25 Jan - 29 Jan 2013 Phatthalung

Kingdom of Thailand aka The Land of Conditional Smiles
Thanon Disara Sakarin 14-14/1-5
Phatthalung Thai Hotel +6674611636
Clean and spacious twin room with good wifi and private/attached bathroom for THB 300.- or US$ 10.- per night. Very friendly, English-speaking staff; family-run local hotel.
Beer: 640-ml bottles of reasonably cold Chang Classic (c. 6.4 % alc./vol.) for THB 43.- or US$ 1.45 per bottle from any of the many Chinese grocers in the hotel’s neighbourhood (no BDS necessary).

Click below for an interactive road map of the Phatthalung Thai Hotel in Phatthalung, which we would recommend, and for directions:

Exploring the small rural town of Phatthalung, one of the twelve royal cities during the reign of King Ramathibodi I of the Ayuthaya Kingdom in the 14th century CE, meeting the friendly abbot of Wat Khuha Sawan (thus learning about the royal monograms in his temple’s cave) and thereafter treating ourselves to some fine genuine Thai food (i) at the town’s rugged Old Food Court, (ii) at the clean and economical Wan Chad vegetarian/vegan restaurant opposite Wat Khuha Sawan (+6674615858, THB 20.- per delicious meal), and (iii) at the lively every-evening night market right opposite the town's train station.

Climbing the c. 250-m high karstic Khao Ok Thalu mountain, the phallic symbol of the province, eyeballing the town below through a large hole near the top of the mountain and coming in contact with (i) old and pot-bellied Yor Thang, a famous shadow-puppetry character, and (ii) young and slender nun-turned-builders from the Wang Sukkhatitham Santinakorn monastery who devote themselves to the arduous erection of their new Rongtham Thammikaracha temple “which will be gifted to King Bhumiphol Adunlayadey in honour of his royal merit…”
“For surely a king is first a man. And so it must follow that a king does as all men do: the best he can.”

Taking a slow train in third class (State Railway of Thailand) from Phatthalung to Hat Yai (c. 80 km, 2 hours, THB 18.- or US$ 0.60 per person) and separating temporarily; (i) Konni: travelling by Konsortium Bas coach to Kuala Lumpur (c. 530 km, 10 ¼ hours, THB 550.- or US$ 18.50 per person for a snoozer seat) in order to buy my new microchip for only MYR 415.- or US$ 134.- from the German embassy (it still comes with a free passport attached) and to meet up with our close friends and fellow PTs Sal & Rich at Willi's new guesthouse Birdnest 2, and (ii) Matt: travelling by public bus from Hat Yai’s bus stop in front of the clock tower to the coastal town of Songkhla (c. 25 km, 1 hour, THB 20.-), known as “the great city on two seas”, in order to kill some time and to chillax on Songkhla's beaches for a few days.
"Dear Government, I'm going to have a serious talk with you if I ever find anyone to talk to..."

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From the 2013 Moral Travel Compass for our Grand Children's Journey of Life:
It’s bad to search for the truth;
It’s good to understand lies.
Keep your bearings!