Thailand & Laos 08-09 travel blog

Alan & hired pick-up

Eeks, all the signposts are in Thai!

Famous Chedi in Sangkhlaburi

Floating village on lake

The Great Lakes Resort

Marigold cultivation in a National Park

P Guesthouse, Sangkhlaburi

Restaurant area, P Guesthouse, Sangkhlaburi

Alan @ P Guesthouse



Slash & Burn in the National Park

View over the lake, Sangkhaburi

Vix @ The Great Lakes Resort

Stylish accommodation - Great Lakes Resort

Watering the veg


Great Lakes Resort

Great Lakes Resort

Once we reached Sangkhlaburi, we checked into the P Guesthouse, right on the main lake and overlooking, on the opposite shore, a rather bizarrely illuminated flashing chedi (or Jedi as Alan calls them), part of Wat Wangwiwexaram which is topped by 6kg of solid gold.It is (now) a peaceful spot but, given its proximity to Burma, has seen many tensions over the years and is home to a very mixed ethnic population, many of whom have little or no rights as they are not Thai citizens.

We had noticed from an old map that there were some dirt roads connecting the three National Parks running west to east through the Lam Klong Ngu. The next morning I convinced Vix that it would be possible to navigate accross 100km into the Khao Laem National Park. No amount of google searching the previous night (yes, even in the remotest of spots, we have usually been able to access the net) could come up with a map nor any travellers' account of this crossing. Fortunately after about 25km of dirt road into the park from the main road at Krung Kra Wla, we came across the National Park Information Office and two very helpful young women who advised us to return to the main road. We eventually persuaded them that we were serious about trying to navigate through the forest and eventually they produced a photocopied type of track map and informed us that it would take about 5 hours to cover 75 kms..It did! We are both exhausted and covered in red dust after a very slow bumpy ride. We eventually reached the bottom of the Srinakarn Dam (Largest resevoir of water in Thailand) having stopped and walked to the famous Huay Maekhamin Waterfalls.

Nightime was upon us and we eventually found a lakeside resort that had passed its sell by date. However a wonderful fish was produced and we slept well.

On reflection, it was just as well we did opt for a sturdy workhorse as it turns out, as some of the wilderness roads through the jungle and mountains go on for hours and hours and would almost certainly have been more than we could have endured on two wheels.

Was it worth it? We didn't see any of the many wild animals or too much bird life and no other tourists .. we did, however, know we were in Thailand's greatest wilderness.. They call it their 'green zone'. That will do and advice to other travellors ..have a go at getting deep into this wilderness..the dirt roads are possible in the dry season..but don't get a puncture!!!

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