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2012 Biennial of the IPS - Part 1: South Thailand Pre-Tour

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Trópico

Dear Frank, are you going to post something similar for the Nong Nooch part of the biennial ?

I have been wondering exactly the same!

What an amazing thread!

Hmm. Good questions. But I have a feeling I'll be done before Paul posts his first picture of a rare palm in Vietnam. :P

Anyways! I have been busiest than ever this week, it all started Thanksgiving and then assembling some Black Friday goodies...

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Continuing...

11:44 AM: All aboard!

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Very emotional parting. The local people will probably have fond memories of that day and remember us for years to come.

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Here I was probably trying to capture a picture of several clumps of Metroxylon sagu. Near this area is were we were supposed to stop to see the locals make sagu powder. It did not happen as I have explained before.

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These portals were common in main street entrances. Queen Sirikit pictured on top, wife of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX).

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Trópico

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A better visual of Metroxylon sagu, native to this location.

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Borassus flabellifer

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12:37 PM: Location: Sa Morakot (Emerald Pool), Khlong Thom Nuea, Khlong Thom, Krabi, Thailand.

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The entrance to one of the most magical places of the region, the Emerald Pool.

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Nice looking house across the street.

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Something is not right...

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Main street leading to the trail system of Sa Morakot.

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Wow! Another assembly job, this time was a new computer desk with hutch, which really put me in a PT downtime for a few days.

Continuing...

12:50 PM: We joined member Jacques Page from New Caledonia for lunch before taking to the trails. His primary language is French but his English was good, and we talked about life in New Caledonia among other things. He pointed out that my English was hard to understand and my wife's was easy. :hmm:

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I had finished self serving from the buffet style tables and got my 100 Baht large bottle of Singha when we got a plate full of rambutan from one of the employees.

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The scene behind the food tables made us chuckle. What an improper place for an afternoon nap!

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I went around other tables in search of good group pictures. Just at the next table there were Paul (Licuala) and Patty Craft, John DeMott (Redland), and his wife Carol.

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This pretty much captures the rest of the group having lunch in that fine place. Compare it to the accommodations needed a week later to feed 200+ people...

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1:29 PM: We took to the trails, too full to realize what we were missing to the left, a taste of Thai street food.

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The entrance proper to the Emerald Pool trail.

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The water is so crystal clear.

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Nenga pumila is frequently seen along its banks.

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Licuala spinosa is an easy find along the trails.

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Nenga pumila and Licuala spinosa.

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Licuala kunstleri.

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Daemonorops sabut

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Salacca wallichiana

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Not sure... id?

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The trail, when you lead the pack.

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Korthalsia laciniosa

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Salacca wallichiana canopy.

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Licuala spinosa and Salacca wallichiana form a tunnel over trail.

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Licuala kunstleri

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We reached Sra Morakot (Emerald Pool), one of the eight natural pools: Nam Lod (Water Passing Through), Cherng Kao (Vallery), Jorakeh Khao (White Crocodile), Nam Tip (Heavenly Waters), Nam Krahm (Indigo Water), Hun Kaeo (Barking Deer), Noy (Small), and Morakot (Emerald).

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This is one of Krabi's most famous tourist attractions. Three underground hot springs with a temperature of 30 - 50 degrees Celsius are sedimented with layers of alkaline limestone, resulting in a crystal clear large pool. Wooden paths allow walking over the network of streams that interconnect the park's natural pools.

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The restroom area with two nice clumps of Nenga pumila and Licuala spinosa.

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Ah! The warm emerald green waters...

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Even our guide Steven joined for some laid back swimming.

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Open, moist to wet tufa (fresh water limestone) above the Emerald Pool with scattered patches of vegetation, including Eugenia papillosa (Myrtaceae).

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This is South Thailand Biennial Pre-Tour at its finest!

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The water coming from the tufa above was particularly warm. I felt like an extra in this picture :rolleyes:

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Now is my turn! (click)

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The view away from the tufa.

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Water flowing over tufa.

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Looks like mud, but hard as rock.

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Water is high in calcium carbonate, which makes suspended particles settle to the bottom; hence the water is always clear. But don't drink it, you could get kidney stones!

Bacteria and algae in the water, along with the water temperature, determines the colour of the water of Sra Morakot. Where the water temperature is high, the water is greenish blue; where the temperature is lower, it is pale green.

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Here's one for you, there are leaves, crownshaft, and inflorescence. Can you ID?

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Pandanus ovatus grows native. Pandanus leaf (from P. amarillyfolius) is used in Thai cooking to add a distinct aroma to rice, some curry dishes, and desserts such as Pandan layered desserts.

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"Honey, why don't you put down the camera for a moment, open that trashcan for me, and check for cobra inside?"

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On the way back, I realized I was in Calamus country. It was love at first sight...

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Now to the extremely daunting task of putting names to the species in this genus (or Daemonorops genus- I'm not too clear yet on their differences), especially for a non-biology major. Please help me experts!

A juvenile Calamus palustris. Note the leaf arrangement in groups.

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Gingers.

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Adult Calamus palustris. Leaves have cirrus to aid in climbing.

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Caryota leaf. Just saying...

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Believe it or not, that snake thing on the ground next to guide Steve's foot is the trunk of Calamus palustris. Can you follow it?

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Luckily for Steve the trunk of Calamus palustris does not have spines; it is as smooth as rattan... hey, this is where rattan comes from! Spines begin on the leaf sheath.

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Calamus sp. are interesting things. They literally fly through the forest like a spider monkey in search of light.

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Who wouldn't love to collect these cuties?

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Daemonorops jenkinsiana (?)

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Michael Merritt (Mike in Kurtistown) had to find out how far a Nenga pumila can resist forced leaning before letting go of the seeds...

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Back at the entrance, next to the restaurant. This palm had to use something to develop its spines; this time it was morphed leaflets... ID please?

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3:36 PM: Back in the bus, our guide Steven treated us with palm goodies. He came down the aisle offering Salacca to members awaiting departure.

"Salacca, salacca"...

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All I remember is that it was delicious! Not sure what species of Salacca, but I'll find out in a few years... :winkie:

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Back on the road, it was about rush hour with schools finishing their day and letting the kids go all at once. All the girls seem to have the same exact haircut.

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I'm not sure the numbers are prices, but if they are, those are pretty sweet deals. ($1 = (approx) 30 Baht at the time of the biennial)

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Out in the distance, as we went deeper into the Krabi province, we noticed the terrain topography changing...

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Another school added to delayed arrival times. If you look close, there is a year in that inscription (2555). That is some serious jet lag! Actually, the year 2555 is 2012 for us, as there is a difference of 543 years between the Buddhist and Gregorian calendars.

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dalmatiansoap

Love this thread!

Keep on rolling

:greenthumb:

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mike in kurtistown

I agree with the previous poster -- I really like this thread and appreciate the effort put into it.

Just to note - pulling the tree over didn't cut it. I had to pull on the fruits themselves.

More seriously, are those palms and others in previous pics really Nenga pumila? The leaves look right, but the Hodel book doesn't emphasize yellow crownshafts/leaf bases, and the fruits of Nenga pumila are said to be bright orange red. The ones on these palms were more of a dull salmon color.

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Greetings Mike, so pleased to meet you over there. Thanks dalmatiansoap, Mike. I'm not sure how I got the ID for the yellow crownshafted palm and I googled Nenga pumila but all the pics out there lack the prominent yellow crownshaft. I think I asked someone in the group while we were in the Peninsular BG. Anyways, thanks for pointing that out and let's keep the debate going for that one and the others as well.

The nursery scene. Come on in, the palms are in the back.

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4:39 PM: We began seeing these limestone formations more often. The Krabi province's landscape is dominated by solitary limestone peaks, both on the land and in the sea, which makes those beaches so awesome. In Puerto Rico we call them mogotes, which our guide surprisingly used as a synonym but his Thai word for them, I forgot.

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Some are very tall.

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Mosques are very common in this province as is the case with provinces that are close to Malaysia.

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Cool fence style, why haven't any of us thought of this before?

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4:50 PM: We caught a first glimpse of the Andaman Sea.

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4:55 PM: The South Thailand Biennial Pre-Tour arrived and checked in at the Krabi La Playa Hotel in Krabi.

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Our view from the room's balcony. Very palmy location! Located in the Ao Nang beach town, the hotel is surrounded by two acres of exquisitely designed tropical gardens.

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Elephants on our bed. For whatever reason, our guide told us to expect tie-wraps tying our bags' zippers upon arrival at the hotels. This time, our luggage had them and I couldn't open them. I went to the lobby for scissors. At the lobby I found one of the members complaining that he couldn't find any towels. Smiling, the lady told him to check the elephants on the bed!

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Our 46 square meter Superior Room was adorned with contemporary and antique oriental ornaments.

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5:34 PM: I couldn't wait to take a tour of the garden, so after we were settled in, I took the camera with me and went downstairs for a walk. This was on display just outside of my room door.

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Enjoy!

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Bottles.

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Corridor leading to the pool ahead and "The Spice" restaurant to the left.

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7:14 PM: As usual, at approximately 7 PM we were expected downstairs at the restaurant for the evening dinner. 'The Spice' restaurant is a semi-outdoors two story place adjacent to the pool, decorated in a contemporary Thai style. We joined our Mexican friends Francisco and Jorge del Real, and Ramón Valle García.

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The buffet featured many Thai favorites.

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Dessert was served shortly afterwards.

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8:28 PM: After dinner, we all decided to head to the little shopping part of town up the road. Transportation was easy to procure and the choices were many, near and far.

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We opted for the Tuk Tuk taxi bus.

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And this is how we experienced it (click).

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Link included since I'm having problems getting it to work today.

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The place was packed.

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A town isn't complete without a walking street... and some Tex Mex food.

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"The calc's in Yenny's court. Negotiations appear to be failing. Mr. Cool did not impress enough for a sale."

In Thailand every time you approach a souvenirs shop, the salesperson will punch numbers on a calculator and give it to you for a counteroffer until the sale is done (or not).

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Queen Sirikit.

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King Rama IX.

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The events of the day, compiled by our guides Steven and Ron.

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Day 4: Saturday, September 8, 2012


Krabi La Playa Resort, Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand

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7:23 AM: A new day in Paradise! Breakfast at "The Spice".

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Part of the self service buffet station.

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Members enjoy the ambience, the flavors, and the service provided by the staff and facilities of Krabi La Playa.

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