West then North!
15 February 2019
Alison was elected to drive today! First stop this morning was to help Neil’s tummy with an injection of cafe amazon and from here we visited Wat Kang Pla. A unique little temple still very much under construction. Each of the Wat’s steeples where enormous hat / crowns. The next stop for the day was the Wat Khaun Sang. Another heavily Chinese influenced temple. We met a large group of scouts here. From here we travelled to Wat Tham Phraput, a cave temple with a river running through it. Neil was still not well enough to come with us, so Steve kept him company while Connie and Alison set off to explore. Our next stop was Lampam on the edge of a large lake. The site was run down and not in a good start of repair, but it did have a walk out onto a temple on the lake.Driving through Ban Pa Ham Steve and Connie headed into Wat Inthrawat, a temple undergoing a huge renovation. It is incredible how you can go and visit these large construction job and watch skilled tradesmen at work. The Wat Tham Sumano was next on the visit list today before we stopped to fuel up. A hotel was found in Trang for the night before we all ventured out to find some dinner. Neil was feeling much better which was wonderful!
16 February 2019
Today we reached the West Coast of Thailand at Ban Chao Mai. This coast seems much cleaner tan the east coast. Also the limestone formations that dot along the beaches here are unique and beautiful. Ban Chao Mai was also a great spot to grab some lunch.By end of day we arrived at Krabi and found the Palmari Boutique Hotel for the night. Steve and Alison explored the night markets.
17 February 2019
Bright and early Alison headed off to get Steve and her mobile recharged at a local phone shop. From there she headed into the now very full local markets. She also visited the local Chinese temple Rong Phra Nuea Khlong. It was here she found the statues of the characters from the TV series Monkey. The number of tourists here is much larger than we have seen before. But we still wanted to see the local attractions. Our first stop was the Tiger Cave Temple and surrounding temples and caves. The monkeys here are well trained in stealing and it was not long until we saw them at work with tourists. By evening we had travelled north to Pa Tong on the island of Phuket. Phuket was one of the areas which suffered major loss of life due to the tsunami on this coast on Boxing Day 2004. This was my (Alison’s) least favourite part of Thailand and found it a little overwhelming due to many factors including the history and the huge number of tourists. Neil, Connie and Steve had an average dinner at a local cafe.
18 February 2019
One of the biggest and largest tourist attraction on Phuket is the Big Buddha. It has incredible views across the coastlines. It is also full of tourists. From here we headed to Wat Chaitararam. We saw lots of fireworks being let off in purpose designed chambers as part of offerings. The larger the offering, the more the quantity of fireworks. After leaving the the island of Phuket we commenced heading north up the East Coast. Our first stop at Phang Nga was beautiful. We drove out onto a wharf and could see long white sandy clean beaches. Hotel for the night was found at Takua Pa. They recommended a cafe close by where we met a lovely local who helps run one of the coastal resorts. He helped us order a great dinner. So Awesome!
19 February 2019
Alison headed off early again this morning for a walk which took her to Take Pa Fresh Market. A little later every one arrived at the markets to explore. From here we drove to Chaomae Kuan-Lm Shrine. Then we went to Khura Buri Pier to experience the locals at work. Wat Thammawutharam was our next stop for the day where the kind monks help nurse some of the wildlife injured by vehicles. By Evening we arrived at Ranong and found a hotel Baan Yamoo. We all set out to explore the local temple as today is one of the religious holidays in Thailand named Makha Bucha Day. This is an alcohol free day. Sadly the Baan Yamoo didn’t enforce this as there was loud drinking until the early hours of the morning. Alison and Steve went out for a late night stroll and met a couple of lovely locals who made them Street style Roti. A roti bread topped with condensed milk banana and sugar.
20 February 2019
Leaving Ranong (the west coast) behind we headed to Wat Waree Banprot, an interesting temple on the side of a hill. There further you explored, the more of the temple there was to discover. From here Alison directed us to Khao Phee View Point. This has stunning views over the Myanmar (Burma) Border. The next stop was close, an old steam train. Our next stop for the day was a rubber factor. Here local told about the different grades of rubber and how they dried it ready for market. By early evening we arrived back at “The Beach” hotel at Chumphon, on the east coast.
21 February 2019
Today we continued our trip north and visited Wat Bo Samrong. Retraced our steps along the east coast before heading once again back into the mountains and Wat And Thong. Next stops were Wat Huay Mongkol and Wat Nong Phlap. Hotel for the night was the Ban Suan River Resort.