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STORMBLAST1953

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

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Motorway 6 November 2019

Motorway 6 November 2019


Over the past few years I've done a lot of cycling along Motorway 6 which is still under construction. This highway will link the various highways in and around Bangkok with Korat. Most of my rides have been relatively short. Based on recent Google Maps satellite view images I decided it was time to do a longer ride. I entered Motorway 6 where it intersects with Highway 204 and rode to the turnoff for Mueang Sema (an ancient historical sight) and Sung Noen.

Route Map

The first section of the motorway has wide frontage roads on both sides so that local traffic doesn't have to enter the motorway.

The overpass in the distance is where Motorway 6 intersects with the Korat ring road.

I was surprised to see the motorway essentially complete all the way from Highway 2068 to the Mueang Sema turnoff. I was pretty much alone on the motorway. No constructions crews in sight and very few vehicles.


The road to Mueang Sema is below and to the left. No way to get down there. I rode back a kilometer or so, but still no way to ride down. I eventually climbed over a barrier, hauled my bike down the embankment and over another barrier and finally on to a road which led back here.

Ban Sema is a small village north of the Mueang Sema Historical Park.

This Dvaravati era monument is on the grounds of Wat Ban Kaen Thao. The original construction was about 1200 years ago.

The monument at Wat Ban Kaen Thao was once a chedi (stupa) and is made from fired clay brick that was probably coated with stucco. It continued to be in use through the Khmer Era.

There are many monuments like this in the Mueang Sema Historical Park. This is designated as Monument #7. It is the furthest north.

Yours truly at #7.

There are three moat systems at Mueang Sema. There is a small rectangular moat in the middle, a roundish moat in the south and an extension of the roundish moat that extends quite far north. This is the southern edge of of that moat.

This is the oldest reclining Buddha Image in Thailand. It is located on the grounds of Wat Dhammachraksemaram (also known as Wat Phra Non). It dates from the Dvaravati Era and is about 1300 years old.



After fifty kilometers of cycling it was time for a coffee break.

After coffee I had to stop to repair a flat.

I chose a strange place for the task.
 
After repairing the rear tire I discovered that the front tire was also leaking. I kept pumping until I found a repair shop. From there it was straight home.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Cha Am October 2019

Ah, Yes. Back to my favorite spot.


Construction of the BaBa Beach Club Tower

Extension and rehabilitation of Cha Am South beach

Thew Talay Estate Shell Station

Shell Station with the railroad themed restaurant

Aquamarine beachside pool

Sunrise at the beach pool

Pool again

Harvesting the catch at Sai Yoi fishing harbor

Lunch at Cha Am Little Shop

Aroy Restaurant in Cha Am

 Sunrise from the Aquamarine Sky Loung

I intended to cycle up to the Hin Lad waterfall. Unfortunately, rain the night before rendered the road impassible on my bike.

Vehicle overpass for the new dual track railway at Bo Khaem

Sunrise

Sunrise, again

Sky Lounge Storm Damage


On the evening of October 13th we noted that a rainstorm was predicted for about midnight. We were awoken about then by the sound of thunder, lightening and pounding rain. We fetched the beach gear from the balcony, closed the windows and went back to bed. We heard a loud explosion which we assumed was a power transformer. It turns out the explosion was the sound of the plate glass windows of the Sky Lounge imploding. 

I think the outside air pressure fell fast during the storm causing this heavy wood and glass door to fly off its hinges and out of the library.

That caused the big glass window at the end of the room to implode into the room.





By the next day the room had been cleaned out, the broken glass removed and a rope strung across the open window which is 13 floors above the ground.





Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Losin September 2019

Diving Losin - September 2019

We did a live aboard dive trip to Losin which is a pinnacle in Pattani, Thailand

The boat is the Tapana Catamaran which departed from Songkhla in Southern Thailand

Always plenty to eat on the Tapana Catamaran

Sunrise near Losin

Losin Lighthouse. That's all there is above the water.

We had good weather. No wind. Calm seas. No current. Good visibility.
Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot to see.

The coral is much healthier than it was when we dove here in May


Mam. Cool and relaxed as usual.

Another meal

Mike and Mam getting ready to dive.

Yeah, me, with the bright yellow fins.


Mike and Mam all alone at Losin Pinnacle

Losin Sunrise



Sticky Rice

Soft Coral

Mam and Barrel Sponge

Short dive video. Sorry, not much to see.


Chef Bom makes shave ice.

Green Tea Shave Ice with Kiwi Fruit

Mr Somkiat, the Tapana Catamaran Mechanic. He can fix everything and is really good about making sure divers get back on the boat.

 Songkhla Old Town


When we got back to the mainland I took a brief walk through the old town section of Songkhla


Songkhla City Gate

Nakhon Nai Road

Street Art

Beautiful old building

More street art

The Antique Hotel
Beautifully restored old hotel.

Antiaue Hotel Interior

Antiaue Hotel Interior


Antiaue Hotel Interior

Some great old buildings
Plenty of Sino-Portuguese (Perenakan) architecture