Monday, April 21, 2014

ToST III - Part 3

Checking out the Great Lake...

We woke up at 05:00am, set out towards Thale Noi's village square.
It was early in the morning and we had our lights mounted, keeping in mind that it was the first day of the Songkran festival.
Not too far into the distance, Sin spotted a few stalls serving breakfast.
We wasted no time by parking our rides there and worked on our very important meal of the day.
The rest had pork porridge (20 baht a bowl) while I worked out a good appetite by having a plate of rice with salted fish curry and pork slices.
It was relief to know that food is available on the first day of the Thai New Year and our confidence level grew as we past by more shops in the area.
We parked our bikes and locked it at the Ranger's office and made our way to the jetty.
The boat ride has been arranged prior to our arrival and we were quite stocked with the prospect of rounding the Thale Noi lake.

Daybreak at the lakeside
Salted fish, pork and rice.. 
Our porridge breakfast..
Awesome is the word.. 

Our boatman prompted us to board his vessel and when we were seated on the longboat, a guy came and snapped some photos. These were framed and sold at 120 baht each. 
I don't have any reservations about it because this helps supplement the local economy.
The boat took us on a one and a-half hour loop around the lake and it was simply amazing to see a whole sea of red lotus in full bloom. 
There were also some interesting migratory birds at the lake and to our surprise, the waterway traffic was pretty heavy, even on Songkran.

Lotuses in full bloom

A fine specimen

Tourists at the boat ride...
So, to sum it up, the boat ride was awesome.
This was a thousand times better than tasik Chini or Bera in Pahang.
We alighted from the boat and made our way back to the village square.
This time round, another breakfast session at a noodle and chicken rice shop next to the Ranger's office.
There, we sat down and chilled out.
Later, back at the resort, we had a few beers and decided to head back to the village to experience Songkran in rural Thailand.

Late breakfast: soup noodles..
A splashing time!

No one is spared.. 

The gang at Thale Noi
The Songkran experience..

I found that rural folks in Thailand are polite and hospitable.
We rode past some water stations and the kids there politely asked if they could bless us with water which we gladly obliged.
Some of the waterguns were added with colouring and most of us were soaked with food dye and the ones that were riding up front were splashed.
The trick was to ride in between reloads! hahahah!
We had lunch at the lakeside and chilled out till mid day before returning back to the resort.
I had an idea about using a shortcut back to our accommodation, but it's Songkran, there's people waiting at every corner to ambush you.. 

Riding out to dinner
A decent makan place in Thale Noi
Later in the day, we assembled and rode out for dinner.
The same place which Roger had booked for two days.. It's a very decent makan place with good food, so, we didn't hesitate at all.
But like anything that is too good, sometimes, Murphy's Law will never cease to amaze me.
We ordered a few dishes and it came out wrong.
A group of Thai customers who were seated next to us had their orders misplaced. 
Lucky for them, we didn't eat up their food.
Even our orders were totally messed up, but that didn't matter because we've had good time, then it was back to the rooms for a couple of beers and a discussion on what lies ahead.
Ranot is our next destination after Thale Noi...
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