Monday, January 20, 2014

Exploring the Lang Suan area

After a nice relaxing day yesterday, where we did very little, we felt the need to look around a bit today.
But there are no car rental places here, as far as we can tell.
How to get about?

"When in Rome.."
The locals here either drive cars, or (the vast majority) ride little motorcycles.

So, we thought "How hard could it be?" - asked to rent one (200 Baht for the day until 6pm), and looked up how to ride it on the internet.

No, we're not kidding.
This is the tutorial that taught me how to ride our little Honda Wave 100.

Inspecting the beast controls

First inspect the vehicle to make sure it matches the tutorial.

The tutorial mentions an electric starter button - sadly, this didn't appear on our bike, so we had to use the kick starter arm.






Puttering around the garden at 5 km/h
A bit of practise around the yard, to the amusement of the locals (who also offered help on how and when to change gears) and we were off on a trip in to Lang Suan itself (where the train dropped us off).

Getting hints in Thai from the locals

And we're off!
















We looked around the train station to take another look at a map of local attractions we'd seen when we first arrived.
Local attractions...


Pretty slim pickings - we'd already accidentally been to one of them, and the others were a bit far away.. so we decided to go find the bus stop we need for tomorrow's journey to the DinDang Natural Building project we're joining for a couple of weeks.
Naomi showed her iPhone map to the stationmaster and he pointed out the bus stop.
With GPS and good luck guiding us, we set off to find it.

We found the bus stop, but it was the bus to Bangkok.. Clearly not the right place, so we asked a attendant where the bus to Ranong leaves from, and he pointed us in the right direction.

A quick drive along the road, near the 7-11, and we found the right place. We confirmed with a shopkeeper, who was very helpful (so we bought a bottle of genmai-cha tea from her which was FULL of sugar >-< ).
The bus leaves at 9am, so we need to be there in time to get tickets and onto the bus..

Next, we went looking for the local Tesco, an elusive beast, which Google Maps shows as being isolated in the wilderness, so we took an interesting detour while looking for it.
Down some very quiet roads.
The road to Tesco??
We found a nice mountain and pond while we were looking, with an overhanging wooden sitting area that had partially collapsed. We gingerly stepped on it, and it held us ok.

We asked some locals where Tesco was, and with plenty of gesturing, got the direction to drive.

Lo and behold, we found it!

Gotcha!!
















Surprise ukuleles!!
Aloha from Thailand!??

I didn't get to try them out, but they look a bit 'cheap'..

I'm happier to have my own uke with me!
















We found some wine, so now it was time for a healthy lunch..
Lunch!

Potatoes and coleslaw are healthy, right?














When we got back, Naomi jumped on the bike and zoomed around the garden, too.
We tried having her drive with me on the back, but apparently I'm too big and heavy, so she rode solo a few rounds, getting the hang of it.
Easy Rider..


More adventures from the road to come..