Day 28 - Ban Krut to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park and SRY Beach - Sat 23 Mar
Found our way to Wat Thang Sai, and that HUGE buddha with the protruding head symbolising enlightenment and wisdom, facing sea. Two ceramic tile warriors guard entrance to temple (BoyRob noted the curry wings at the rear), ornate sparkling ceramic tile dragon up staircases, 5 ceilings representing elements fire, water, earth, sky and void. All internal doors with gold leaf paintings, gold leaf murals, stained glass windows, doors wider at bottom than top. Visiting monks praying, but also taking photos on iPhones! Siamese cat in Siam….sudden loud explosions of firecrackers in that peaceful place really shocked me.
Drove north through most narrow part of border with Burma, entered Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. Inquisitive monkey trying to undo handles of gas storage tanks; male butterfly lizard. Through fishing village, lunch at resort surrounded by shrimp/ fish farms (SEA is yet to resolve issue of commerce Vs environment whilst still developing as country).
Went on to Laem Sala Beach, took longtail boat around headland to start of 450m walk straight up limestone mountain to Phraya Nakhon Cave. Strenuous climb over much polished rock stairs to mouth of sinkhole, then climb down to bottom (really stretched the Robs!) Amazing to find temple dwarfed within cavern ... explored, but then had to retrace all those steps back to beach and boat. Stinky with sore muscles by then!