boats were anchored, but only one fisherman was around. We had a very brief talk about the small black flags meaning the traps were for crab. I guess different color flags on slender bamboo poles mark various traps.
There was also one young woman cleaning the beach in front of a resort. I had picked up some debris so I donated it to her trash barrel. Our"chat" was no more than a smile and nod.
No other "visitor" was around. I felt like the baron of the beach.
I did have to share my sandy paradise with "the dog" and 173 tiny crabs.
So after a 5 km walk I decided to tell a few of you what a day in the rainy season in Thailand can be like.