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

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Day 5: Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kantary Beach Hotel, Khao Lak, Phang-Nga, Thailand

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8:00 AM: Packed our luggage :indifferent: and hurried to Cafe Andaman, Kantary Beach Hotel, to have breakfast. Every time we had access to free WIFI everyone got online in whatever way they could and plugged into the outside world (palmtalk).

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The breakfast buffet was one of the finest and shiny brand new that we saw in the whole trip. As for myself I always gravitated towards the guava juice (green Thai guava, it was green) the cereal mixes, the double yolker eggs or omelets. Being a region with various degrees of muslim influence, any pork products were seldom or not seen in breakfast bars, and were replaced by chicken substitutes, but in this hotel, for the tourists, there was the best tasting bacon I have ever tried.

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Trópico

Now, enjoy the beach and Cocos views! :drool:

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Trópico

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Larry Klotz examined hotel landscape plants on the way to the lobby

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While Yenny was more into gingers, orchids, and palms with bright colors. Cyrtostachys renda.

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Trópico

8:44 AM: Checking out in the morning, as usual. Not sure why the bus noise followed all the way to the counter.

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Just after we left the hotel. Palmtalk bus fun.

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There were two of them. :hmm::lol:

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Trópico

On a more serious note. We were just driving by ground zero of Tsunami disaster area in Thailand. Phang nga was hit hardest just south and including the beach close to the hotel where we were staying. The pillar in the center just inside was bent by the wave.

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9:01 AM: We arrived at the International Tsunami Museum (under construction at the time). The police boat was carried from the sea to a few blocks inland. They then decided to turn the place into a museum commemorating the Tsunami victims.

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Trópico

Boxing Day Tsunami. December 26, 2004; epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra.

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Estimated total death toll at 280,000; of which 8200 occurred in Thailand.

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Guide Steven was telling us that the sea subsided for about a mile, and people went out to catch shrimp, crab, then the four story wave came and people could not outrun it. The hotel we stayed was not built yet.

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Chinese architecture could be seen the further south we traveled.

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No different than anywhere, downtown, much closer to home.

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10:26 AM: Location: Krasom, Takua Thung District, Phang-nga, Thailand.

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We arrived at a convenience store by the street, which was the portal to an amazing adventure...

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Unlike Disney/Universal/SeaWorld/etc, the gift shop was to be traversed before the beginning of the ride.

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The back door to the right, led to the happy room as expected...

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but we continued and walked and walked, down the rabbit hole...

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Meditation helped avoid delicious temptations like fresh fruit and coconut water

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And finally all aboard the fail boat... well actually the WIN boat, for the epic adventure into the unknown...

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All geared up and, well, GO GO GO GO!!! :drool:

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Members David and Ramón pose for the camera, as the rest of the Biennial Pre-Tour finish boarding.

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Member Jacques Page helps the last members of the group climb on board.

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And as the boat starts the engines, Yenny waves at the camera but obviously something catches everyone's eye all of a sudden.

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The huge Yanmar diesel outboard engine.

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Jeff Searle

Great stuff, Frank!

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Trópico

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I think we see a palm, over there!

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Ah, the sound (and smell) of a diesel engine!

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Way down upon de Khao Tok Nam Ribber,

Far, far away,
Dere's wha my heart is turning ebber,
Dere's wha de old folks stay.

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Nypa fruticans (Nypa palm or Mangrove palm)

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Native to the coastlines and estuarine habitats of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

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Aaaa, oops I mean Zzzzz...

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Monotypic among the Nypa genus which itself is monotypic among the Nypoideae subfamily.

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10:43 AM: As we were getting closer and closer to the estuary leading into the Bay of Phuket, we started seeing the partially submerged mogotes that are the main attraction of this area.

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Walter John

That last photo looks just like the Glasshouse Mountains down the road from me. These are Volcanic plugs , where molten lava forms into hard rock which remains whilst the rest of the volcano crumbles away over time. I'd say yours Frank are the same.

Great reporting, love Nypa palms.

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Trópico

Thanks Wal, but no, the mogotes are formed by ancient limestone sediment coming from shallow water, then orogenic action expose those layers to the elements. Tropical rainfall, heat, and wave erosion give them their ultimate shape.

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Mothership

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To our surprise and delight, we went under the rock to the other side...

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Limestone stalactites slowly shaping themselves into these curious forms

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Trópico

Definitely beats Lake Maitland for canoeing

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11:14 AM: We arrived at our first sightseeing destination Khao Phing Kan (เขาพิงกัน) island with its world famous companion islet Ko Tapu (เกาะตะปู) or popularly known as James Bond Island due to being featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun.

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Trópico

Heavy tourism has spoiled the seclusion of this place, but everyone wants to see it (at the same time).

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Still, unbelievably beautiful...

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Walter John

Impressive rock formations, and what's more impressive, Frank is still adding to this thread. :)

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bgl

True dedication, that's for sure! But great pictures and narrative! :)

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Walter John

One of the members on the same tour with Frank was our own Dave Tanswell. Dave in fact gave a slide show lecture on this tour at our palm society meeting last Tuesday night. Some fantastic sights and palms that's for sure. This is just one of the big advantages of joining a local chapter palm society, get to hear and learn all on palm trees. Here he is in action at our meeting room (with built in kitchen, very handy). Special guests at the meeting included southern ratpacker Colin Wilson and the curator of the Woollongong Botanical gardens, Mr.Paul Tracy.

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