Monday, July 13, 2009

The coolest fish farm ever

If you read the title of this post, you might be mislead. The fishing village we went to did catch fish, but we also saw mussel farms, clam farms, cockle farms, and people catching shrimp. It started at our boat owner's house. He was a cockle farmer that got involved in tourism when a bird that does not exist here migrated from Malaysia and ate all his cockles. Apparently it takes up to a year to rebuild the 'crop,' so he had to do something to avoid the alternative- travelling to Malaysia to work on a cockle farm there.

Moving along, we went down some tributaries to reach the Gulf of Thailand. We were travelling at low tide, during high tide you can't see really any part of the farms. There is apparently good swimming, water skiing, etc. But for us we saw lots of mud. The first thing we did was turn down a channel on the side that went thru the forest. Carrie and I didn't really know what to expect- we had been asked how much food we wanted to get to feed the monkeys, and went with 400 baht (but should have gone with like 800). As we went down the channel, our tour guide Tong and our captain started hollering. We didn't see much at first, but then 1, then 2 then 10, then 20 then 40 monkeys appeared. It was absolutely amazing. We threw them Rambuttan, Bananas, and Watermelon. There ultimately were 4 tribes of monkeys that came to us as we went down the channel. So cool. In a couple of cases there were rival packs across the river, but when there wasn't the monkeys would swim to the other shore to get food from us. The watermelon floated, and the monkeys would swim after that. A couple climbed on the boat (keep feeding and don't pet!), and one got on the roof. It was jaw dropping. Many were carrying their babies with them, and we made an effort to aim a lot of our throws towards Mommy. We also caused a few fights (one monkey bit a Mommy that was holding her baby), and we saw 2 others try to drown one very frightened monkey. Tong told us how she once saw 2 dogs tear another monkey in half- thank g-d we didn't see that! I would have been traumatized for life. The fights were scary enough (we tried to break them up by pelting the offender with bananas which usually distracted all parties).

At one point, a rival pack followed us down river. It was interesting to see them not intrude on the others territory (except when we accidentally threw food in no-mans-land). Unfortunately, we ran out of food. As I said- don't be cheap, spend the money! Enjoy the pics...

After feeding the monkeys, we took a cruise around the farms. When I say farms- it is hard to understand. These farms are in the actual Gulf of Thailand. If you go during high-tide, you can barely see the bamboo posts used to mark the farms (and catch mussels!). However, we went during low tide so we saw people sitting on boards and digging thru mud to find cockles. This must be one of the most serene places we've been. It goes on for miles and miles- and there is only an occasional farm worker or boat. It is still completely unknown to most tourists and is really special. Just straight up peaceful.

We ate lunch in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand too. We went up on our farmers house (they all build a second house on their farm land where someone stays so people don't come at night and steal their cockles, mussels, or clams, etc). On the house (made almost completely of bamboo except the parts that support it over the ground) we found an awesome meal. This meals awesomeness was matched by its spiciness! We had tamarind soup (so damn spicy), fried catfish in shrimp paste (looks gross, tastes great, calms down spice), prawns, crab, and grilled fish with garlic. It was all so good- Tong had figured out we like to eat, so she got us a meal for 4 (we almost ate it all...!).

As the food coma approached, we headed back towards our starting point. Back in the car, we hit traffic for awhile (Bangkok = traffic). Once we got home, we gave Tong a hug, and bid her farewell. We will definitely be seeing her again, since Thailand is awesome and we are certain to come back.

That evening we walked around Khosan Road. But this time, we walked around the real Khosan Road. The part we walked in the previous blog was in fact, just a nice road near Khosan Road. Khosan Road is a loud busy road that is very very touristy. Not much to mention, except Carrie got a bag she had seen people carrying a few weeks before. We liked our little street better, so headed back that way and chose a restaurant that had our favorite Sun-dried Crispy Beef appetizer. A Pad Thai and something else for dinner (maybe a curry? or Pad See Ew) and 2 large Chang Beers left us full and ready for bed.

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting day you had! Very unique!! Next you will be wanting to go on a safari!!
    We are so glad that you are enjoying your time there! Let us know that you are okay after your scuba diving adventures!!
    Keep having fun!! Can't wait to see you one week from today!!

    Love Mom, Dad and adorable Cody!!