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Surat Thani, Thailand – Day 3 (Part Two)

DAY 1
DAY 2 Part One
DAY 2 Part Two
DAY 3 Part One

After Kiriwon village, we went to Wat Phra Mahathat Woromaha Vihan in Nakhon Si Thammarat town. Also known as the temple with no shadows, it is the most important temple in Southern Thailand. I borrowed a jacket from See Tho’s assistant because I thought I was revealing a little too much flesh, heh.

The moment we stepped into the temple’s compound, we were greeted by a huge flock of pigeons.

It was right out of a Hitchcock’s film!

Me and Nigel.
Me and Nigel amongst the feathered ones. TAKEN BY KY.

Birds!
Birds!

See Tho
See Tho being friendly with the birdies.

Apparently the year that shadows were seen at the temple was the year Kiriwon was hit by the floods.

Temple.
Temple with no shadows and its gold covered tip.

Chedi-s.
Hindu-style Chedi-s.

Gold covered buddha.
Gold leaves.

At the end of the temple tour, I got myself a Fanta Orange.

Fanta orange.
Sipping Fanta Orange. Taken by KY.

After a day of learning and pseudo pilgrimage, we were treated to retail therapy as a reward. We arrived at a street in Nakhon Si Thammarat town known for silver jewelleries.

Shopping!
All these shops are selling silver jewelleries.

Blings.
Blings.

I bought a couple of earrings as souveniers. Alas, it’s dinner time. From Nakhon Si Thammarat we headed towards Surat Thani town for food, which was not very far.

The path heading towards the restaurant was peppered with stalls selling fresh and salted seafood. There were also many stalls selling fresh oysters. Huge ones and dirt cheap!

Osyters.
15-5 Baht per oyster! That’s RM 1.50 for one XL sized oyster 0_0.

Turn left here.
I’d love to name the restaurant but it’s all Thai! Just turn left if you happened to stumbled upon this place. Hehe

There were houses on stilts on both sides of the bridge which connected the restaurant to the bank.

Houses on stilts.
Houses on stilts.

And if you looked down, you’d see a sea of empty oyster shells.

Oyster shells.
Empty oyster shells.

Of course, we had to have oysters for dinner. See Tho advised us against eating them raw as sometimes, the sources are quite suspicious.

Steamed oysters.
Steamed oysters.

Garnished with chilli, deep fried onions and herbs.
Garnished with chilli, deep fried onions and herbs.

We also had the customary crabs, prawns, fish, tomyam and vegetables. As usual, See Tho had pulled it off again as dinner was par excellence.

We ended Day 3 with a trip to Ta Pi River to watch fireflies. We got into a charming long boat, put on the life jackets and headed into the dark. According to this site, long boats can be chartered at 300 Baht an hour at Bandon Pier.

Tired.
Could I look anymore tired than this? PICTURE BY ANDY.

Three stooges.
Three stooges. Me, Kellster and Nigel. PICTURE BY ANDY.

It was an incredible experience! I have seen fireflies in Sabah but the experience was nothing close to what I had in Surat Thani. The trees literally lit up like Christmas trees. There were so many of them!!

Due to the lack of lighting, it was near impossible to take any picture. This is about the closest I could get that evening.

Fireflies.
If you’re in Surat Thani, you must absolutely check out the fireflies.

We retired to 100 Islands Resort, a humble hotel in Surat Thani. The best thing about the place was 24-hour Internet for 100 Baht!

Day 4 soon! :)

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Surat Thani, Thailand – Day 3 (Part One)

DAY 1
DAY 2 Part One
DAY 2 Part Two

We checked out of Sheraton Krabi in the morning and headed towards Surat Thani. Not before we dropped by the Marine Fish Centre, a fish conservation project by HRH King Bhumipol. The project’s conceived to counter over-fishing in the country.

Marine Fish Centre.
Bridge.

Marine Fish Centre
Looming storm.

Humphead.
Humphead fish.

Sharks
Small sharks.

Marine Fish Centre.
Another view of the centre.

KY scaring the angel fish.
KY scaring the angel fish.

I think the conservation project is really cool and a noble initiative by the Thai King. If only our government were more environmentally conscious.

We proceeded on a 1.5 hour journey towards south, to Taha Resort for lunch. We were apparently the first Malaysian tourists to have set foot in the restaurant. It’s a quaint little establishment built overlooking a small river. Very nice atmosphere and excellent food! We had authentic southern Thai food.

Taha Resort.
Taha Resort.

Lunch
Lunch.

See Tho also taught me how to eat durian with piping hot rice. It was orgasmic :)

See Tho demonstrating the way to eat durian with rice.
See Tho demonstrating the way to eat durian with rice.

Mangosteen wine on the left.
Mangosteen wine on the left.

After lunch, we decided to check out a Kiriwon village which is inhabited by the Ban Khiri Wong community. According to this website:

The village was faced with catastrophe on November 21, 1988 when a flash flood swept away some 100 houses. The local monastery and villagers still maintain the damaged convocation hall and houses as monuments to those who perished. Ban Khiri Wong is considered a prototype of eco-tourism management and the place won the 1998 Thailand Tourism Award in the city and community category.

So after the catastrophe, the villagers had to find new means of living. Being the innovative people that they are, they discovered various ways of using mangosteens and other fruits besides gobbling them up. Well, they turn them into soaps and dye!

Owner of soap factory and See Tho.
Owner of soap factory and See Tho.

The owner demonstrated the process of making mangosteen soaps and it was really impressive as there was no cooking of any sort. First, he mixed palm oil nuggets with mangosteen juice (derived from the skin) and other herbal juices. Then he mixed and compressed them further and finally, he moulded them into soaps.

Making mangosteen soaps.
Making mangosteen soaps.

Final product.
Final product.

Apparently, it’s a very good soap for people with acne problem, eczema and sensitive skin. Personally, I have eczema problem but have yet to try the soap (still in the box), so when I have, I’ll definitely post about my experience with it.

We were given an amulet as a parting gift. Such a nice gesture :)

Amulet.
Amulet.

After checking out the soaps, See Tho brought us to another place where fabric dye is made with mangosteens. Before this trip, I had no idea that there are so many uses for mangosteens! I’m very impressed with the people of Kiriwon village.

The dyed fabrics are reminiscent of the 60s tie-dye but more subdued. This is how they dye the fabric (pure cotton):

1.
Pegged.
Clothes pegs are used to peg certain parts of the fabric to form desired patterns.

2.
Fabrics cooked in the dye prepared with mangosteen essence.
Fabrics cooked in the dye prepared with mangosteen essence.

3.
Finished product.
Finished product.

I bought a gardening hat, a pair of fisherman trousers and a bag made with the dyed fabrics. All for less than RM500 baht. Support the local businesses, eh!

We left Kiriwon village for another destination, but I’ll leave that for another post under Day 3 Part Two. Sorry it’s a little too long already!

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Krabi, Thailand – Day 2 (Part Two)

DAY 1
DAY 2 Part One

Now, the second part of my second day in Krabi. After our island hopping trip, See Tho brought us to Krabi La Playa Hotel for tea time.

Coffee and biscuits.
Lovely local coffee and biscuits.

We also went on a short hotel tour to check out the place. It’s a very nice hotel and I especially love the swimming pool.

Mocktail.
Mocktail to quench the thirst.

La Playa room.
One of La Playa’s rooms.

The pool
The eclectic pool.

We left La Playa for our hotel and still in a swimming mood, I took a dip in Sheraton Krabi‘s fabulous pool. I didn’t take any picture but here’s one from its website.

Infinity pool in Sheraton Krabi.
Infinity pool faces the beach.

After a quick swim, I showered and changed for dinner.

Me and Kellster.
Me and Kellster posing before dinner.

We arrived at Ban Ton Khao, a beautiful farm house themed restaurant. It even has its own paddy field and windmill!

Ban Ton Khao.
Ban Ton Khao.

Lone bike.
Lone bike.

There’s a really cool wooden playground and I couldn’t help but camwhore, hehe.

Playground.
Playground.

Timer ftw.
Timer FTW.

Dinner.
Dinner.

None of the dinner picture came out well so I’m not going to post any. But I’m sure you’ll be able to read about it soon at KY‘s :)

After dinner, we went to Ao Nang where KY and I spent 250 baht each for a traditional Thai massage. 90 minutes of awesomess!!

Ao Nang.
Ao Nang in the evening.

Massage.
Massage parlour.

The massage concluded my second day in Krabi. We headed back to our hotel and I hadn’t fallen asleep so quickly in my life.

3rd day coming up!

Posted in: Photography Adventures, Thailand, Travels - Continue Reading