A ride in the countryside


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The hat goes on tour

My lack of transportation sometimes makes me feel a little claustrophobic, but today I had a driver and car and toured around all day. It started out differently, or at least that’s what I thought.

A friend had mentioned the day before, I thought, that she and her girlfriends were going to a temple the next day (today, Sunday) to make merit for Buddha on the holy holiday. I had read that there are usually ceremonies that take place at the temples during this day and thought seeing and photographing them would be cool. I was so wrong.

We were going touring. No temples involved. Just me and three beautiful women and two delightful little girls. Mostly, though, we did a lot of driving around. Most of the roads out in the rural areas are pretty good, although we did go through one stretch where dirt took the place of asphalt.

Our first destination turned out to be all the way to the base of the mountains to the west, to the Lub Lae cave. I had mentioned I wanted to see a well-known cave with a temple inside it and I think this is what was understood. Anyways, it was way out in the boonies, and up a dirt road.

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The stairs nearly killed me

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Always pictures of each other

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The inside of the cave was interesting

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Bats everywhere, of course

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bats

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The darkness below

Next, I asked if we could eat. We found a roadside place a short distance from the cave and had to wait for the one cook (the wife) to make one meal at a time on a small fry pan – for a party of five who were already there. Then we were served our meals one by one.
The menu was all Thai, of course, so I let my friend order. My fried rice with shrimp had two not-fresh shrimp, some veggies and lots of rice. I’m not a big rice fan and ate maybe a third.
The good news? 200 baht for seven meals. Still hungry but the low blood sugar is taken care of for now. The restaurant:
So now I’m thinking we’re going to the temple to give merit, and all those glorious great color photographs I was going to take. Nope.
We were headed to the Chang Hua Man Royal Project.
Let me let their website tell you what they are:
“On one hand there is chemical-free farming and on the other hand we have the harvesting of wind energy. For only 20 baht you’ll get a deep insight!

Agricultural

“As there is no water (like a river) the rainwater must be collected. This is done so in a nearby lake. With this water – and without the aid of any chemicals – the farm grows a lot of fruits and vegetables. As they are all accurately labeled, this is also a very instructive excursion. You can learn a lot about Thai fruits (vegetables) as well as some alien ones. We suggest you start with the guided tour and later on walk or cycle to the points of your interest. You are allowed to go wherever you want – in case you want to have a very close look on the rice, rubber-boots are advantageous 🙂
“As this is indeed a real farm, they also have cows and hens. Not only the townsfolk may buy the fresh goods in the nearby ‘Golden Place’ shop and taste the difference to industrial food ! Some rare flowers round up the portfolio.

Green Energy

As the farm is located somewhat higher (some people would say “in the mountains”) there is wind available. With 20 wind turbines, there is currently a peak power of 50 kWh of electric energy generated.
The farm also includes a small, two storeyed villa, where His Majesty the King is said to stay when inspecting the farm. The car parked there (with the auspicious plate ก 9999, เชียงใหม่) is the very first car of His Majesty.”

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Rainwater catchment lake

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Wind energy

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Tour group almost walked me off the walkway

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Fortunately, there were a number of food and beverage vendors around. I walked around a lot, figured out what I was looking at, and decided to find food and shade. And wait for the girls to go from place to place to take pictures of themselves.

They found me eventually and more food and beverage and ice cream was consumed. And onward.

I was asked a couple of times if I knew “cow tow” and I had no idea what they were talking about. Then we ended up in Kao Tao, a little town a few miles south of Hua Hin. This is where I came to adopt an ill-fated kitten. It has a nice beach and a freshwater lake but is not convenient for western stuff unless you have a car.

Here’s a few shots from “cow tow.”

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This temple is out in the middle of a freshwater lake

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Fisherman going out for the night

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This channel is really, really poluted, but it is where these kids play

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Clever addition to a concreete and shell wall

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The fishing fleet at dock

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It’s about 5 pm by now. Just guessing because I don’t own a watch and my phone was at home, which is not unusual. Must be headed back. We are, but wait, there’s the seven statues to seven past Thai kings. “Do you want to stop to take pictures?” Got me!

(From Wikipedia) “Rajabhakti Park is a historically themed park honoring past Thai kings from the Sukhothai period to the current royal house of Chakri. It is in Hua HinPrachuap Khiri Khan ProvinceThailand. It was built by the Royal Thai Army, on Thai Army property, with approximately one billion baht (US$28 million) in funds donated by the public and private sectors. Bhumibol Adulyadej gave the historical park the name ‘Rajabhakti Park’, which means ‘the park that has been built with people’s loyalty to the monarchs.'”

The sun was setting behind these 30-foot-tall statues so they were dark for photos – so I worked with that:

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Covered a lot of ground today.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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