08:00 a.m. Today I am going to Trang. But before I hit the road (it is about 2h30 drive to reach there), I indulge in a great breakfast at the Sofitel Phokeethra where I am staying. The restaurant is on the pool side, the buffet-style breakfast is appetizing, offers a decent choice of foods, and is well presented. The service is pleasant and I sample a bit of everything. The only items that were not up to my expectations -the coffee (it was quite bitter and not so fresh) and the pastries (rather plain and dry). The sight from the restaurant over the pool is a treat in itself, and gives an energetic feeling to start the day on the right foot.
09:02 a.m. Time to go! The now familiar minivan is ready, and we start our journey eastward. The road snakes among luxuriant greenery. I notice a lot of rubber trees; latex production is of the main source of revenue for the Province, together with palm trees (dates are used for cooking oil as well as bio-diesel . Bio-diesel and green energies are widely used in Thailand, and most taxis and trucks are equipped with GPL tanks.
11:42 a.m. We reach Trang under the rain. I was first planning to go straight to Tham Le Khaokob cave, but then decided to wait for a while to see if the rain stops, and opt for an early lunch. The driver advises me a small local restaurant called จีนดำ (Jan Dam, meaning “black Chinese”). There is an important Chinese community here, who originally came over to work in the tin mines. This reflects in the food too, as well as in the style of the houses. I let them pick the specialties of the house for me and soon starts a waltz of dishes more yummy the ones than the others: cashew nuts chicken, delicious fried fish with sweet and spicy sauce, tom yum kung, stir fried vegetables, seafood salad, red curry chicken…
Here are a few pictures for your eyes only:
The food is simply amazing, though not as spicy as I was hoping. It is light on the stomach, and even after a big meal like that, I don’t feel stuffed or sleepy. That’s a good thing because now the rain has stopped, and I have a long cave to explore!