Sunday, 7 June 2009

Trang aquarium and Le Khaokob cave

I took Richard and Jyothi out for an outing to Trang where we visited the local aquarium and sea-lion show. The aquarium exhibited some remarkable samples of filled up sharks and various big fishes as well as had a also aquariums with live fish as well. Not as flashy as aquariums in Shanghai or San Francisco but an aquarium nonetheless, well cared for and clean surroundings. The lion fish that was exhibited live were really big specimens. The sea-lion show was nice but the staff could have been as enthusiastic as the sea-lions themselves. Cheap entrance fees with 30 THB to aquarium and 20 THB for the show, not the usual double tier system.

Jira & stalactites

Le Khaokob entrance

After this we went for a seafood dinner at Pak Meng beach where we sat in the shadow of pine trees and watched the sun go down while whetting our palates on grilled white fish, garlic prawn, fresh oysters and other shell fish.

On Sunday we drove out to Trang city that was the old Capital of Siam in the olden days (5th King) to see what vestiges was left from that era. I could not discern anything except some old temples that I was not even sure if they were from that time. Only sign left from the old times I would say is that Trang has very strong Chinese ancestry present as you could see a lot of shop names in Chinese characters, that must be from the old times when the Chinese traders came and settled down here. The reason Trang was Capital was due to the commerce generated by harbor town of Kantang which is still active and in operation.

After leaving Trang we visited the Le Khaokob cave that could only be entered by boat. We paid 200 THB for one boat and was paddled off in a shallow stream. After some 50metres we approached the entrance of the cave and was paddled to the 1st cave. Differently colored light tubes had been placed along the way to create an eerie lighting that suited the atmosphere very well. Our guides pointed out various formations that resembled elephants teeth, teats, Buddha’s etc. We were shown 3 caves and then it was on to the highlight of Le Khaokob and we had to lie down on the boat because the roof was about to get low, in fact very low.

We were paddled towards the “spine of the Dragon”, a 350m long spine like formation that snaked through the mountain and was almost water filled. At times the roof was so low that my belly was scratching it. Our guides used their hands to propel the canoe further on by pushing at the roof, we were told the water was 2-6 meters deep and that practically every fresh water fish could be found there, they especially liked to hide in the coold waters of the cave. We were also lucky that the water was so low the day we visited as on full oon and after heavy rains the tunnel becomes inaccessible as the water level rises. Somewhere in the middle the roof came up a bit and we saw a round shape in the middle of the stream that was called the “Heart of the Dragon”, then the roof came down again and we had to lie down, further on we went until we approach the “Mouth of the Dragon” and we could see daylight. It looked exactly as the mouth as one could see the meaty thing that dangles in everybodys throat when you look in the mirror. Further on were stalactites hanging down like teeth, so the mouth impression was very palpable.

After exiting the mouth, without the Dragon biting down on us, we were dropped off to the landing pier near the parking, we tipped our guides and left back for home.

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