Star Date: March 2018
Hello Dear Family & Friends!
“Follow your gut, Storyteller, it will lead to your happy ending.”
Jao Mae Nang Non a beautiful Thai
princess fell in love with a stable boy and became pregnant. Knowing
their love was forbidden, they fled and eventually settled in the
cave to rest. When the stable boy went out in search of food, he was
caught by the princess’ father’s army and killed. Distraught, the
princess stabbed herself and bled to death in the cave. The legend
says it is her blood that became the water that flows through the
cave, while her body is the surrounding mountains, said to look like
a sleeping woman.
Exploring caves during the rainy season is dangerous. Why the young, 25 year old soccer coach led his team into the mouth of Tham Luang Nang Non cave remains unclear. Lack of experience almost cost 13 people their lives. Weather was fine that day but as soon as the group reached the bowels of the cave the skies opened up, as can happen so easily in the tropics.
Muddy river paths quickly swelled and their return route to the surface was cut off. The river raged and swelled leaving only a small ledge on which the coach and his 12 teenage team members narrowly escaped death. This was to be their refuge for the next 9 days. The nightmare continued as one of the rescuers exploring the many kilometers of channels of the cave ran out of oxygen before he himself could reach the mouth of the cave and safety.
Ten days into the search the agonizing wait was over. A Navy seal located the boys in a remote finger of the cave network. A shining rescue light spotlighted the tired, sick boys, clinging to life on a dark cave shelf. A finer sight was never seen. Their location was marked and supplies brought in. Once the boys were located the problem was how to carry out the rescue. Time was running out and death around the corner. In complete darkness and not eating for 10 days they survived on murky water from inside the cave.
Thai Navy seals surrounded each boy as they swam under water for hours, squeezing through narrow openings, and finally wading waist deep through the stream to the closest opening to daylight and freedom. A happy ending. “An entire country is one in heartfelt thanks.” Do myths or legends have a rooting in reality? Chances are future hikers will heed the signs at the entrance. This story had a happy ending, and we all like happy endings.
I once climbed through a mountain, through a cave in China, near Guilin. It was one of the most dangerous explorations I found myself on. Slippery rocks made treacherous going, ladders needed to ascend were hanging loosely by one anchor and we had to swim across the cold swiftly flowing stream full of large golden leeches to reach our goal. We made it.
Talking to a group of young local people around the dinner table on our travels we noticed they were visibly shaken by their recent cave exploration. After a successful ‘spelunking’ adventure they headed back only to be met with a wall of water and an ever increasing rise in the water level. Soon they were hanging on for dear life with only a couple of inches of air space at the top of the cave. Fate allowed the water to recede as the outside rain stopped. Their lucky day, the escape route was not under water and they lived to tell us the story through trembling lips. Another happy ending.
Traveling from an exciting whirlwind week in Bangkok to the island of Ko Pha Ngan we decided to skip the option of rock climbing or cave exploration. The site of the noisy Full Moon Party where young people and party animals converge for an orgy of drinking and drugs; many being scammed, arrested or hauled away on stretchers, we immediately headed north up the other side of the island. Caves and or crowds were not on our list this visit.
We flew from Bangkok, then took a ferry to Ko Pha Ngan. Ko Pha Ngan is an island in southeast Thailand that’s renowned for its monthly Full Moon Party. This boisterous night-long celebration, which is tied to the lunar calendar, draws revelers to its southeastern peninsula, Haad Rin. Most festivities center on Sunrise Beach, whose beach bungalows attract a backpacker crowd. On the north coast lie quieter, white-sand beaches including Hat Khuat and Hat Thian. Heading in the opposite direction, we jumped off the back of a pickup truck and roamed the beaches near Had Yao. A chilled area featuring several Yoga retreats we enjoyed lounging on the beach and walking for miles daily simply exploring the terrain. We ventured out to a night market and enjoyed the usual taste bud tantalizing Thai food that keeps us returning to this country. We later explored another area of the island settling in to a quiet beach; quiet that is when the Full Moon hoards are absent. There is something to be said for the beauty of ‘off season’.
Love, Light & Laughter,
1 US Dollar = 32.66 Thai Baht
521 AC 600
Other rooms without AC 300 and 400 bhat
bk.asia-city.com/restaurants/bangkok-restaurant-reviews/mango Jun 4, 2016 The buzz: Located in Khao San, Mango is dedicated to healthy vegetarian and vegan dishes. Owned by devout vegetarian Wachiraya Suebsang and sculptor Wonlop Nimesanong, the restaurant is already packed with tourists in search of a healthy meal and the homemade kombucha tea ..
From Don Mueng Airport
50 bhat - about an hour
Taxi 400 bhat - same time
Mango Vegetarian Restaurant - A relief
from the hubub to enter this small quiet aircon cafe. End of Khao San - left at Burger King- follow down an block -located on
same side Good prices Great vegan salads, juices, main
courses. 13-Tanao Rd. 082-457-9071
Angelic Fashion 085-916-1498
To Pontip Plaza: bus #60 or #511 or #2 going
MHC Lap top repair
Pana Pearl and Gems phone #+ 66
New Siam II Guest house, newly remodeled,
off Soi Rambutri, # 66 02282-2795 about 800 baht per
night/for a week
Ko Pha Ngan:
River Sands - rugged One right on the beach 400 bhat night/for week
Arun ruyan - Ban Tai Beach
Rung Arun Resort - Bantai Beach
JK's House 50 bhat
Happy Beach Bungalows