Our friend Bob Molinary took us on a road trip into the hills above Hua Hin. It took a couple of hours to get to the Kaeng Krachan National Park and we stopped to take pictures along the way. The park is the largest in Thailand and the lake is huge. There is a visitor's center and you can rent boats and tents to camp.
Appearing from around the corner was a Goat Herder and his flock.
Pineapple Fields Forever
We drove by this cute man and woman and I asked Bob to stop so I could pick out a couple watermelons. Two of their dogs came to say hello and I picked up a melon and thumped on it to hear the sound...that is the way I was told how to tell. I thought the Granny was going to fall out of her chair from laughing at me. So I let the man pick two of them for me. Yes, they were delicious!
We passed a small lagoon with lovely lotus flowers
On the edge of this small lake was a resort called Lemon Chalet. There were many resorts and small hotels dotted along the way to the National Park. I can only imagine how beautiful the night sky would be with no light pollution.
The park consists of 2,478 kilometers or 1,500 miles, borders Burma and has a few small groups of wild elephants.
Kind of cool that this visitors center is so similar to parks in the US
I don't have a clue how old this tree was but I'm glad Bob took our picture
Me waving from inside the visitor center to Vince on the shore of the lake
You get the idea - Google Translate?
This suspension bridge across a narrow part of the lake was rickety at best and some of the boards were broken. They blocked it half way! I made sure to step in the middle where the nails were. And we only went a few feet out. I thought of my sweet Lisa that would be all about the NOPE!
I notice Bob is holding on!
You can see a board hanging and notice the men on the bank fishing. They look so tiny!
A small shrine on the side of the road
The lake at the park is huge with many islands and inlets to explore. It would be fun to rent a boat. The dam was built in 1966 and created a lake area 46.5 kilometers or 28 miles.
It only looks like I'm being an idiot. The rock was on flat ground in a safe area.
We walked up this steep path for a great view of the lake
On the way back to the park visitor center for our picnic lunch we stopped the car to see a troupe of monkeys. We only rolled down the window enough to get a quick shot. Their glassy eyes and blank stares were freaky.
Bob thought of everything, bringing peanut butter and blackberry jelly, cake, Oreo's, Blue Diamond Nuts and drinks. I stopped for chips and we had a lovely lunch under a giant Ficus Tree.
Light poles 15 feet tall
The way to Hell Garden and the Golden Buddha
This great picture of the gold Buddhas was taken by Bob Molinary
Red Wattled Lapwing
I will try my best to explain what the next set of photos represent. If you are Thai and reading this I hope I have given a brief description that is somewhat accurate.
The taller than life statues show torments of the underworld. In Buddhism, Hell is known as “Naraka”. It is a transitional passage where guilty souls pay their dues to prepare for the next life.
The newly dead are brought before the Death King, Phya Yom and after comparing your good deeds with bad actions decides with you which punishment you will receive.
Ones who make corruption are punished in the hell and are named as spirits of pigs.
Ones who sell habit forming drugs are named as spirits of cows.
If you are ungrateful you are named tiger.
If you have shown jealously you are named spirit of the rabbit.
If you were a habitual drinker, gambler, womanizer, and had a mind without morality you will be forever wanting and be a “Hungry Ghost.” The statues look mummified with distended bellies and long thin necks too narrow to allow them to fill their stomachs.....serving as a visual metaphor for their hunger.
Karma is something to always be aware of in life. If you meet the Devil in this life, don't postpone making Merit (giving back, doing good deeds, helping and sharing) which will help you to defeat him in the next life.
I think this is the Death King and they are figuring out what punishments will be taken. Notice the figure on the left.....he is checking his laptop.
Here is a different interpretation of Hell as seen at the Rong Khun White Temple in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand. Any way you look at it, be reminded to always do good, be thoughtful and kind and generally be a good person.