The Thailand I’ve been waiting for

Before setting foot in Thailand I had always heard it described as exotic, a place of enchantment, full of mysticism. I have been waiting to experience that, and now I finally think I’ve discovered a piece of that Thailand.

I went with my co-teacher for the long weekend to her home in Surat Thani province, the bordering one below mine. It was a long weekend as the country was celebrating Mother’s Day. It is celebrated on the Queen’s birthday, so all government positions and offices are closed for 2 extra days. It was about a 4 hour drive through the beautiful palm covered mountains. She lives right outside of Khao Sok National Park- the largest rainforest in Southern Thailand.

Surat Thani Province

Most people who live in this area work for the Rajjaprabha Dam (เขือนรัชชประภา). Here you can take a boat ride on a lake filled with limestone rocks jutting out above the water. In the morning the water is blanketed with a layer of fog creating a melancholic veil. As you travel deeper into the waters of protruding limestone you find yourself surrounded by the massive forms of rock.

The only thing I could compare the landscape to is Iguazzu falls in Argentina and Brazil. Though they seem like polar opposites, one being a tumultuous waterfall and the other a vast canvass of serenity, they left a similar impression on me. One of power and vastness beyond my comprehension. If the falls were natures allegro movement, this would be its adagio: slow, relentless, and profound.

This was the Thailand I’ve been waiting for. The rest of the visit did a lot of eating and cooking together, vistited a natural hot springs (.. I still don’t understand why someone in such a country would willingly bathe in water hotter than the air), visited a Buddhist shrine, and did other typical Thai things.

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