Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Suan Phueng, Sheep Galore

Just Sheep!!!
The latest trend these years is Suan Phueng. It’s a province located not too far away from Bangkok, west to be exact near the mountain ranges bordering Burma. It’s a popular destination during the cooler winter months, but getting accommodation for weekend stay is a huge challenge by itself – all weekends fully booked in the months late October to January. As to why Thais swarm this countryside that once used to be ignored, one will have to visit and then to know. As one transverse the twisty roads, one would see countless resorts with large greenery dotted with the so many overfed sheep and witness the marauding sheep craze Thai folks posting in all imaginable fashion with them wooly creatures. Are sheep classified an extinction species or what in Thailand one would not know.

Temporary Bridge
In October the weather should have been cooler, the locals shared their account. This year, it was hot, humid and unexpected heavier than normal downpour had broke the tourism trade in the region. As I drove the scenic routes, there were many spots of recent landslides, a bridge that was washed away and innumerable road repairs going on. Not a pleasant drive but in all a nice experience as the extreme crowds in lined up roads were not present. The resorts, normally filled to the brim had cancellations the weekend I went. The arrivals were affected by recent news coverage of how badly the region had been affected by the passing tropical storm called Gaemi. She came from Vietnam waters and swept inland missing Bangkok which the authorities warned could undergo massive flooding. The media advised everyone to stay at home. And yes the Bangkokians did obey but only to see the glorious sunshine and wispy clouds in the clear blue skies over Bangkok. Critics slammed the authorities in public media over the next few days.

Morning Glory Resort
Damaged Roads
Morning Glory Resort suffered from the recent torrential downpour and lost part of her road leading into the compound to the meandering river running alongside. The simple resort, run by a young couple and features only about four villas, privacy I liked. The young attractive lady owner loves to bake and so there was a bakery in the making to add to the amenities. This is no place to satisfy the petting desire of sheep crazed Thais. The resort has a large sloping field filled with supposedly more than a hundred cute bouncy bunnies. Now bunnies are not only bouncy, but mischievous like a cat. They breach the parameters and stray all over the resort, just like stray cats do. So one could find them at one’s door step, below one’s car and scurrying all over the vicinity from shades to shades. The bunnies, they do not exhibit themselves as the sun grew fierce with the afternoon hours. So the only time I could frolic with them was either early in the cool morning or late as the sun was about to set. One would have to entice them to crowd around by rabbit feed which the resort happily hands out.

Rabbit in the Yard
What happened to the supposedly hundred strong battalion of rabbits? They perished. Not by eagles swooping down on bunny buffet nor by Burmese hunting them for food. But by disease sadly the truth is, communal living has its dangers and negligence resulted in lost stock. Some see the resort as a dumping ground for pet bunnies, irresponsible owners who could no longer take care of their pets drop them at Morning Glory Resort as a convenience. And so once there was a sick rabbit that the owners left there, and then the infection spread. I saw sad rabbits, I saw cloudy eyes, patches of empty skin with rashes so grueling and on the heads of the bunnies tattered ears. We had to disinfect ourselves and my camera just to make sure I do not bring the infection home to my own bunny I so love.

Hot Spring
Enough of sharing the dark side of bouncy bunnies and back to blogging about the geography. There are hot springs in the region, yes, hot springs where steam and water surface from the ground, probably fueled by deep volcanic rocks that will erupt with lava December 2012 as the Earth is prophesized to go bonkers. There are waterfalls somewhere here and there but that would require some trekking. And the place is now blooming with so many coffee this and coffee that shop one will be spoilt for choice. They all are there only for one reason, not to serve good aromatic coffee but only to serve as picturesque mini theme parks for one to take pictures. There’s a temple of the candles where every copyright on Angry Birds had been infringed. Good restaurants a few there are, but only the locals can tell you where and one that I find most interesting, was to lunch on the peak of a hill. A simple rustic setting of wooden tables, chairs and counter, they cooked out German sausages accompanied by mash and to wash down our meals, mini bottles of Fanta Strawberry soda. The middle aged owners comical and so extra friendly told tales of how they terrorize their customers using an iPhone app that adds random ghostly apparitions to pictures taken of them. We enjoyed their company as they enjoyed ours, secluded, the second table came as we left with full bellies of food and laughter.

Foggy Morning
Suan Phueng, not too far just a 2 hours drive, must go in winter to witness the sea of fog encroaching the undulating peaks of many. Unspoiled nature still abundance thanks to the environmental mindset of the country folks there. Avoid in scorching summer.

The view where German Sausages were Served
Coffee Shop by the Road
Pool fed by Hot Spring
Where the source of Hot Water is From
Bathroom in Morning Glory Resort
A cute Swiss Shop

No comments: