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My friend Henk Landkroon, from Groningen in the Netherlands, has an excellent photoblog: STORMBLAST1953

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cha Am - November 2016

Another trip to the condo in Cha Am

The usual pit stop. Amazon Café in Pak Chong

PTT filling station in Wang Noi, Bangkok. Time for lunch.

One more coffee at Amazon in Phetchaburi

Sky Lounge Pool at Thew Talay

Sky Lounge sunrise

Rice ready to harvest in Bo Khaem. Beginning of a 90K bike ride

Snack time in Khao Kra Puk, west of Cha Am

Best chocolate cake ever at Coffee Pano

Huai Song Sai (reservoir)

Spirit House lane at Huai Song Sai

Yang Chum reservoir

Hey, Google Maps, where's my road?

Rest spot at Royal Project
โครงการชั่งหัวมัน ตามพระราชดำริ

View my 92km (55 mile) bicycle ride: Unseen Thailand - โครงการชั่งหัวมัน ตามพระราชดำริ

The next day: Breakfast on the beach

Khao Tom vendor

Coffee and Phatangko

The beach at Cha Am Little Shop - A great place to eat

Water Monitor lizard 

Beach pool at Thew Talay

The Energy - a (possibly) failed and very massive condo development

Sunrise at Springfield Resort beach

Shore birds scatter

Small lane at Bang Sai Yoi

Small boat harbor at Bang Sai Yoi

Moo Ping - grilled pork on a stick

Banyan Tree at Reagent Resort

Empty road at Springfield Resort

Short video of my bicycle breakfast run to Bang Sai Yoi village.

The amazing Aroy restaurant in Cha Am

Ready to ride

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Kham Thale So - Some Interesting Stuff

I rode my bike out to Kham Thale Soh village hoping to see their old rice mill in action. Instead I found the village engaged in a Kathin ceremony (to mark the end of Buddhist Lent) and some old Mon/Khmer artifacts.

Rice fields. Recently harvest in front. Ready to go behind.

Bad choice of roads. 

A shame to see such crappy work on this big and recently constructed irrigation canal.

Kham Tale So rice mill.

Dried rice piled up at Wat Kham Thale So.

This huge (meter long) hunk of sandstone is probably a building block left over from what was once a large Khmer structure. There is no sandstone locally, so this must have been quarried from the area around Pak Chong (80K to the West) and brought to Kham Thale So.

Another sandstone building block. The circular holes were for dowels used to carry and place the building blocks.

This new, still under construction building is meant to protect what is left of a very old ubosot (worship hall) at Wat Kham Thale So.

These posts and beams are all that's left of the old ubosot.

The Buddha image on the left is very old and was carved from wood.

These Buddha (?) images are ancient. I've never seen anything like them. My guess is that they are Mon from the Dvaravati period from the 7th to the 10th century.

Another similar triptych. Sadly, these ancient stone carvings have not been well cared for. At the moment they are just sitting out in the open at a small wat in an isolated village.

Altar of the old ubosot.

Phra Sangkajai (Maha Kaccana) - A monk contemporaneous with Buddha.

Kathin Ceremony

Short video of Khatin parade

Drying rice not far from Kham Thale So

Time for some wild speculation on my part. There is good evidence of a significant Khmer presence in the are immediately to the northwest of Korat. See, for example:

My guess is that the Khmer communities were quite large and supported by reservoirs and canals not unlike those found at Angkor Wat. My notes on the map below show that the marsh now known as Bueng O was probably once a large reservoir which provided water for Kham Thale So and other villages via a series of canals.

As I said, unsupported speculation, but certainly possible.

The unfortunate thing is that no science is being done on these places. Aside from the poorly restored Khmer tower at Wat Prang, there's absolutely no informed study or preservation underway.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Cha Am and Sattahip - October 2016

A week at the condo in Cha Am and then one night in Sattahip

Lunch stop at KFC

Breakfast on the beach. Pathongko. (Chinese doughnuts.)

Erosion control at Regent beach

Lunch at Krua Pa Mao

Tom Yang Gung - spicy shrimp soup

I did a nice long bike ride

Bike ride nutrition stop

Spirit houses

Highway kilometer marker

Atsikro 2 Mosque at Tha Mai Ruak

Reclining Budda at Wat Phra Phutthabat Khao Luk Chang

Water Stop

Dinner at the lovely Bella Pizza in Cha Am. Such a clean kitchen.

Panorama from the Sky Lounge at Thew Talay Estate

Lunch at Aroy in Cha Am. Dozens and dozens of clocks.

Tom Kha Gai

Pork with herbs

Sky Lounge at Thew Talay Estate

Lunch at Saab Di Seafood

Infinity pool at Thew Talay Estate

Gin and Tonic at Panas Bar

Rice porridge for breakfast at Cha Am Beach

Build a storm drain
Block it with a hunk of concrete
Use a pump to get around the block

View from the room at บ้านสัตหีบชายทะเล (Ban Sattahip by the Sea)

Old Town Sattahip

Sattahip fishing harbor

Dinner at Café de Sea

Breakfast at the hotel

Doughnuts and sticky rice with pork

Sattahip bay

Memorial for the late King

Old Town Sattahip

Snapper at the morning fresh market



Tired vendor


Grilled pork

The ice man

Wat Luang Pho Ei

Morning coffee at Gather Cafe

Mam picks up her new dive gear from Sainamtalay