A backdated entry for those reading via e-mail, this happened while I was in the jungle a few days ago.
Yes another musical reference and from a band I hate, yeah I hate Guns And Roses, there I said it. For the past three days I have relaxed in a wooden hut trying to apply myself to writing and trying absorbing the mountain ranges of Khao Sok. I think if you visit this place during the dry times it will still be wet from time to time but the atmosphere is incredible. In the jungle you have a chance to see wild elephants, civets (the animals that make the coffee), sun bears and even the odd tiger. During the rainy season I doubt you will see much of this but you will feel and hear the gentle and sometimes torrential pitter patter of water as it hit’s the rainforest and/or the tin roof your currently under.
The problem with it being rainy season is that you rarely get any time to walk through the national park without being rained on. If your okay with that then strap on your waterproof shoes, coat and whatever else have you to venture into the wild. The hiking trails are well sign posted but I get the feeling I missed half of the wildlife because I don’t know where to look or indeed what to look out for. Saying that it’s still fun to trudge through the and rain to see the various waterfalls and damns here.
As I sit here now in my hut the rain pounds down at a constant rate on the roof and I get to sleep with this noise tonight which I personally find relaxing, there is something calming about the sound of rain to me. I’m staying in Khaosok Palmview Resort, booked via agoda.com. It costs a mere 300 THB a night, that is currently just under £10, for this you get a wooden shack made for two people. Between two would make it seriously cheap at £5 each per night. You need to pay for food and drink extra but this is not really a problem. The food here is good and made to order, Kong (forgive me if I spelt it wrong) is a great guy, very happy to try and do whatever he can to make your stay better, make your food non-spicey, offer you tea/coffee or one of the many tours and activities they have in the area. He treats you like one of his family, protecting people from his sometimes over zealous goose (seams to pick on young females) or get you to try proper Thai food and stop westernising your meals. I may of already said that I want the spice, I want the flavour and I want to be treated as a Thai person. I can handle my chilli, or so I like to believe and he put me up to a challenge.
“Try Phad Pit” he said
“Yep, no problem” I reply, “bring it on”, which I then have to translate to “I would really like to eat ‘Thai’ food”
He brings me a dish with rice that smells amazing, you pick up the aniseed in the aroma, no doubt some chinese five spice or star anise or similar spice in there but you can smell the chilli, oh god can you smell the chilli. That fiery powerful hit that Thai chills have, like being smacked in the face with a small well padded boxing glove who doesn’t mean to hurt you but you still feel the sting. The first mouthful confirms my initial thoughts, aniseed and a powerful kick but the flavour, oh my word the flavour. I wish I could find the words that fit it but I can’t I don’t have that kind of vocabulary, it’s not for the faint hearted but for a chilli addict like me it gives you the small hit of euphoria you love and crave.
Yes ladies and gents chilli is a drug, whatever you do don’t snort it and build up your intolerance to it slowly. Get you pallet used to the flavour and then see if you can pick out the fruity nature of some chilli’s like the Scotch Bonnet or the short swift punch of the Thai chilli with amazing sharp slightly acidic taste. Take it from me, I find it hard to kick my chilli habit and only when my body rebels do I go “Okay I overdid it.. I’ll be good for a few days”
So in conclusion, get to the Thai Jungle, go stay with Kong in Khao Sok, tell him I sent you if he remembers me. He has one of my cards that has my Dad on it, so a little bit of him will now always be in the Thai jungle. I think Dad would approve.
Oh.. and I met an elephant… awesome