The next long weekend I took an extra day off….. determined to make the round trip, and did.
The inland part of the route went through hills. The landscape was spectacular, and the winding roads made for an enjoyable ride. It has a remote feel about it, passing through forest, plantations, the odd orchard, and some small villages.
A village school - Quite a few of my students started their education at schools like this one.
A small Buddhist temple - There were few mosques inland. The Muslim communities, probably migrating for the south, settled the coastal areas centuries ago. I guess that this area was settled more recently by Thai Buddists from other parts of the country.
Gasoline is available 24/7 from cash operated pumps, albeit at a near 100% mark up on main road prices.
Oil palm and rubber plantations are the main land use. Some local big shot had his hoarding up. With the number of elections they have Thailand should be one of the most democratic countries in the world!
The palm oil nuts are harvested and taken to a collection centre for transport to an oil crushing factory. The oil has a range of uses, from cooking oil to making soap. The crushed kernel is used for livestock feed.
Tyres to be; rubber sheets made from latex collected in the early hours of the morning, hanging out to dry.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Not all homes in the countryside are humble.
Getting back to the coast people make a living from shrimp farming and fishing.
The business end of a “long tail boat”. This one has a single cylinder Kubota diesel cooled by water collected from behind the propeller. Bigger boats, use car or truck engines which have a closed cooling system, with pipes running under the boat as a heat exchanger.
Klong Song Nam is a fastinating place. The name translates to “the watercourse with two waters”. As you can see it is tidal. At low tide it has very clear, fresh water flowing from a limestone cave. When the tide comes in it brings brackish water which flows over the top of the fresh water. The strange, unique vegetation is tolerant to the conditions.
The day I travelled was Eid al-Adha, an important Muslim festival. At Nappharat Thara Beach, just north of Ao Nang families from the local community were enjoying themselves in the evening after the religious activities.
I stayed at Cliff View Bungalows in Ao Nang at an off season rate of 500 baht for a comfortable fan (non air-con) room, which included breakfast.