It was February 2015 when I arrived from Koh Lanta to Phang Nga, the city that looks incorrect however you write it. For the first time in my life I had NOT booked a place to sleep or a drive on, made no plans but buying the microbus ticket to this place. No, I had NOT been kidnapped by aliens by the way…
The microbus dropped me not in the centre where I told him, but at the end of the road near a market. The idea was actually to rent a motorbike and make my way to Kao Lak the same day. But there I was, 40 degrees and a really heavy backpack, not able to find a bike. Two hours later I was exhausted and the plan of driving on dropped out of my head.
So I started looking for a hostel…a hotel…a B&B…a simple cabin…okay just a damn cartboard…but let me rest and take a shower! Guess what…no chance.
It seemed to be a special holiday and I was not able to find a place to sleep neither a bike. Still I did not regret making no plans at all, but somehow the backpack was getting heavier and heavier.
Finally a man in a huuuuge and very black SUV stopped when he saw me walking down the streets. Have you ever seen the movie The Hitchhiker. Me neither which was good. I’m not making a fuss about travelling alone as a woman (OMG), still I care about safety and it’s important for me to think about some..let’s call it…risks. That time I decided to trust that guy which told me he had a friend working in a hotel and renting bikes. So I hopped in his truck and off we went….
To the amazing Phang-Nga Inn, a hotel I can recommend from my heart, where I was given a big room and a great bike.
The guy at the reception, who seemed to be there all the time, became my friend. He shared with me his home made food (I was spitting fire afterwards) and he even introduced me to his boyfriend, which was a real honour.
He took care after me and pampered me with the right munition to start an epic road trip, namely a so called continental breakfast.
You may now ask yourself what Thai people think about Europeans. Better don’t (; But to disappoint you….nah better not. Let’s say…the breakfast was delicious and the content of the bottle extraordinary.
Bond girl meets Bond Rock – The Phang Nga National Park
To tired to drive that day I was offered a drink and got a boat tour to the national park which Phang Nga is spotted for. The park on sea consist of limestone caves, canoeing and snorkeling spots, and some floating villages. ONE of the rocks is famous because a James Bond movie (guess which one) was shoot there. The rock is nice but by far nothing special as you can see.
Tourists usually come to Phang Nga for a day tour to the national park, and so Phang Nga has only two real hotels and not as many motorbike rentals as you may be used from Thailand. So I was a lucky girl when I mounted my motorbike next morning, leaving my backpack and even my passport behind.
I had no luggage or passport with me, no fixed time for being back, and for the first time in my life I felt…pure freedom.
I got lost on the narrow roads through Thailand, driving in the direction where Kao Lak was supposed to be. The green landscape blinded my eyes. The roads were empty, the palms high and the air smelt of peace and nature.
I never wanted to do anything else in my life but to…drive. Driving was the only thing possible.
After arriving to Kao Lak the way seemed not far enough and the road was too tempting. I could not stop. Driving on brought me to a sign…, and I had to stop and follow it. It guided me to one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen in my whole life (and I saw a lot). And to one of the saddest places I’ve been to.
At the Tsunami Memorial Park
In the region around Kao Lak about 4.000 people died when the tsunami hit land in December 2004. The place will never be the same, and the remains of the disaster are still visible as they haven’t been removed, like boat 813. The strenght of the wave took this Police boat 813 about 3 Kilometers eastward to the mainland, where it remained till today.
And if we’re holding a minute’s silence for the 5.400 people who were killed in total by the Tsunami, we also should include the 6.800 people killed in traffic accidents in Thailand per year.
After visiting that place I felt sick. And again the only cure which seemed right was…driving. The bike was waiting and the streets were calling me.
The road to myself
Me, the street, the bike. Following the road to where it took me, without thinking about time or goal or other people. I concentrated on what I was doing so much like never before in my life. That was what I felt in every single minute.
I had to put all my trust in…well in MYSELF. For the first time I was really on my own.
Nobody knew where I was or where I was heading to. Neither I knew that. My ability to drive, to be responsible for myself…for my health, my mood, my inner peace, which was not really existing at that time…was what I could rely on.
I fought a lot of inner battles out on that roads.
I left a lot of inner burdens in the bends.
And I never looked back.