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