About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 25 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Monday, 22 February 2016

Pristine waters of Ratchabrabha Dam...

"Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley..." - Theodore Roethke

(The lake, the dam and me)

Date: 18 – 22 February 2016
Route: KL – Changlun – Ratchaprabha Dam – Thale Noi – Hatyai – KL
Total Distance: 1,850 km

Day 01: KL – Changlun
Distance: 467 km

After my nurse duty in Melaka we drove back to our Bidara House to pack and started riding towards north. Night-riding is strangely peaceful. Although there were less traffic, we rode with extra care and reached Changlun before midnight. We decided to stay a night at T-Hotel for RM90/night inclusive of breakfast.

Day 02: Changlun – Ratchaprabha Dam
Distance: 421 km

It was raining cats and dogs early in the morning. After breakfast we went to the coffee shop under the tree to get our documentations done and changed some bahts. By 10.00 am we were ready to cross the border into Thailand. Border crossing at Bukit Kayu Hitam was smooth. We rode towards Surat Thani and made a few pit stops for refueling and short rests.

(Caught in the early morning showers)
(The junction to Khao Sok National Park)
(A welcoming signage to Ratchaprabha Dam)

Around 3.30 pm we reached the junction to Khao Sok National Park. Cheow Lan Lake or Ratchaprapha Dam Reservoir is in the National Park, located 70 km west from Surat Thani on Highway 401. The Cheow Lan Lake is really worth visiting for its spectacular vistas of the natural beauty and pristine waters. The last time we were here was in March 2014 with five other bikers but we didn’t have time to explore the Cheow Lan Lake.

(The road leading to the pier)
(A glimpse of the Cheow Lan Lake)

The Ratchaprabha Dam was completed in 1987, serves as the hydroelectric power generator. As a result, it also creates a beautiful gigantic reservoir with a large number of towering limestone mountains and small and large islands which once were limestone peaks. Moss underneath the deep water enhances the emerald green colour of water in the lake making it looks more like sea water.

(The viewpoint and rest area)
(The statue of a scholar at the viewpoint)
(Clean rest area, ideal for a picnic)
(A nice view of the dam up ahead)
(The two of us, the dam in the background)
(The Ratchaprabha Dam on a man-made lake)

As it was already late afternoon, at the Tourist Information Centre, we enquired on accommodation on the raft houses on the lake but to our disappointment all chalets were fully booked. We then decided to look for alternative lodging and planned for a lake tour early tomorrow morning.

We spent the night in a chalet, a few minutes ride from the dam. The chalets are owned by a muslim couple and there is a halal restaurant nearby.

(Riding out from the pier)
(A lodging very near to the lake)
(A cluster of boutique chalets)
(Our lodging for the night)

Day 03: Tour of the Ratchaprabha Dam

We had a heavy breakfast at the restaurant by the jetty.

Later we rented a long-tail boat for a 2-hour tour of the lake just for the two of us. We paid B1,500 for the boat and the tour guide. We also had to pay entrance fee of B300 per person to enter the Khao Sok National Park.

(Heart-shaped pancakes and honey for breakfast)
(The pier was busy with tourists)
(Buying tickets to enter the National Park)
(Busy long-tail boats ferrying tourists)

The long-tail boat trip took us to watch the picturesque scenery of the lake. Surrounded by peaceful nature will give you an unforgettable experience and a good photo opportunity of the landscape and the beautiful sight of ‘the Guilin of Thailand’. From there the boat ride continued further to the the floating bamboo chalets where one can have a light refreshment or lunch there. 

If you are staying of the floating chalets, the boat will take you slightly further for jungle trekking or observe wild animals at night. Swimming and canoeing are equally interesting activities to do. For adventure lovers, you can join a cave expedition. In the nearby area there are a few caves to explore. One is Nam Tha Lu Cave and the other is Pakarang Cave.

(Feeling all excited to explore the lake)
(Life jacket is a must on the boat ride)
(Limestone structures jutting out of the water)
(A clear weather with blue sky and emerald green water)
(Venturing in between beautiful limestone hills)
(Nick-named as 'The Guilin of Thailand')
(A couple shot by the guide)
(Lodging on the bamboo rafts)
(Varieties of chalets to choose from)
(A simple raft house with basic amenities)
(Swimming and kayaking by the chalets)
(A simple lodging on water)
(The lobby and a floating restaurant)
(Tranquil and serene surroundings)
(A must stay, next time)
(We are happy to be here, at last...)
(Abundance of fish, but no fishing please...)
(Capturing the scenery on the way back to the jetty)
(A long-tail boat waiting for customers)

After the 2-hour boat ride we rode back to have lunch at the Muslim restaurant and checked out. This afternoon we rode towards Phatthalung and would be exploring Lake Thale Noi next.

(A busy pier at the dam)
(Tourists coming back from the lake tour)
(A sumptuous seafood lunch at a Muslim restaurant)

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