There is more to do in Nahkon Si Thammarat, but we must move on. On previous visits to Songkhla, I’ve admired the seafood and taken some nice photos, but if you weren’t already on the Gulf coast and heading to the Tarutao park for snorkeling, would you come out of your way? You be the judge.
Songkhla (Feb. 8, 2012)
A soft but insistent thrumming woke me before 6:00am: Thai synthesized aerobics music. I checked email and headed down to photograph the sunrise. Despite many attempts, I couldn’t figure out a good way to feature the famous mermaid statute and the rising sun together, but a fisherman throwing out his net made a good silhouette.
A Final Morning in Nakhon Si Thammarat
We headed to a newly developed street for a breakfast of Hokkien (Fujian) Chinese dim sum, which differs in some ways from the Cantonese dim sum so familiar to those of us from the Bay Area. While we waited, we tried their signature soup of pork in a five spice broth with cabbage and mushrooms. The broth was delicious, and some of the meat, but the liver and stomach were not my favorite bits.
Nakhon Si Thammarat (Tuesday, January 31, 2006)
“The Circus Comes to Town”
Along the road between Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla, they probably do not see a lot of foreigners (or farang as we are known here). So we spent the day inserting ourselves into situations in which our presence becomes as much of an event as the local attraction we have come to see. It’s fun, sort of.
Songkhla (Saturday, January 22, 2005)
For our last breakfast in Songkhla, we once again visited the hotel buffet (in my case, for less than 15 minutes) for rice soup, a piece of omelet, fruit and tea. We then headed to another local museum, first taking a brief detour to the large, ornate Wat Matchimawat temple. The Songkhla National Museum formerly served as the governor’s mansion. Built in Southern Chinese style and housing a wide variety of artifacts, the museum provided a pleasant diversion. Once under way, we had to pull over for rambutan (I forget the Thai name), a red fruit with many soft green protrusions that tastes somewhat similar to lychee. The stand also had very ripe durian, which I tried for the second time (and really didn’t like much better.)
Nakhon Si Thammarat (Thursday, January 20, 2005)
For our last breakfast in Nakhon, we once again visited Krour Nakorn for noodle and rice dishes. We then hit the road to visit a couple more local temples and associated markets. At Wat Wang Tawan Tok, we saw an example of a Thai-style Kuti, a wooden monks’ residence dating back to 1888. While the Kuti was remarkably well preserved, the other temple buildings were in varying states of (dis)repair. Numerous vendors in the marketplace appeared to be selling virtually identical amulets and charms featuring the particular image in the temple’s main shrine. Down the road we visited the Nakhon Si Thammarat Handicraft Center for additional examples (and purchases) of yan lipao — baskets woven of very fine fern stem fibers — where many of us did our part to support local artists.