Will come on to the fishing shortly, for now on with the trip report ...
The drawback of the camp site was very little shade and the heat, despite it being February, was quite punishing so a cold beer was welcome once we’d got all the tents set up and the rods out. Another drawback was the fact that Thai people like noise and the Bangkokians didn’t hold back with their yappy rat-dogs, screechy scratchy women with voices like Minney Mouse on helium, and dire karaoke. Thankfully we were far enough away from them for it to bother us so we enjoyed the surroundings and hoped for some rod action.
We were fishing with bait cages stuffed with a mash of bread, powder, foul smelling liquid and a bunch of other green stuff the tackle shop recommended, these apparently are favoured by the large catfish that live in the lake. The barbecue was fired up, filling the air with the smell of cooking burgers and bangers, as the sun set directly in front of us, turning the dappled lake surface into a sparkling light show of yellow diamonds. A paddle out into the lake and out of sight of the weekend warriors at dusk rewarded me with a glimpse of several species of water bird and a chance to get the lures out for some snake-head fishing. Later on, well after dark, we decided to paddle out and take the baits and lines a lot further into deep water as nothing was happening around the lake’s edge.
After an early and somewhat chilly start the next morning the kids set to work cooking breakfast on the fire (blank on the fish so we had sausage sandwiches) while we enjoyed a coffee, the sound of bird calls, and the tranquility of the lake which was like a and endless sheet of glass. During the day we escaped the heat of the camp site and drove around the lake to the dam area and entrance to the National Park. Our last visit here was over ten years ago and it was astounding how touristy it had become; restaurants, coffee shops, souvenir stalls, fancy resorts, seven-elevens, jet-ski and boat hire places … and of course hundreds of people from the big city driving like complete assholes.
The National Park offers camping spots which apparently were free to Thais, the irony of people turning up in multi-million baht cars and SUVs to stay in a free tent made me chuckle, it was all very crowded and selfie centered so we had a little look, took a couple of shots, and moved on. The next spot was down by the river for lunch and a swim, waving at the rafting tours that went by, one almost every 30 seconds. The Electricity Authority who manage the dam release more water during long weekends in anticipation of the influx of local tourists to the area, which of course there were. The kids wanted a go at the ATV park so we stopped there on the way back to the campsite.
More to follow ...
Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? - Hunter S ThompsonGet out there: On The Road Asia