Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Siam, the one and only

7th July
Baan Khao Sok Resort, Nr Surat Thani, Thailand

We arrived in Thailand to warm sun and lousy beaurocracy at immigration (as per). We were met by a man from our destination in the jungle and we set off once we'd got ourselves some baht from an ATM. The trip took about 90 mins and the weather worsened as we got closer. As we turned into the area the resort is, the heavens opened and we were subjected to a tropical downpour which lasted, well, actually it's still going on now some 9 hours later. I took a picture of the downpour but it's not too clear it's peeing down, but you can see how muddy and swollen the river is

Baan Khao Sok on arrival. 
Wet wet wet. I definitely was feeling it in my fingers and feeling it in my toes (Thank you sports sandals)

The lodge itself is enchanting, on the river, surrounded by jungle. It's called Baan Khao Sok and I'd highly recommend it. The family who run the place are friendly and very hospitable. They have two adorable kids and a range of pets. The cat is so friendly that as soon as I sat down it was on my lap. We waited for the rain to subside and had a drink before getting shown to our digs for the next three nights which was a proper tree house, by which I mean a hut built on a large tree. It has a mosquito net and a ceiling fan. This is real jungle accommodation: no air-con, no telly though we did get a warm shower. I can't remember the last time we stayed at a place like this and it's great!

 Our first taste of Khao Sok animal life

 The latest in arboreal living

We had planned to go out and do a little exploring, off up to the local village, but the rain has put the mockers on that. We had lunch in the restaurant at the resort which for me was a tom tum gai (chicken tom yam soup) and Jane had chicken and fried noodles. It was good, if (from my POV) a little mild in the spice department and lacking in exotic veggies. As it turns out, the guy who drove us from the airport is the owner and we chatted to him and his wife for a bit before heading back to our room through the pouring rain.

That evening, again, not wanting to get stupidly wet, we just stayed around the lodge where we ate again (gaeng phed moo or pork red curry. Yes, Thai for pork is pronounced "moo". I'm thinking of becoming an animal shrink to make a killing giving therapy to Thai pigs with their identity problems). Even though we weren't doing anything in particular we were still surrounded by jungle wildlife. There were bats swooping around the restaurant area (good to keep the mosquitoes at bay), insects flitting about including a large, what I assume was some sort of green leaf insect which had a vivid pink abdomen presumably as camouflage to look like a flower bud. It was striking but got away before I could take a snap. There was also a huge brown cricket which I take manage to take a picture of. The most exciting thing, though was the appearance of what I later found out to be a mangrove snake of perhaps 1.5m slithering down a tree branch to the river. Again, since it was outside and it was raining I didn't risk the camera, but this is what it was.

Less a katydid, more of a Jiminydidn't
This cricket was about 8-10cm long with antennae at least twice that

  The only other guest staying at the time arrived, a French girl on a long trip around the world arrived, having been to the lake trip we were planning to do so we chatted to her. What a trip she is on, having already come through Russia, Mongolia, China and heading on to Indochina. Jealous, much?

Generally there wasn't anything to do so we had a beer then went back to our room and played cards over a couple of whiskeys and Coke before bed.

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