Despite many wonderful distractions around Nahkon Si Thammarat, we are focused on our journey to the Koh Surin marine national park (Mu Koh Surin) tomorrow. Today we have a lot of driving to cross over to the West side of the peninsula, so we have just a couple of quick stops on our way to the beautiful Greenview Resort in Khuraburi. After just one night there we head out to the islands where we will float around face down looking at fish and coral.
Note: Kasma and Michael’s Facebook page has some additional details and photos: https://www.facebook.com/thaifoodandtravel.
For breakfast, we returned to our lunch spot from yesterday. I tried a spicy pork rib curry and a gentle panang curry of pork over rice. A bit short on the vegetables, but we’ll probably make up for it later.
Our main stop of the day is at the nearby Wat That Noi, a temple known for its enormous reclining Buddha. The reclining Buddha harkens back to the last sermon of the Buddha when he knew he was dying and wanted to deliver some important parting words. Why these statuary are so huge that they are very difficult to photograph is somewhat mysterious. Perhaps it has the salutary effect of making people come together as a group in order to carry out rituals such as the seasonal draping of the image with decorative cloth. The temple also features a very large statue of a famous monk who previously was abbot of the temple, equipped with a sprayer to bless an entire crowd at once, and spectacularly colorful murals (indoors so they are protected from fading). After taking in the sights, we hit the road, stopping again only for coffee/bathroom breaks and a quick one-dish lunch of fried rice noodles with chicken (pad see ew) and ice cream bars.
The Greenview Resort features several buildings situated around a large pond. The hotel building and individual bungalows look like log cabins, but inside they are very nicely appointed. We spent a few moments enjoying the strong air conditioning before emerging with our cameras to photograph the beautiful grounds, pond herons, tropical flowers, and whatever else caught our eye.
After a quick change, we met for dinner in the resort’s dining room. Unlike my past visits, we were not seated directly in front of the karaoke stage, but it certainly was in view of our table. For dinner we had crispy fritters with a green leafy vegetable (similar to pakoras); green curry chicken; lightly fried shrimp dressed in the style of a spicy Northeastern larb; coconut soup with mixed seafood; pak liang stir-fried with egg and crystal noodles (mung bean threads); and a whole fish.
Meanwhile, the restaurant staff was trying to avoid having us use the karaoke system. Finally, they called someone to reload the English-language songs into it (normally, only Thais use the system) and I climbed on stage. After apologizing to the table in front, I sang “Take it Easy” by the Eagles and “Handy Man” by James Taylor. I could have sung all night if it were my living room, but I got the feeling I was inconveniencing strangers, so I ended it there. We returned to our rooms and tried to slim down our “island bag” to the minimum before calling it a night.