Thailand Ban Na San Surat Thani

Chawang Canal Bridge…

…Near Ban Na San, Surat Thani.

I think today was definitely a tootling day. A vague idea of where I wanted to go. Lots of barely two-car width roads. And some spectacular scenery along the way.

I’d planned the trip a while ago, without having any fixed idea of when I might go. But with a need to head over to Surat Thani, I decided today would be the day, weather permitting.

As usual, the forecast said “overcast with showers” but the sky was mostly clear and sunny with a few broken clouds. A lot of those had been repaired by the time I arrived at my destination, so I must admit, the forecast wasn’t far wrong.

And where was I? Well, you see, it’s like this…

I’d seen a photograph, somewhere on the web, of an odd-looking railroad bridge, set amongst some hilly limestone karsts. “Looks nice” I thought, and made a note to try to figure out where it was. Not easy. There was very little information. So, after some thirty-plus minutes of messing around with Google Maps I decided I’d found it.

Not too far away from home, maybe 70 to 80 minutes, across the Isthmus, about half way between Khanom – here on the east coast – and Krabi on the west coast. The whole area is hilly and limestoney.

Before going to the bridge, I arrived in the small town of Ban Na San, and parked alongside the river. The picture looks a bit fuzzy. I must have needed more coffee…

Thailand Ban Na San Surat Thani

But at the bottom of the cliff on the left I found a tiny Chinese temple, and a statue of Kuan Yin (Guanyin) halfway up…

Thailand Kuan Yin Ban Na San Surat Thani

Looking up was a bit unnerving, but I’m sure a Godess of Mercy wouldn’t drop one of those sticky-out rocks on me. Would she?…

Thailand Kuan Yin Ban Na San Surat Thani

Then I saw there were steps. Oh goody! I love steps, especially the uneven, stony, wet kind. Trust me, they were a lot easier to go up than come down. But I figured she must have quite a view from up there, so…

Thailand Kuan Yin Ban Na San Surat Thani

She seemed about as happy to see me as the nice lady at the bottom had been…

Thailand Kuan Yin Ban Na San Surat Thani

Perhaps the serpent was tickling her toes. And yes, she does have quite some view…

Thailand Kuan Yin Ban Na San Surat Thani

Next it was downriver a short ways to the bridge. “Hmmm. Nothing special about that” I thought…

Thailand Chawang Canal Bridge Ban Na San Surat Thani

The photo I’d seen must have been taken from some strange angle, with a nice background. So, I wandered to one end, thinking I’d walk across the bridge on the side walkway. Perhaps not. They forgot something…

Thailand Chawang Canal Bridge Ban Na San Surat Thani

Thailand Chawang Canal Bridge Ban Na San Surat Thani

Back to the road. Wander to the other side. A hundred meters or so along the road. Through some rubber trees, up a bank, and back along the tracks. Just for a bridge?

Well, it did look a bit more interesting from the other side, and I wanted to get a shot with a train coming across. I’d checked the schedule, and there were supposed to be two. One at 11:15 and another at 11:30. But – trains there were not. And shots with train were not shotten. (Shooted?) Never mind. It was a mini-adventure.

With almost all of Thailand’s railway system being single-track narrow gauge, I imagine delays occur at the crossover points. Anyways, it might be more fun to be on the train taking the photos. One day.

Next, I took a drive up into the hills on a sort-of twenty kilometer crescent shaped road, which ultimately brought me back to the same main road I’d used to get to Ban Na San, but further south. Nice scenery, but not many photo ops. These look quite nice though, don’t ya think?…

Thailand Ban Na San Surat Thani

Thailand Ban Na San Surat Thani

Getting those shots I manged to get tangled up in a wire fence, which ripped a nice hole in my pants. I bought them in Canada, so they must be close to forty years old! However, they are Tilley Endurables which come with a lifetime warranty. So I wonder if I can get a free replacement pair, or a refund? Just kidding. Might be interesting to ask.

And I haven’t actually worn them for all of the forty years. Shortly after I bought them, mysteriously, the waist seemed to shrink and they wouldn’t fit. But just recently I discovered they’d gone back to their original size, so I could wear them again. Amazing that!

Then, it was back to, and through Ban Na San; left a bit, across to something that was just a blue blob on Google Maps.

This was definitely narrow-road country, and the couple of places I stopped to get these shots were only just two-car width. It had recently rained, so some shots are a bit misty…

Thailand Nong Thung Tong Reservoir Surat Thani

Thailand Nong Thung Tong Reservoir Surat Thani

Thailand Nong Thung Tong Reservoir Surat Thani

Thailand Nong Thung Tong Reservoir Surat Thani

It’s called Nong Thung Tong Reservoir and is a kind of mini Thale Noi but without the tourists, and as far as I could tell, without the wildlife. Maybe at lunchtime it was just too hot and wet … for tourists and wildlife! These lads seemed to be having fun though…

Thailand Nong Thung Tong Reservoir Surat Thani

Then the day went a bit pear-shaped. As I mentioned at the top, I wanted to go into Surat Thani. There’s some kind of festival happening this weekend. A bit like the recent one in Nakhon Si Thammarat but it sounds more elaborate. So, I’d planned to go ask for details at the tourist office.

Then rain stopped play. Lots of it. Mega-bucket-loads of it.

On the outskirts of the city I could barely see twenty meters. I realized that even if I managed to get to the office, I sure as heck wasn’t getting out of the car. So, a detour was made, and I headed straight home, arriving in Khanom in the same blazing sunshine as when I’d left. Thai weather can be fickle.

wwiSo, I’ll probably just head back into the city on the weekend, and go where everyone else seems to be going. Stay tuned for that.

Stop Press: Due to the sad news that Thailand’s much-beloved and long-serving monarch has passed away, the Government has “urged all sectors to refrain from any entertainment activities for 30 days.”

As a result, I’m assuming, there will be no festivities in Surat Thani this weekend. Things will be quiet for a few days, but normal Twitterings will resume shortly.


...has been travelling the world for more than fifty years; having lived and worked in five countries and travelled to many many more.

He likes to write about his travels - present and past - along with his other main interests of Information Technology and Motorsport, and he adds a few general twitterings along the way.

More info than you could possibly need is available by clicking the ABOUT tab in the top menu line.

And if you are interested in drones, please visit Paul's other blog The Drone Diaries.

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