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Motorcycle Diaries: Thailand @ Promthep Cape (Phuket)

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Remember that movie The Motorcycle Diaries? Yea, those two hours of brilliance when you watched admiringly as Che Guevara journeyed through the beautiful landscape of Latin America on his motorcycle. Well, substitute a scooter for that motorcycle, and downsize the continent of South America to the tropical island of Phuket and you have my version of Motorcycle Diaries: Thailand

Getting to Promthep Cape involves one of the most scenic rides I’ve ever taken. Keeping the coastline in sight, I weave through bends and dips in the green hills overlooking the ocean. I ride past dense jungles with dirt paths and the occasional “Elephant Tour” sign. I pass modest dwellings and wooden shacks selling gasoline in drink-size glass bottles. I ride with the speed and freedom one can only feel on two wheels, through the traffic-less roads in a place where the trees still outnumber the buildings.

This is one of those journeys where the impulse to stop and the desire to keep riding are at constant odds with each other. It seems that every few minutes another sight emerges to entice you away from the road. I stop at a vantage point overlooking the glistening beaches on Phuket’s western coast, stretching lazily like three fat blue fingers. I slow down as I come across a crystal clear lake, letting the color and sudden openness soothe my mind and my appetite for speed. I park my bike at the top of a hill, gazing at the giant windmill acting as a lone sentinel over the breathtaking view.

Finally I arrive at the cape. Walking up a slight incline under the canopy of trees, I pass shops, restaurants, and tourists from all walks of life. A bit further in, I come across an incredibly ornate shrine – hundreds of elephants of all colors and sizes forming rings around the central god of worship. Keen to keep exploring, I move on but quickly realize I’ve come to the end. A small lighthouse in the corner of the square marked the point of the cape. This has been all rather brief, I thought to myself. No matter. I have a scooter to ride and fresh coconut water to drink. The world is my adventure.

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