Micah: Unmitigated

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Posts Tagged ‘Si Racha’

The Surroundings: part deux

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

If you have not read part one of this 2 part series, I suggest you scroll down now. Otherwise you will be completely lost and confused, so go ahead.

Alright, my Sunday adventure led me to an island about a days swan boat ride from Si Racha. The island goes by the name Ko Si Chang and and is not very flat. To get there, we got dropped off by our host and took a ferry that leaves from the Ko Loi jetty. On the way, we passed numerous ships anchored in the Gulf of Thailand, that I think are waiting for paperwork or further instructions. Interesting to see.

Once on shore, we avoided the tuk-tuks and motorbike drivers, and walked to the Buddhist Tham Yai Phrik Vipassana Manastery, or Typvm for short. Many meditation caves, incense burning, and hand written prayers can be seen in tucked away areas. To get up to the Typvm was a hike unto itself, but we continued up another 300 stairs to see Buddha’s Footprint. The views got even better and were worth the blood, sweat, and tears.

Good looking out

Good looking out

We hiked back down, unable to find any super fun happy slide, and commissioned a tuk-tuk driver to take us to a beach. Hat Tham Phang beach is tucked in a cove on the west coast of the island, and has a small sandy area, lined with umbrellas and water vessel rentals. I enjoyed a large plate of crab, cooked in a butter sauce with some greens, under one of those umbrellas and watched the people frolic fully clothed. After purchasing a $5 swim suit, we headed for a spot on the beach and participated in the ancient thai recreation known as swimming. Large sharp rocks covered much of the cove floor, so we chose our steps wisely and proceeded to wade in the water.

Beach

Beach

Although this beach is reportedly not as beautiful as the star attractions that this country has to offer, I was satisfied. My first thai beach was patronized by mostly regional weekenders with the exception of 4 other farangs.

The post beach activities included: a ride up to see some golden buddhas, a climb down through a small cave, a monkey sighting (no picture, it was too fast), followed by a walk back to the pier.

A Buddha the color gold

A Buddha the color gold

A ferry ride back to Si Racha ended our island excursion. We checked out the mall again, where they happen to be having a special viewing of the Manchester United vs Liverpool soccer match on a big screen outside. For some reason, the area has adopted Liverpool, possibly due to a tour they once did. The day finished with our host picking us up at the mall and taking us to eat at a nice Japanese restaurant. (Si Racha has a large Japanese population)

You can see part of the Host

You can see part of the Host

Host ordered many many dishes and all staff members stopped what they were doing to acknowledged our arrival and departure. My first time eating in a establishment where I had to take off my shoes (which I agreed to because I wasn’t wearing a wire) and where all people receive a warm moist towel upon sitting. Food was delicious.

I get more and more anxious to see the rest of this beautiful country and am now counting down the days till I move on. The group is now down to just the 3 of us that arrived on the same day, the Bikers and I. The next WWOOFers are expected on Nov 1st and I hope they are non-americans. We now have the newly hired spa manager and a masseuse staying with us at the house, which has added some life to the party. I feel like I am settling into a groove and am more relaxed with my surroundings. Time is going by a little faster. Ending communication. หายบาสเกตบอล

The Surroundings: part one

Monday, October 26th, 2009

My fellow Americans, as I have stated before, Bang Phra is the town where my farm is located. It is small and lies on the Bay of Thailand, a short nap on a train from Bangkok. Since it is on the coast, there are some other cool cities and things to see up and down the main highway. With a couple scattered days off, I explored 2 such areas and would now like to report back to you all about my adventures.

The first and closest rad city is called Si Racha, about a 20 minute and 33 cent ride south on the back of a “sorng-taa-ou”(small truck with a roll cage).  Our exploration took us out onto the Ko Loi jetty, where a Buddhist temple and boat dock are.

View of Si Racha from the jetty

View of Si Racha from the jetty

Temple on Ko Loi jetty

Temple on Ko Loi jetty

As we were out there, little droplets of water began to fall from the sky at an incredible rate. We took shelter under the temple roof (seen above, please note that this photo was taken on a different day which will be talked about later, oh what a day that was) and waited about 15 minutes for the shower to subside. This brief downpour was just a foretaste of the feast to come. About 10 minutes later, the sky opened up and didn’t stop for over an hour. Again we took shelter, this time under a small ice cream/coffee shop roof in a park. It was a storm of which I have never seen an equal. The size and frequency of the rain drops, combined with the lightning and volume of the thunder, made for an awesome sight. The following pic sequence should break it all down:

Park early in storm

Park early in storm

Storm at its peak

Storm at its peak

Locals checking out the flooded street

Locals checking out the flooded street

It was fun watching the tuk-tuks get stuck and all the motorbike drivers just hanging outside the 7-eleven. Locals were saying they hadn’t seen it flood this bad which made us feel lucky to have witnessed it.

After making our way around town, taking off sandals to cross the street/rivers, we visited a few covered markets and a large mall. The mall was not very wide, but went up about 6 floors. They have a food market on the bottom floor filled with street vendor food, and the arcade was on the top floor. Sony Playstation’s entertained the kids instead of classic upright systems and I dominated the pop-o-shot.

Scoreboard!

Scoreboard!

It was a good day, which made all the farm work worth while. I realized that I will have the free time to explore and take advantage of my semi-free accommodations. Also, the work is feeling less like slavery now that I am more invested in projects.

On the next post to Micah:Unmitigated –  Micah gets a taste of the infamous Thai beaches. ชีวิตของชายหาด