Happy Songkran Day! It is the Thai New Year, usually at least a three-day celebration that in years previous to 2020 would become a nationwide massive water fight. With the current pandemic outbreak, public gatherings have been banned so it was just a day like any other. I did force myself to get out of my home, however, and spent a sweltering couple of hours wandering around the streets and pathways of Old Town. I was shocked at how many other people were out-and-about (Stay At Home “recommendations” being roundly ignored); many seemed to be tourists from other parts of Thailand as they were taking the sorts of photos and selfies that out-of-towners usually attempt. Or, perhaps they were just trying to document the local architecture and scenery as I often endeavor to do.
My original idea was to visit one of the West Coast beaches but my late start (nearly 11:30 a.m.) quashed that idea as most of the local buses (songteaw) returning from the beachside towns don’t run much past four in the afternoon and the journey takes around an hour each direction. I will save that venture for another time. I have to admit that my hunger drove me out today and I made a valiant effort to try and find the new Mexican restaurant called Mamasita. After my walk today, I can honestly state that it is nowhere in the Old Town area. I went down every main road, side road, and tiny alleyway in the area and never found it. Since most of the other eateries along the way were packed, I ended up buying a salad and some sliced apples as I got close to home once again.
The Blue Elephant is a restaurant on Krabi Road east of the main part of Old Town. The mansion was originally owned by one of Phuket’s tin-mining barons and was featured as a stand-in for one of the mid-1970’s Phnom Penh buildings in the 1984 movie The Killing Fields. It is now a very popular restaurant with a spectacular bar. They even have their own cookbook and a line of seasonings that you can purchase at most area supermarkets.
The Internet has been really spotty all evening and it is now starting to rain (we REALLY need that!) so I am going to leave the other photos I took today for another time. I might use some of them if there are other days during this extended holiday that I don’t go anywhere or see anything interesting. As for tomorrow, I am thinking of walking to Saphan Hin — a parklike area lining the point where the sea meets the town. There is a McDonald’s along the way so that will most likely constitute tomorrow’s lunch. We will have to see if I can motivate myself to get moving tomorrow morning…