I think only one travel agent was still open when we got there and she can't speak much English. Though she was really helpful and at least we got to know that the guest house rate is around RM100 for a/c room. You have to note that Pak Bara, though a jump off to Ko Lipe, is not as touristy as Phuket or Ko Samui. So there aren't that many people who can speak English. So we drove around again and went to this place called Best Guesthouse. We got a room for RM80 but that's the last room they got. So we had to part ways with our travel geng Che Rose & family; whom went to get a better room at Bara Resort for RM120.
|Our room at Best Guesthouse|
|Cikli in front of Bara Resort|
We were tired and only thought of dinner and found one with that famous Islamic crescent & star symbol.
So for breakfast the next day, we drove around once again (now like experts) though we were the only two cars with Malaysian registration plate there. By chance we stop at this restaurant. Lucky for us, the owner can speak Bahasa; so we had good breakfast here.
|Good roti canai, Thai style|
After breakfast ... what now? We knew there aren't many things to do here and our initial target was Ko Lipe. So we ask around and got to know that the ferry ticket to Ko Lipe is around RM120 (return) per person and knowing that we won't spend so many days there, it seems like an overkill on our budget. So cross Ko Lipe for now.
Lucky that we are not tight lipped travelers. Before leaving for breakfast, I chatted with the reception at Best guesthouse and she gave us a map of Satun province and its attractions. From that map, we saw two attractions considered close to Pak Bara and may not be our usual stuff found in Malaysia. One was a kayaking place that goes under a cave where you supposedly see a big jade ... I think. Heck, what do I know. Cubic zirconia or diamond look the same to me. This place is called Jed Kod Cave. Another attaraction is called Phu Pha Pet Cave. I'll let the photos tell this story.
|You can't see the entrance :) but I actually got in|
|Here's the entrance|
|They say the cave is 335 steps up|
|at the base|
We initially drove from town base on the given map and later on Nokia Maps in my wife's E71. After about half an hour or so, the road was not on Nokia Maps anymore and we had to rely on Thai road sign. And the road was like this:
Once we felt lost and had to stop and ask the locals ... I only showed my hands and said 'Phu Pha Pet Cave' to the best of Thai tongue that I could. By now you would have realized that no matter how much Tom Yam you had in life ... it's not gonna help your Thai phonetics at all. But the place must be famous coz they all gave us correct directions.
I had to google for the entrance photo with a monk earlier and I got it from here http://blog.malaysia-asia.my/2010/08/phu-pha-phet-cave-in-satun-thailand.html. There's also a nice write up about this place. Apparently it's the third largest in the world; so says the link.
Wow ... what a nice find from an unplanned trip eh :)