There's just so much that I want to say about this photo. So many beautiful things. But I'll get to this moment in a little bit. In the mean time, I'd like to talk about changing your perspective and revisiting things that you think have been throughly explored in life. So often I find myself wandering down a path or a road that I've travelled many times before. Both in Thailand and my many residences across America. I've learned that if I do not slow down and actually see where I am at that I'll miss all those little easter eggs that make life that much more rewarding. Such was the case with a visit again to Monkey Mountain (Khao Ling). First off..the monkeys are, as always, adorably mischievous. This one stole some poor soul's mango sticky-rice. Which is, like it sounds, astoundingly delicious. I had assumed the monkeys were all that was to be seen at Monkey Mountain. The name says it all right? But upon further inspection and the random chance of once again being chased by monkeys. I discovered that in actuality, Khao Ling is also Khao Ling…and Tham. Monkey Mountain and caves! Caves!! Not just any cave though, these are a beautiful combination of keyhole and cavern style caves. Regrettably, I was not planning on this discovery and so I couldn't fully explore them. But the caves promise to be at least a day's worth of exploration. The few areas that I was able to get to showed some very interesting aspects that I haven't see in other caves.
The first would be skylights formed by the erosion and plant life in the mountain. There are sections of the cave where roots have literally forced their way through cracks and caused sunlight to filter through by creating rockfalls.The rock type here is also highly erosion friendly and often forms deep pools from rain and natural rivulets for water to travel. Roots and trees in Thailand simply do not play games when trying to find water that runs off cliff faces. The erosion and sediment buildup that results makes for really interesting stalagmites and stalactites.
The second feature is that there are man-made pathways through the bigger parts of the cave. It's very obvious that at some point in the history of Satun, Monkey Mountain was considered a holy place as is evidenced by the numerous amount of shrines outside the area. The inside has man-made pools of water and what I assume is a created stream for water to prevent erosion. Heavily impacted..but pretty nonetheless. But as I didn't have the proper clothing for a full exploration I couldn't travel very far in. As I mentioned I will be doing a through exploration of the cave sections once I find the time to go…and also work up the courage to get past this guy:
*NOTE* I'm far more terrified of that smaller red spider in the background then the one the size of my hand…*
Other things of interest is that Thailand has a particular penchant for creating beautiful places. Truly, there revere beauty almost to an obsession. Throughout Thailand there are destinations that are stunning and this is mirrored in their culture in regards to people as well. However, after the creation it seems like all interest in lost in maintaining the beauty. It's rare that I find a place that is not littered with trash and fallen into to disarray, granted I've only seen a small selection but I have a strong feeling that bias is based upon national truth. But this day, not only did I discover another place of interest, but it's 'almost' in pristine condition. After all, bird sanctuaries should be relatively clean.
After wandering about aimlessly trying to get a good photo of a bird, I surrendered and wandered down to the beach. The following needs little to explain.
Chacos…Long Live Life.