Uthai Thani was one of the last places in Thailand that I would have considered to go for a holiday, except for the fact that this was one of the last places in Thailand where Tigers in the wild could still be spotted. We stayed at the Huai Kha Khaeng Country Home Resort. It had an unusual, entrance.
For the first few days, we travelled around during the day and cycled in the evening after the temperature had dropped.
One of the first places we visited where the Pu Wai Caves
I was aware that the rock formation here was that of limestone, so as I expected, I was prepared to see stalagmites and stalactites, which we did, but we also saw lots more.
Bats were everywhere, along with the strong stench of ammonia, from their droppings.
Another creature that we came across was the tailless whip scorpion, just clinging to the wallside.
Later, we drove for miles through the beautiful lush countryside and admiring the forested escarpments of the mountains.
Because we were holidaying out of season, most of the places were closed. We came across a fantastic resort called ‘Avatar.’ Thankfully it didn’t resemble anything like the movies of the same name. Although I’m sure, it was a fun place to stay with all the water features and rocking horses.
Outside the resort, we discovered a kaleidoscope of butterflies, feeding off the mud, in search of salt.
Our next stop on our tour was the Wat Tham Khao Wong. This was a beautiful area, with a beautiful wooden temple, gardens and water feature. It looked something that resembled a stately home than anything else. It also had some cannonball trees (couroupita guianensis), that had the most intricate flower that I have ever seen. It has a particular association with Buddhism.
In the late afternoons, we went cycling, going anywhere the road led us to. I was more interested in looking for snakes than anything else, and there was certainly lots of evidence to say that there were plenty lurking around.
My wife even got talking to a jolly old lady on a bicycle. She was very comical, especially when she laughed with half of her teeth missing, and those she had were black. ‘Poor old dear,’ as soon as I attempted to take her photograph, she was off.
Later on, on our cycle, we came across a group of farm labourers or were they golfers looking for their balls. I’d never seen anything like this before but this looked funny, what with their colourful umbrellas. Maybe they waiting for their crops to grow, to pass the time of day?
The following day we moved on to our second place of accommodation, which was near to the sanctuary where they claimed that tigers roam freely. This was very basic, in the middle of nowhere in particular. Again the scenery was delightful, with trees and vegetation shrouding the rugged landscape.
We cycled to the local Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, this was the place where tigers roam freely in the wild.
Although on the next day, we had a tour of the park, our guide was knowledgeable, but we didn’t see any tigers. We were told that the area we were in was home to around 80 tigers. Hopefully, that number will increase. We were also told that the area had snakes too, but again we didn’t see any. What we did see was a monitor lizard up a tree, no doubt after bird eggs.
In the afternoon we went cycling, I did spot a Banded Wolf Snake, it certainly wasn’t a Banded Krait.
We also saw fungi too.
The following day we moved on to our last accommodation on our trip. Before going, I had a photograph taken with the owner, in the hope of generating business for him.
The final leg of our journey took us out toward the northern part of the Chao Phraya River, in the province of Chai Nat.
The temple complex consisted of some temples that all came under the name of Wat Tha Sung. One was all gold, and the other was all silver. Even the interior was lavishly decorated.
The last temple visit was an old one, known locally as the Wat Bot. It still had original painting adorning the walls and ceilings.
Annie loved this temple, beautiful as it was and it seemed to connect more to the religious side of Buddhism than the previous two that seemed to reach out with their symbolic gestures.
Eventually, we went cycling again along the side of the Chao Phraya River.
We even cycled around the city of Chai Nat. Here we had lunch before setting off back to our home in Nonthaburi. So much for seeing tigers but sightseeing and cycling had been good fun.