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

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Cha Am July

Yet Again, To The Condo

Never get tired of this view. The mountain on the left is Khao Yai. Ocean off to the right.

Beach chairs and umbrellas are not allowed on the beach on Wednesdays. On this Wednesday there were hardly any visitors anyway.

No trouble finding a table for breakfast on the beach.

Sunrise from the Sky Lounge at Aquamarine, Thew Talay World

This is the small fishing boat harbor near Wat Sai Yoi, south of Cha Am

This woman took advantage of a very low tide to pry oysters from the jetty rocks

The beach at Cha Am Little Shop. A favorite spot for lunch.

The infinity pool and beach at Aquamarine.

On the weekends Thew Talay has a night market at Hua Hin One, the Shell station at the entrance to Thew Talay World.

Lots of food vendors.

Khao Yai

Things got busy on the long holiday weekend.

South Cha Am. Not yet overrun by visitors.

Breakfast on the beach.

On the way back to Korat we stopped in Pak Chong to buy avocados and grapes.

Wat Khao Krachiu

The ordination hall (ubosot) of this temple is visible from Patchakasem Highway at Tha Yang, about 25 kilometers north of Cha Am. I'd wanted to visit for a long time, but hadn't made the effort until I read that the temple museum contained some interesting artifacts from a nearby archaeological site. So, I decided to to ride my bicycle there one early morning. I dislike cycling on highways, so I picked a route that traverses the coastal plane east of the highway.

In the distance is "Jurassic Mountain", the base of which has a fishing resort by the same name. It's a wonder that a road in the middle of nowhere is so nicely paved and with street lights yet. 

Only one of the roads on my route was unpaved. This one was still in excellent shape.

These are Asian Openbill Storks. They used to be kind of rare and skittish. Now they are very common and not at all afraid of humans. Their beaks are open in the middle to help them harvest and eat the snails that are their main food source.

Old farm carts at Wat Chai Na on the way.

Shrine at Wat Chai Na

There's my destination. The wat is on the other (north) side of the limestone outcrop.

This ordination hall (ubosot) is the structure visible from the highway. It was locked.

After viewing the ubosot I decided to look for the museum and find a path up to the chedi which is further up the hill. The only person I saw in the two hours I was at the wat was some guy washing his car. Of course, why else visit the wat on a Friday morning? Anyway he directed me to the stairway which leads to the chedi. I knew the numerous Macaques would steal anything I left behind, so I packed everything in to my bike bag. As I was leaving the car washing guy pointed to my water bottle which was still on my bike. I grabbed it and said "ลิงขโมย" (monkeys steal) over which we had a good laugh.

There are at least two caves along the steps up to the chedi. This one had about a dozen interesting Buddha images.

This reclining Buddha has no natural light. This taken without a flash.

This taken with a flash.

View from the steps to the chedi, looking north.

Just to prove I made it.

This Buddha image is outside the chedi.

Looking down the steps. Steep, long and uneven, but well worth the effort.

Nice forest along the way.

The museum I came to see was locked up tight with no indication when, if ever, it will be open. There was no one to ask. Aside from the guy washing his car, I saw no one. No monks. No visitors.

No idea what this is. My guess is Rattanakosin period, but that's a huge stretch. It has Garudas and a clock, so it's certainly not ancient.

Huge Chinese influence in this area. The wat grounds contain hundreds of burial stupas like this. Many are brightly painted, like this one.

Chinese style burial tomb. Also brightly painted. Note the image of Hotei (Budai or พระสังขจาย Pra Sangkachai) above the tomb.

Was it worth the 67K (41 mile) round trip? Yeah, the countryside in that part of the coastal plain is beautiful; full of banana and other fruit plantations, rice fields and lots of small dairy farms. The roads are good and there's almost no traffic. Makes you wonder why anyone would ever bother to cycle on the highway.

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