…The South Of Khanom, That Is.
Today was one of those days when it would have been criminal to stay home. Almost clear skies. A cool morning after a clear night. A gentle breeze. So, I didn’t.
Bert and I headed out at about 8.30am while it was still cool. Well, it was 28°C, but that’s what I call cool. We left Ms. Chuckles at home, because the whole idea was to find some tiny roads and get lost. It was very much a windows-open-aircon-off kind of day.
I hadn’t planned on going very far, and actually I didn’t. Probably never more than five or six kilometers from home, but I found a lot of photogenic places and somehow managed to take 55 photographs in the space of about ninety minutes.
I headed south down the coast road for a few kilometers before turning inland. The scenery changes very suddenly from typical beach scenes to lush verdant rice paddies and tall coconut palms, all with a backdrop of jungle-covered hills. Finding the best scenery involved taking tiny roads, which lead to tinier and then the tiniest of tracks. U-turns were needed when the latter ended-up in the middle of a field.
One road took me past Wat Kradang Nga, somewhere I last visited maybe three years ago. I hadn’t planned on going in. This was supposed to be a green morning, but somehow the bright sunlight reflecting off the ornate red and gilded roof just seemed to say “visit me … now.” So, I did.
And perhaps it was divine timing.
Mr. Monk came out to greet me, and thoughtfully insisted I should see inside. There was of course the obligatory Buddha statue, candles of all sizes, a red ceiling, etc., etc. But as my personal guide rushed around throwing open the ornately carved shutters, my eyes gradually adjusted to the daylight that was now streaming in.
All the walls, several meters high, had detailed painted murals, depicting – I assume – various parts of the life of Buddha. It took quite a while to see the detail in the pastel colors, and I think the camera did a better job than my eyes…
That was definitely a tootle-worthy moment.
After this, one road took me past a coconut factory…
No, I don’t mean they manufacture them, but they do all kind of things to make sure nothing is wasted. Around here, as you’ll see from the photos, coconuts are big business, although I doubt anyone gets rich.
Most people are familiar with the inside of a coconut. The milk, which can be drunk. The white flesh which is normally shredded and can be used in everything from curries to deserts. The stringy fiber from the husks is used to make rope and matting. The seed can be dried and used for coconut all. And last but not least, the outer shell can be used as a charcoal substitute. Pretty versatile nuts.