I decided to stay in Lang Suan this weekend despite my plans to head down to Krabi to do a day trip to Ko Phi Phi and a rock climbing day trip to Railay. With only a few short weeks left here, I’ve started to think that I’ve been neglecting my home. For the next three months or so I’m not going to have a home. I have taken for granted the luxury of being able to come back to my own space after traveling on the weekends and the idea has started to daunt me a little bit. Thus, I realized that there are still undiscovered gems of my temporary home that I have yet to explore. And they’re only a short bike ride away.
Well they’re a bike ride away.
The first destination was the temple located in a cave (not really sure what the name of it is since everything in Lang Suan is not catered towards tourists and thus is completely in Thai). We headed down the paved road past the new International School they’re building (it looks super nice, but once again the sign out front is all in Thai so we’re not exactly sure if the rumor we heard about it being an International School is true.) We took a turn down a small dirt road and headed towards the cave. It was one of the most beautiful bike rides I’ve taken yet! It weaves through windy roads shaded by trees and past palm tree forests, where the only sounds I can hear are the wind blowing through the trees, my tire crunching through the gravel, and the various calls of birds and unknown insects. Not many people venture down this road, especially farangs, so we garner weird looks from passing motorists, asking us with their eyes, “What in the world are you doing down here?!”
The temple in the cave was nothing too incredibly special, but it was perfect. It had multiple Buddha statues and I just loved the way I felt when I was in there. There’s just something about a sacred place located in the side of a mountain. I closed my eyes and pictured my happiness (now I know “happiness” is not something tangible, but the feeling can be so strong sometimes that transforms into a real thing). I pictured how happy I was at this moment, how happy I have been in Thailand. And then I asked that my happiness continue. That I find more things to add to my contentment. That I never feel lost again and I can always bring myself back to this feeling I have right now. I looked out over Lang Suan (we had to climb thirty stairs or so to get there and it gave us a great view of the town) and relished in the fact that I was there. That this was my home for however brief a period it was. It was my home and it still is for a few more weeks at least.
On Saturday there is a market at Paknam (the beach in Lang Suan). Paknam is a good 7-8 km away and we usually drive (one of the Thai teachers we hang out with has a car), but today we decided to take a nice slow and long bike ride to visit the market (mostly because we couldn’t get a hold of Ta Ta). It was a beautiful day and although it’s extremely hot, the breeze caused by riding a bike was perfect.
We arrived completely drenched in sweat, but excited to explore the market. Our first order of business was to grab a beer, which was extremely difficult to handle as I was snapping photograph after photograph. Of course, I was getting some baffled looks, but it’s hard to tell if it’s because I’m a farang or because I’m carrying this strangely, big camera. Probably a little bit of both.
I loved looking at all the food the merchants were selling. There were lots of booths piled high with dried fish heads and who knows what else having to do with fish (this was alarmingly gross to James since he holds a strong hatred towards anything fishy). I spotted an unrecognized crustacean and was offered a taste test in response to my confused looks. The thing looked vile so I laughed it off, said no thank you, and bolted right out of there.
We spotted two of our M1 students (mine was female and his was male) together perusing the aisles of the market. We immediately assumed that they were together and excitedly gossiped about how cute it would be if they were an item. It was one of my extremely quiet students who I loved and James seemed to approve of his student, so we decided that it was a cute match. Around each turn we seemed to run into them again and again and with each chance run-in their embarrassment augmented. It was so cute!
I had been craving an ice cream cone for weeks now and I happily got one on two different occasions. I had James snap a picture of me with it and as I smiled widely holding my cone up, he remarked, “Yeah we’re doing a really good job blending in aren’t we?” I didn’t care! I was so excited to have cookies & cream ice cream on a cone!
All in all, we had a really fun day strolling through aisles and aisles of food, deserts, clothing and trinkets and I felt a little closer to Lang Suan!
Check out the Picture of the Day from the Saturday Market! (and no it was not in the above gallery!)