It's raining as it has been for many hours, including the whole trip up here, which was a lot more of an 'experience' than I recalled from my brief 2001 visit - the whole road after Thong Pha Phum being a 70 km series of S-curves and mostly either steep up or down.The fact that the bus driver didn't trust the brakes and had us inching down hills in 1st gear was enough to wake me up after having felt 'dopey' earlier.It also helped make what I was told was a 2-hour trip actually a 4-hour one.Then I had to get a motorcycle taxi from the bus stop to here in hard-driving rain. Luckily I had my jacket over my day pack with my laptop/journal, but I couldn't see anything thru my glasses after the first few seconds.Now that I'm here I don't mind a bit - I'm enjoying the sound of it pounding on metal roofs outside my bungalow.In fact it made the day's train and bus rides more scenic, with the craggy green mountains lost in the rain clouds on every side.Even the view across the lake - already wall-to-wall gorgeous with a Mon hilltribe village ( partly floating on rafts ) and very exotic-looking Burmese temples on the far shore - is more 'romantic', exotic, etc. for being obscured by the mist.If I stay 4 days, as I expect to, I trust the rain will let up enough for me to get out and explore, and in between I'll read.I was the only foreigner on the bus, as I have been on every bus this trip, but some Thai groups and few foreign tourists are here too. This guest house is photogenic in its own right, all done in rounded river stone and timber; it sprawls up and down a hillside and has its own boat dock on the lake shore.
Last night it was pleasant to be back briefly in Nakhon Pathom, where I stayed again in the old 'Chinese cheapie' (Mitr Phaisal Hotel ) by the train depot and visited the chedi ( world's tallest at 120 meters ) and the morning market as I did in '86 on my first Thai trip - the first market like that I'd ever encountered and a very exciting and unexpected discovery as I well recall. Good to do it this time with a digital camera and more time to wander the aisles, too.And the Bridge on the River Khwae ( not Kwai, which means 'buffalo' ) train ride was worth doing again for the 2 brief photogenic segments and the mountain/farm views. Marijuana-looking tapioca seems to be the up and coming crop - endless fields of it. Some 'just give me the highlights' foreigners briefly boarded/ soon deboarded the train - nothing like the van-loads who did that when I took the trip in '09, but enough that every window had heads and cameras sticking out as we crossed the wooden trestles abovethe river; two years ago I had the train all to myself after that but today lots of locals rode with me clear to the end of the line at Nam Tok.