Our time on the Gulf coast (the Gulf of Thailand coast) is coming to a close as we head West to the calm waters of the Andaman Sea for more snorkeling. Our shortened schedule hasn’t quite worked out so far, so we’ll have to do a little juggling on our travel day. As long as we get to the boat on time tomorrow, it’s all good.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
The keycard for my hotel room stopped working, and rather than fix it, the BP Samila desk staff likes to call housekeeping to let me into my room. This was pretty quick last night, but this morning after an attempt to find the sunrise, I was stranded in the hall for ten minutes. There goes my leisurely breakfast; a quick fried egg, fried rice, and Lipton tea will have to do me.
We stopped our vans in front of the National Museum but were soon on the move again. It turns out most of the rooms are closed for renovation, so we’ll go straight to Ko Yo and visit the folklore museum. The collection is distributed in numerous buildings arranged on a hillside. You simply follow the arrows from one building to the next to find pottery, coins, fabrics, metalware, religious objects, and so forth. The fun ends when you have to hike back up. We’re on a tight schedule, so I didn’t pick up anything from the gift shop this time.
We drove to Boriphat Waterfall for the photo opportunity, but our stomachs come first, so we stopped at an open-air restaurant adjacent to the parking lot for the classic combination of grilled chicken, sticky rice, and green papaya salad. They had a little trouble producing enough for our group, but we managed to eat our fill eventually. Then it was up a walkway and over some slippery rocks to capture various perspectives. I had to run back to the van for the Theta and then back up the hill, so the price of a couple of 360 degree images was copious quantities of rehydrating ice water. (First View, Second View)
After a couple more hours we finally reached our hotel for the night, Bara Resort near the pier in Pak Bara. Bungalows here are air conditioned, but even when closed, the louvered windows do not seal out insects, or outside sounds, which is an oversight they might want to address. Our scheduled sunset walk on the beach was preempted by a heavy downpour, raising questions about our snorkeling prospects. However, we were assured that this storm had come from the East and did not indicate problems in the park to the West.
We convened for dinner in the resort’s dining room, where we had a tasty miang plah of fried fish cubes with chopped shallots, cashews, pieces of lime, and chillies, all in a lime-based dressing, with wild pepper leaves (bai chaplu) for wrapping. Mild fried calamari, prawns with bean threads in a clay pot, and Chinese broccoli with salted fish, were balanced by hot and sour fish soup, and moderately spicy kua kling chicken. Not bad for hotel food.
It is once again our task to slim down our bag count to fit aboard a speedboat. With snorkel gear, clothes, toiletries, electronics, more electronics, and even more electronics, it’s a tall order. I guess I just have a lot of baggage.