After breakfast on Thursday we drove to Pumpee in khao lhame national park.
Next we drove up a mountain. Up past a yellow sign telling us we weren’t allowed to continue. And still up and up we went. Eventually we went up so high that we were enveloped in the low hanging rainclouds blanketing the mountaintops of the region. Sam’s brother in-law put the SUV in park to let the engine cool down and we took photos of the eerie gray calm above and below us.
I was only later informed that the road lead to a radar satalite station for the Thai Air Force. When we got back in the car it was turned around and we went back down the mountain.
Our next stop was at a complex that had Wat Sunanthawanaram and Sunamtharwarrnaram Pagoda.
They were under construction, but practically abandoned (quiet) on a Thursday afternoon.
Our next destination was not so abandoned. We visited the Hellfire Pass.
We started down the long trail but turned around very quickly when the heavy rain started to reach monsoon levels.
We pulled over for lunch at the ”off-road kitchen.”
The look of the restaurant was much like most roadside restaurants, with chairs and tables made of trees, koi ponds, etc.; but the big difference was a constant stream of modern pop country music (like Alan Jackson’s “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere”).
This prompted a discussion about what country music was (and wasn’t). I tried my best.
On the way to our last site of the day we passed high above Srinagarind Dam.
We then stopped at Huay Mae Kamin waterfalls, like many falls in Thailand it is a series of many falls (in this case six).
Sam’s brother in law walked into the water, but I was too cold to go in any deeper than my knees.
At the upper level of the falls there is a bamboo forest.
After cleaning up we were back on the road. Something I didn’t get any pictures of, but we saw constantly, was the abundance of road dogs; that is, dogs that simply lounge about in the middle of the road regardless of traffic. It seems there is so little traffic on the roads in this area that roads aren’t recognized by these dogs as a danger zone, but a flat and cool (often because they’re dirt roads) place to take a nap. It often requires several bursts from the horn to produce movement, and there were more than a few close calls. The photo below was taken from one of those roads, but doesn’t have any of the aforementioned dogs.
We stopped at a roadside restaurant shortly before closing.
After a long drive we came to Pung-Waan Resort.
It didn’t live up to our expectations and I didn’t take any photos of the subpar accommodations. They certainly didn’t resemble what they show on their website. It is worth noting that this says nothing of Sam’s sister’s booking skills, as online resort booking information and photos are commonly trumped up more than in the west. Sam and I were already victims of this a year earlier when we booked an “ocean view” hotel in Phuket only to find it was across the street and had a view only of the hotel in front of it (which was closer to the beach).