…A Work In Progress.
So; for some time I’ve been meaning to go over to the west coast. It’s not that far. It just seems like it is.
I mean, I’ll happily go a long way north or south, or tootle around for a whole day in the middle of the Isthmus putting on hundreds of kilometers. But if I get ideas of going west, the brain says “Nahhh, way too far.” Nuts! Stupid brain.
The fact is, the closest point – Leam Sak – is just under 200kms away. Chicken feed. I can do that before breakfast. Not before coffee, but definitely before breakfast.
And then, everytime I think of going, I realize the weather can be quite different. Sunny here. Torrential rain there. And vice-versa.
But as I’ve learned, forecasts are not that great, and I anyways just wanted to do a kind of recce – hunt around to see what’s worth seeing and re-visiting – so early yesterday morning, I decided “Come rain or shine, today’s the day.”
A detailed inspection of Google Maps revealed the fact there was probably enough to occupy me in the Laem Sak area, without hunting anywere else in Krabi Province.
Laem means “cape” in English, which means it’s a sticky-out bit surrounded by water, and I figured it would have great views. The west coast is known for its limestone karsts which pop up both on land and in the sea. Although, we have our fair share over here on the east coast. Anyhoo, it looked like my route would be the almost straight four-lane highway 44 (zzzz, boring) until a few kilometers of narrow two-lane stuff before ending up on the cape.
I estimated it would be just two hours until I reached the small town of Ban Laem Sak. I was wrong. It was two hours two minutes. But then, I did stop to take some photos along the way…
On the way into the town I saw signs to Wat Laem Sak, and I could see it was on top of a hill. Okay, I thought – hill means views. I’ll start there and hopefully can see enough to get my bearings.
Well, I spent so much time there I’m going to devote this article to the wat. The rest of the story I’ll catch up with in a day or three.
The first thing you’ll notice is that they haven’t quite finished the place. When I saw the amount of work that was still being done, I wasn’t even sure if I should go in – or up, as there’s quite a few steps leading to the main chedi. But there were no signs, so go I did.
There were also no other tourists, but that’s normal. Krabi has a lot of overseas visitors, but I guess they all stick to the beach areas. And it was a workday, so I suppose the Thais were busy, well, working. Or perhaps the Bangkok Post has daily alerts of my movements and lists the places to avoid.
Anyhoo, even below the chedi, work was proceeding on the other buildings…
…which didn’t really affect me. But up top, I had to negotiate my way through scafolding, across floors with wet concrete, around piles of building rubble, squeezing past workers who were building, plastering, painting – you name it, they were doing it…
Now that I’m looking at the pictures, I have to comment on the one on the right above. I’m guessing they’re building a ramp for people in wheelchairs. I’d walked up the ramp to the left, made the hairpin turn, and was part-way up the next ramp when I took the photograph. Then I made the next hairpin right, walked up the ramp you can see top left of the photo, where I had two choices… turn around and come back, or leap off into space. No barrier. Nothing!
These guys having nothing but about 100meters of fresh air below them!…
And, as you can see, it’s impressive now, but will be spectacular when it’s finished. Then it may be spoiled by hoards of tourists – although I doubt it. Well, maybe one hoard a month, just so the construction effort was worthwhile.
Now; did I find views? You bet I did. As you can see, inland it was seriously hazy, but out to sea, not so bad…
And it was only a recce, so the wat is on the list of places to check out on future visits.