Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Krabi Past and Present

5 March 2014

We're still enjoying exploring Krabi, and somehow manage to keep finding new spots, despite having been here for nearly three weeks.

Today we found the Krabi historical wall, a concrete wall with metal bas reliefs showing the history of Krabi Town and Krabi Province.  My favourite was the panel showing the dinosaurs that presumably once roamed this part of the world.  (The horseshoe crabs are definitely still around, we see them at the fish markets daily.)

There was a wonderful sculpture of children playing, representing the ethnic diversity of the population in southern Thailand.  Very dynamic sculpture full of energy and motion!

And odd little architectural elements, such as this metal thing hanging on an entrance post - I don't know if it's some sort of shrine, or maybe the way the address is displayed.

And of course the shrine that was salvaged from a demolished building.  Or maybe a new shrine for the new edifice that will be built at this site.

It was a sunny day, and the long-tail boats were on the river in full colour.  They're called long-tail boats because the engines have sort of an extended drive shaft from the motor to the propeller.  We aren't sure why the engines were built this way, except thinking maybe it helps for navigating through river rocks and shallow water.  Definitely a unique look to the boats!  I love the colourful canopies, though.

On our way along the river, we saw this wonderful fountain full of porpoises and various sea creatures.  We've only seen it spouting water at night, and yes, the porpoises (or maybe they're dolphins) shoot water out of their mouths).  Of course, now that we finally went by during daylight, the fountain was turned off and still, no drama to the action.  But still very nice sculptures.

We saw the Buddha of the Tiger Cave Temple in the distance, shining in the sun and glinting from the top of a huge, tall, steep hill.  WAY high up.  I'm not sure I'm willing to climb up to that height, given my vertigo.  I've heard it's quite a climb up very uneven steps.  If the weather cools down, I might give it a shot - days are about 100 F (35-ish C) and, well, 1270-1280-ish steps in that heat may or may not be fun.

Oh, one more lovely Krabi person.  (Not sure what we call people from Krabi - Krabians?  Krabites?  Krabists?  Haven't found one that sounds right.)  Anyway, the lady who owns the small restaurant we like up the road was feeding a kitten the other day - he's about 2 months old, and inside a shop that is never open.  Through the woman's minimal English and a lot of gestures and charades, we got the story: the mother cat made a "nest" in the building, and had her kitten(s?).  Then the mother cat died.  The baby, a cute little orange tiger stripe, is trapped in the building and too big to climb through the chainlink fencing covering the sides.  So the restauranteur is feeding the kitten (she named him Sirong, or something like that) and hoping that when he's a little bigger, he'll climb up the fencing and over the top, and then they can keep him.  He's very friendly and let us stick our fingers through and pet him.  Richard and I tried to find a way in to get him, and talked about cutting the fence, but the lady said the police will come.  (We may do this anyway, maybe on Saturday before we fly out.)  So that's our kitten story, and we'll keep you posted if we get him out.

That's about it.  We're winding down our time in Thailand, and heading off to Malaysia on Saturday.  We'll see what happens between now and then.

From my brother-in-law re the long-tail boats: 
According to Wikipedia, the long tail boat is built the way it is so that they can use an automotive engine as the engine (readily available and cheaper than a large outboard motor), and the “tail” is because the propeller is attached directly to the drive shaft, and the whole motor shifts to left and right to steer.

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