Friday, April 6, 2012

Thai Smiles, Part 45: Having Fun At Nam Tok Phlio

A couple of guys feeding long beans to the fish at the falls

Posing for his girlfriend
Yesterday you saw a couple of photos of monks having fun feeding the Tor Soro long beans at Nam Tok Phlio National Park. I'll get back to the park itself early next week, but while I was prepping photos for those posts I found more than enough for another Thai Smiles installment.

Since you haven't been assaulted with one of those since January 26th I figured you were about due for one.

My friend told me the popularity of the park had grown for two reasons: one is to feed the fish and play in the water, and the other is that the water is believed to be pure, having just appeared from the ground not far from the top of the falls where there are no "known" contaminants to foul it.

Under her mother's watchful eye this little girl was beside herself with the giggles as the fish swam around and tickled her

Call me old fashioned (I've been called far worse) but somehow it doesn't seem quite as pristine when you've seen 75 men, women and children frolicking around in it, but it is moving water, so I suppose if you're talking about drinking the water coming down the falls it may well be pretty pure; animals and birds above notwithstanding, of course.

The guy waving wanted me to come over and climb the rocks with them.  It didn't happen.

PHOTO OP!  Smile!
As I was told, the idea is it's far cleaner water than any of the beaches in, say, Pattaya or other built up tourist areas where the currents carry what's dumped into the ocean.  You know - industries, hotels, homes, etc. Use your imagination, but not if you're eating or heading off to the beach for a swim.

Here the folks enjoy wading in among the thousands of fish, feeding them the long beans, and - naturally - being tourists themselves.  This is a Photo Opportunity Supreme for the locals, and it was nice to see the relaxed atmosphere there.

Maybe the lack of farang helped, I don't know - I didn't see more than a couple other than myself the entire afternoon - but it was nice to feel "a part of," if you know what I mean; people smiled, waved, shared their long beans with me while feeding the fish, that sort of thing.

These three were having a blast catching fish in their T-shirts.

My friend had gone off on his own (he gets bored with me taking photos, I get tired of waiting for him to finish doing the same) so it was just me, and it was really, really nice.

This group had climbed up toward the top of the falls, and were soaked

As you might expect there were school groups visiting the park, too. I wish there were more opportunities for students here in the USA to go on field trips like we did when I was in elementary school - before everyone started suing everyone else and you needed a ten-page release of liability signed by a parent or guardian before anyone could board the bus.

These kids splashed around and got soaked. They ran themselves ragged, but a few of the braver ones still wanted to stop and practice their English on me.

Neither of us being in very good shape we both left the park tired after that much clambering around, but it was a fine afternoon.

I ran into the fish feeders from the top photo again on our way out of the park


ChristianPFC said...

The water must be pretty cold when it comes out of the soil?

khunbaobao said...

I don't know the details about the headwaters for the stream that comes over the falls, but it must be close to the surface or above ground long enough to warm it, because it really wasn't cold at all. I'd asked my friend if it was a reasonable hike up to that point and he laughed and said "Nope!"