Daily Archives: August 27, 2008

Overnight trip to Thale Noi in Patalung

I have not been posting since the beginning of 2008 as I was on assignment in Singapore and that really take away a lot of my free time. I was busy then but now I am just too lazy and have been putting off a lot of activities.

I went to Thale Noi (TN) on 28-29 July at the end of my assignment in Singapore. A temple friend who has been there many times is supposed to join me but last minutes commitment prevented him from making the trip.

28 July 2008 Morning
I took a minivan from Haadyai to TN. The minibus station is located quite a distance from Haadyai city center about 2-3 KM after the railway flyover. I made a mistake of telling the ticket office that I was going to TN and was assigned a “staged’ van. A direct Haadyai-Patalung van would have taken a lot less time.

The van took a big loop and and stopping whenever someone flag the van down, or when a passenger want to get. Well, as I am just killing time, I really don’t mind. While I don’t mind the perfume of some well-dressed ladies, the smell of sweat of some passenger can be quite bad. The van stopped at junction of road 41 and road 4182.

I would have expected the van to have stopped at 4048 instead. From there I will take a songtheow to Thale Noi which is about 8KM away. But, mai pen rai!

The Songtheow stopped at the terminal cum car park. The guest house is just 100 meters away. I did not make any reservation and I was surprised to be told that the resort is fully booked on a Monday!

The resort is also a visitor information center and you can see photos and explanations of the species of birds found in this lake. There are 187 species of waterfowls,both the indigenous and migratory one can be spotted. Unfortunately, I can’t read or understand a word to ask question about birds will even tougher.

The bungalow / guest rooms in the complex are constructed on stilt above the lake and judging from the exterior of the bungalow, the facilities must have been built more than 5 years ago and it look run down.

After visiting the visitor information center, I walk along the promenade and found this nice little guest house which was completed hardly 3 months ago. It is a semi-detached house and the owner/operator stay on the right side of the building and also operate a small hair salon. The guest house is on the left hand side with one room on ground floor (level 1) and 3 rooms on level 2. The asking price for a room with attached batch is 600 Bahts with breakfast and I managed to drive it down to 500. A hair wash by the lady owner cost 20 baht cheap.

After checking in and had a hair wash, I head for the promenade which is lined with eating shops / stores. I need to check out the details about the boat ride for tomorrow morning. They are kids/ teenage playing sepak takraw (rattan ball) and adult playing some kind of lawn bowling along the promenade.

Afternoon is for siesta especially eating too much Khao Pad and khai jiao moo sap.

Evening is spent on eating and drinking with some village folks. I think Thai men drink a bit too much of the moonshines brew. The kids have really nothing much to do also. I ended talking to them on what they learn in school. I gave away some Singapore and Malaysian coins and 1-ringgit notes.

29 July 2008, Tuesday 06:30 (the photo’s timestamps are Malaysia/Singapore time)
Woke up by the loud speakers and I don’t have any clue as to what it being broadcast. Head for the beach and took this boat to the lake. The view is spectacular although it is a not a good time to be in thale noi. The best time is October to March, according to the locals. The lotus would have boomed and the bird population peak.

I shall return for a self-drive visit next time with my buddies. As Malaysia-Thai immigration at Sadao open at 6:00AM Malaysian time, we will have time to drive to TN directly in time for the early boat ride.