Silver Age Trip to Surat Thani

I’m flying down to Surat Thani in Southern Thailand this weekend to visit the Lee Led community in Phunphin District of Surat Thani Province. This area is apparently called the “Amazon of Thailand” due to the mangrove forest. I’m looking forward to learning more about the local people and how they co-exist with the environment. Hopefully I will also get some good pictures to share with you.

Date of travel: 19-20 September 2020

Boarding Air Asia FD8039 from Bangkok to Surat Thani in Southern Thailand. Flight time is just over an hour. The airplane looks about 80% full with no social distancing. But everyone is wearing a mask.

Lee Led community, Phunphin District, Surat Thani

Our first stop in the Lee Led community of Phunphin District of Surat Thani was at a homestay by the Phunphin River. Here we had demonstrations of the making of local desserts.

The first dessert is Khanom Chak. The leaves are from the nipa palm tree which is used for many things. The inside is a mixture of coconut flesh and rice flour and then this is cooked over a charcoal fire.

The second Thai dessert was Khanom Na Lub which is also made from a mixture of rice flour but this time topped with dried coconut.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/L8i2FTM5x2pH2hRh9

Shrimp Paste, Phunphin District, Surat Thani

Our second stop in the Lee Led community of Phunphin District was to see how they made shrimp paste.

Shrimp is mixed with sea salt and then pounded together to make a paste. It is dried in the sun and then put in a sealed container and fermented for up to one month.

Basketry, Phunphin District, Surat Thani

Our third stop in the Lee Led community of Phunphin District was to see them basket weaving using the leaves and stems of the nipa palm trees.

Everything was used as they also made roofing for huts and even cigarette paper.

👉 Here is the information about the destination we are visiting in Surat Thani: Lee Led Eco Tourism Community https://www.xn--12cr3baig9d1f8azp.com/leeled-eco-tourism-community-en/

It’s still in the planning stage. On this trip are representatives of five travel agents who might be adding these locations on a tour #Thailand

LUNCH

Our lunch today was Khanom Chin with two curries; Nam Prik and Nam Ya Pu. The last one is crab curry which was my favorite. It was served with fresh vegetables.

Aerial photos, Lee Led community, Phunphin District, Surat Thani

Aerial photos of the Lee Led community in Phunphin District of Surat Thani. In the picture below, you can see shrimp ponds and trees that are used to make palm oil for cooking. The river is Phunphin River which meanders our towards the sea.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/L8i2FTM5x2pH2hRh9

Boat ride on Phunphin River, Surat Thani

This afternoon, we took a boat ride along Phunphin River in Surat Thani to a mangrove forest and then out into Ban Don Bay. Along the way we saw lots of wildlife from monkeys to kingfishers.

In the mangrove forest we planted some mangrove saplings to help stop coastal erosion. Our guide said twenty years ago this whole area was all sea but now it’s a mangrove forest.

We then went out into the bay and visited one of the fisherman’s huts. We had some light rain but it didn’t spoil our boat ride as it made the weather refreshingly cool.

Lucky Restaurant, Surat Thani

Dinner tonight was at Lucky Restaurant in Surat Thani. A very delicious meals and a very popular restaurant.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/wBG5KQMM999Mk5179

San Chao Market, Surat Thani

A good place to go for food in Surat Thani is the daily Night Market (San Chao Market) on Tonpo Road. The queues at some vendors were quite long and so it was obvious which ones were popular with the locals.

It’s a shame I had eaten already as I would have liked to have eaten here. So much variety. I definitely want to come back again.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/EF2Mwg2qqeKg5FvU8

DAY TWO

Good morning from Surat Thani in Southern Thailand. It’s cloudy but dry at the moment with a 40% chance of rain this afternoon. We’ve been very lucky with the weather so far. Although a blue sky is good for photography, the present conditions are refreshingly cool.

Pra Cha Rat Traditional Floating Market, Bang Bai Mai, Surat Thani

This morning we visited Pra Cha Rat Traditional Floating Market in Bang Bai Mai, Surat Thani. This is a Sunday only market that is open from 8am to 4pm.

It is at a nice location alongside a canal. What makes it perfect is that you can take a boat ride too. This is only 20 Baht per person or 100 Baht for the boat for a 30 minute ride.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/1VbA7auZqPeA1SvX7

The highlight of a visit to Pra Cha Rat Floating Market in Surat Thani is the boat ride through a natural tunnel.

It only costs 100 Baht for the paddle boat ride or 500-1,000 Baht for a long-tailed boat. We took the latter option and had a 90 minute ride which was really great.

Some aerial photos of the canal at Pra Cha Rat Floating Market in Surat Thani where you can go on a boat trip for only 20 Baht.

Baanrai Meesuk restaurant, Surat Thani

Lunch today was at Baanrai Meesuk restaurant just outside of the city of Surat Thani.

Both the location and food was really great. Highlight was the grilled prawn and the fish curry in a coconut.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/m6nK2wS2cAWHbgCv6

Wat Suan Mok Phalaram, Chaiya District, Surat Thani

This afternoon, we stopped at Wat Suan Mok Phalaram in Chaiya District of Surat Thani.

This is a forest temple and a popular place to sign up for a retreat to do a meditation course. This starts on the 1st of the month and runs for ten days.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/7ZU13xpHutd5rpCs8

Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Worawihan, Chaiya District, Surat Thani

Our second stop this afternoon was at Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Worawihan in Chaiya District of Surat Thani. This is not only an important temple for people of this province, but for much of Southern Thailand too.

The pagoda is an ancient monument built with the influence of the Mahayana sect of Buddhism in the Srivijaya period. The pagoda is surrounded by small pagodas in the four cardinal directions.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/PJEVvmyXCYY5BFx59

Aerial photos of Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Worawihan in Chaiya District of Surat Thani. These were shot with my new drone.

Surat Thani Airport

Boarding Thai Smile WE258 from Surat Thani to Bangkok. Flight time is just over one hour. Here are a few bonus “behind the scene” photos of me taking my pictures.

That’s a wrap on my two-day trip to Surat Thani in Southern Thailand. I hope you enjoyed my photos and I have inspired you to visit. Here is a google map list of the places that we visited: https://www.google.com/maps/placelists/list/UA1f8NzMS-WgHCXFLPsnHA

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