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Sunday, 23 September 2012

MY FIRST SOLO OVERLAND TRIP - THALE NOI & SONGKHLA (16 SEPT 2012)


After having breakfast of bread and jam (which I brought along) at the balcony of my room the next morning, I went out for a boat trip around the lake. The trip cost B450 per boat and can fit in up to 8 people. I am not going to pay that much so I waited for a while. After about 20mins waiting, a couple appeared and we paid B150 each for the ride. There were not many tourists at this time (I dont know why), however, this is better as more motorboat engine sound will surely scare the birds away. 

A boat owner preparing his boat 

This lake is an area of outstanding natural beauty and an important wetlands ecosystem containing several varieties of plant, animal and birdlife. If you want to see a piece of Thailand at its beautiful best and you enjoy spending time in tranquil, natural environments with wonderful displays of plant and birdlife, then this place is worth a visit. It is best visited early in the morning when the birds are active and it isn't too hot. Significantly, the lotus flowers open in the morning but close later as the temperature rises. From my reading, I find out that the sanctuary area covers about 457 square kilometres. The water area is about 28 square kilometres. If you fall in, the average depth is about 1.25 metres. Try to avoid doing that though, because there are lots of large leeches and other nasty organisms in the water. The wetlands is an important conservation environment for 186 species of water birds (both resident and migratory), 26 kinds of reptiles and 13 kinds of mammals. And of course, there is a diverse variety of insects such as the dragonflies.

One of the first things that struck me venturing out on to the water was the carpet of beautiful pink lotus. The flowers are mostly pink but there are white and purple ones also. I'm sure that even people who don't have any major interest in birds or flowers will be impressed by a visit here. As for a flower craze such as me, I have my head high in the sky drinking all the beauties :)















The diesel engines of the long-tail boats were really loud and when they were running, you can't hear anything else. When they were switched off you can actually hear birds calling and it sounds great  The diversity of the bird population was quite amazing for a relatively small area, and migratory birds came from thousands of miles away to winter here. As I am only using a normal digital camera, I didnt manage to capture beautiful pics of these birdies.





While cruising the lake, I noticed that there was a delicate balance maintained between the locals and their environment. Poles that fisherman have stuck in the mud become perches for the birds. The birds' dropping were a rich source of nutrients which fertilise the plants. The plants provided shelter for fish and insects which then provided food for the fish. The birds and the locals ate the fish. I saw locals fished for their own needs and the reeds were harvested to produce floor mats and handicrafts. I saw sign posts preventing people from plucking the lotus, but here, some locals collected lotus flowers for a reason I have no idea why. The boat trip took almost 2 hours and I really think that the money that I paid was well spent.
Bagus punya bertenggek...







I also noticed a long bridge crossing the lake, and I wonder where it headed to. As communication was limited between me and the boat driver, I had to ask for infos at the visitor center. Communication there was bad as well, but luckily, there was a pic of the bridge hanging on the wall of the visitor center, so I asked the lady, where does the bridge headed to. She told me that the bridge connected Thale Noi and Ranod. According to my Insight Fleximap, there was no connection between both towns, so this info must be recent. I was glad that I took the boat trip or else, I wouldnt know the presence of this bridge (it cant be seen from the lake banks, but only when you are in the middle of the huge lake). Now, instead of riding the same way back to Hadyai and to Songkhla (my next destination), I have a better option, that is to cross the lake and ride on route 408 on the beach side. I was very pleased with my findings, so I quickly packed up my things and checked out. I had my lunch at the same place as yesterday as this is the only restaurant whom the staff can speak a lil english. I ordered for a steamed fish (which I saw a guest ate yesterday and looked so yummy), but communication break down again which I only get a fried fish in the end.


The guest house which I stayed for the night


After lunch, black clouds started to surround the area. Rain started to pour as I was about to leave the place. It was quite heavy but onwards sky was clear, so I ignored the rain. Yes, the rain stopped while I was crossing the bridge, however thick black clouds were approaching and the wind was so strong that it swayed my bike.

The storm is coming!!!!
The sun was shining when I started to ride on route 408. The road was good and it was mostly double lanes. View was nice too. I arrived Hat Samila, Songkhla, after crossing long Tinsulanond Bridge. First, I rode along the beach to find a cheap guest house with sea view. I have googled earlier, but didnt find any info on cheap accomodation facing the sea. Since I didnt find any, I opted for a guest house with good review which I have read in the internet, but unfortunately, they have closed their business. There was a tourist information center nearby, so I approached the lady. According to her, there is only one hotel with lake view (but the lake was so huge that it already looks like a sea), so I opted for this one. It was a nice place, B550 with aircond, TV, fridge and secure parking for DREAM. There were some bikers from Malaysia staying here, so we chatted for a while.

Tinsulanond Bridge
The view from my hotel room
In late afternoon, I rode to the famous beach and took some pics at the mermaid statue. I had sumptous fried seafood by the beach while watching people and enjoying the view. The seafood was really cheap and very delicious – B20 for 3 sticks of yr choice!!!


My 1st round
It was very yummy that I go for the 2nd round :)

After that, I walked around BP Hat Samila, the best hotel here, and further up the raod where lots of people having their night picnics with very loud music coming from their motorbikes or cars. It seems like I am waking on an automobile disco road. There were some fancy bikes here too.






Later, I rode to Tae Rak Walking Street which I have read in the internet and I have spotted earlier. I parked my bike and paid a small fee to the person in charge. There were lots of really cheap food and stuff sold at this night market. I can only managed a heavy sigh as riding a motorbke didnt permit me to shop much. I only buy some food, a Tshirt, a fridge magnet and a purse for my mom. I had a delicious coconut ice cream with green beans - the first of its kind which I hv tasted in my whole life.




I bought this yummylicious doughnuts with different flavours for my breakfast tmrw


Fear factor....dare to try?
Fried baby crab....soooo crunchy and yummy...

5 comments:

  1. alamak...dah jatuh cinta dengan motor kak......teringin betoi nak motor FZ ni buat raiding ke thailand.... :(

    ReplyDelete
  2. sambar la satu FZ....bukan takat Thailand, ke mane2 pun lepas :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Inspired by your rides on FZ. Got one last month and rode solo to Koh Samui from Taiping. Thanks to you. Happy Riding... Hey, you should upgrade to Dream 2...a Kawasaki Z250 maybe....

    Willy

    ReplyDelete
  4. Willy, upgrading is in my plan....only waiting for the correct time...
    Noorhasnidah, solo la senang...ramai2 ni pening la :)

    ReplyDelete

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