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Drive in the Phuket Hills

hill-pass-thalang.jpg

Looking at the photograph above, you'd think I was in France. Tree lined, modern roads, deep greens. But this is a hill pass that crosses the hills in the middle of Phuket Islands, the Talang part. I spent the morning searching for hidden beaches, and looking back over to the hills, the rain clouds and jungle cover were just asking to be explored.

the-hill-beckon-talang-phuket.jpg

Lucky for me, there's a road. It's a good one too, steep in places, with landslides and fallen trees covering parts, but that's part of pleasure of a country drive. Would you rather drive down a boring highway or a snaking mountain road with scenery behind every turn?

I've marked the road on the map below, it's not shown on Google maps, I think the road was blocked when this area was mapped.

view-into-phang-na-bay.jpg

As you get higher up the hill, a look back across Phangna bay, and jagged islands are visible in the distance. Breathtaking. So far I haven't gotten high enough to get into the rain clouds, but I can see water running down the sides of the road. In places streams cross the road, leaving sandy debris. Must remember, never use my front brake on sand, I just spin off the road.

washed-away-road-phuket-talang-hill.jpg

The road is permanent yet temporary. It gets washed away, it gets repaired, it gets washed away again. An endless cycle. I can see from landslides the island is mostly sand, only a thin layer of trees hold the surface together, but the roots don't penetrate deep, and the hills slide all the time.

landslides-phuket.jpg

You can access this road, either from Highway 402, the main airport road, or the 4027. I've drawn it on the map below.


View Phuket in a larger map

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