Black and thunderous, storm clouds roll in, threatening mortals with menacing flashes and a deep-throated rumbling, sending people running for shelter. The very idea of storms keeps people away from Phuket between May to October, and they just don't know what they are missing – one of the greatest performances that the gods on-high can conjure.
The arrival of the monsoon resembles a series of great skytsunamis; huge, churning waves of sky-water that come storming off the ocean to shake buildings, bend trees and lash the land. But instead of destruction, they bring transformation with every visit. The first change is from calm to wild, then hot to cool, eventually brown to green and of course, always, dry to wet. Ah, yes, wet! This is the old familiar feeling that keeps so many who do not understand the essence of the word "monsoon" away from the tropics. What many of these stay-aways don't realize is that Phuket's "green" season is not in anyway related to the numbingly cold, miserable grey drizzle for which London is so famous. Here we have tropical storms, and they are very different animals. "Beasts" might even be a better way to describe them, for each storm that comes rushing in, blowing and spitting over the island before churning off into the forest of cumulous columns has its own personality. Some are violently windy, but dry. Others are fiery violent, hurling thunderbolts as gods are wont to do. Against the great heavenly canvass some stir beast-like images of black and grey then fade to a pussycat purr.
Our standard tropical storm is a mix of all of these heavenly elements. And I love to wait on the shoreline and watch the ocean surface change colours as fast as a chameleon as the storm approaches. And it is fast. Fast to come, fast to go. The classic tropical storm comes swirling in off the ocean during the late afternoon and is gone within the hour. Behind it a shaken but freshened world gleams with polished colours in the last rays of sun. The trees, shaken of dead wood and old leaves, have been doused with the elixir of all life. They can almost be heard singing. The grass seems to leap out of the ground each time we turn away. Vines rush up trunks and walls seeking the sun, some climbing a foot a day. Bamboo, elephant ears and countless other tropical plants put on lush displays of copious expansion. Their combined efforts morph every corner of the island making it green, alive and fresh. The next act in this daily routine unfolds as stars fade to skies of heavenly blue and a horizon sculpted with gleaming white, cumulous towers. Crisp mornings following an evening storm can be the clearest, brightest and most inspiring in the tropical calendar. While people who react against the word monsoon are far-off sitting at home encamped in long, cold days and nights of slow, spirit-killing drizzle. But on the opposite side of the world Phuket is enjoying a green season, a time of natural drama and rebirth that is quite the opposite to these old and cold – and very mistaken - visions of monsoons.PHUKET just so much to see and do
Whether its paragliding, sun tanning, playing beach soccer, frolicking in the sand with your children, or even banana boating, Phuket's beaches promise to never bore you. You can even jump in a longtail and explore the shoreline, or take to trip to a neighbouring island. Whatever your beach desire may be, Thailand's largest island is bound to fulfil it. From the well-known beaches of Patong, Karon and Kata to the northern sandy hot spots of Kamala, Surin, Bangtao, Naithon, and Mai Khao the diversity of Phuket's beaches is simply outstanding. You can have busy and vibrant, or quiet and laid back - the choice is yours. Centuries back, Marco Polo said that Phuket was one of the most glorious places on earth – nothing's changed: experience Phuket, experience Amazing Thailand!!
Photo essay by Apichai Ekapoom