Sunday, 21 June 2009

Hot springs and Sa Morakot pools

This weekend I took Saini and Kalpana to Trang province and we visited the Klong Thom Hot Springs where one could sit in naturally formed cauldrons of ca 40°C hot water running down from a stream out of the jungle. According to a posted water analysis it did not contain much of any minerals at all and in fact the sulphurous smell that one usually gets was virtually not existing.

While sitting in the water I actually overheard a Bangkokian tourist asking another guy “Where do they boil all this hot water?”…

Enjoying all the boiled water...

A sign proclaimed “30minutes for good health”, there was also traditional massage stalls where one could further enhance the relaxation of a hot bath but we would have none of it as we continued onward to the ”Emerald pool” or Sa Morakot in Thai.

Up the stream

The “Emerald pool” or at some places it was written “Crystal Pool” brought up a vision of a pool full of crystals or something like that but when we arrived I saw I had my visions all wrong. It was a round pool filled with clear water that by the reflection of the greenery close by turned the water emerald color to the eye. A very picturesque scenery and there was quite a few tourists splashing around in the water.

On the way to the blue pool

The water ran from the jungle into the pool continuously, hence the water was not murky. Soon enough we wanted to go and find out where the water was coming from and we started walking along the stream that was filling the pool. We arrived to an arid area that was just like a wasteland bordering the jungle and water was running in small streams all over. The bare grey matter was just lime. Above the lime hill there was a small pool that was named “Ascetics pool” and a small “sala” had been erected beside the pool with 2 ascetic statues inside, if one wanted to do some meditation.

We continued forward on a wooden board walk deeper into the jungle and soon we were passing huge rainforest trees with enormous trunks. We took some nice snapshots of each other between the large roots and after awhile we came onto a trodden path and some signs pointing to the “Blue pool”. We ventured further until we arrived to the “Blue pool”.

The "Blue pool"

It was in the middle of the jungle, no sound around except of us and the birds. The pool was absolutely blue. Me and Saini plunged in and swam around the pool and found out it was almost 5 meters deep in the centre although it did not look like that. The water was so clear that the sense of depth could not be ascertained. The bottom was of powdery white sand so fine that if one took a handful it was washed out when you reached the surface. Small bubbles was constantly rising up to the surface and I suspect it was either methane from rotting jungle or sulphuric gases from volcanic activity. The smell was there alright. The blue color to the pool came from the depth of the water. I only missed any Elves that would come dancing out from the jungle riding unicorns, otherwise the whole scenery was very much from the imagination fo Tolkien. We were lucky we got the whole pool for ourselves the time we stayed there as on the way back we met scores of teenagers heading the way we were coming from.

Once back at the Emerald Pool it was time to walk back the 2 km to the car and head back to our lodgings. Not a bad way to spend a day, entrance cost for foreigners 200 THB/ head. The park had imposed a ban on bringing in foods too, hence all surroundings were quite clear of rubbish (same as at the Klong Thom Hot Springs).

Sunday morning Saini wanted to see the La Khaokob cave as Richard and Jyothi had bragged about it so said and done I took him and Kalpu there and they emerged exhilirated abt 40minutes later from the bowels of the Dragon. Then it was tme to head back for Phuket and to visit Kargo to see the F1 rally at Silverstone. Unfortunately Force India did not score any points on this rally either but it was the best performance from Fisichella during this season.

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