A road less travelled, Thali Noi Lake
Thali Noi Lake Travel Blog› entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
Thali Noi, is not on the beaten track of most "western" travelers. It is popular with Malaysians who make a day trip to the area.
There are few places to stay (I was fortunate enough to stay with a Thai family, during my visit in January 2007) I actually stayed in a small village, called Ban Khaw, which is about 16 kms or roughly 7 miles from Ranot. To get to the town of Thali Noi, it's a long boat ride of about 2 hours from Ban Khaw, leaving around 9 am, and returning by about 3 pm. If the 70 year old long boat driver is paid a few extra baht, you'll get an extended tour of the lakes! It's really quite interesting, seeing all the different birds & Water Buffalo en route. The area is very much like the Florida Everglades, without the Allegators! But the mosquitoes are as bad.
If you do the area by road it's by taxi or motor bike, or car, to traveling around the lakes. In Thali Noi, there are a number of longboat drivers who will tour you around the lakes... but you are best to do this in the morning, when the Lotus flowers are open!
From what my Thai friends tell me, the lakes are in full bloom with Pink or white Lotus flowers in April, when I was there in January, there was a few lotus blooming (in the morning, by afternoon the flowers close!) I am really looking forward to seeing the lakes in full colour next April.
Much of this area does not have much in the way of tourist services, if you are looking for a party & night life, you'll be out of luck, however if you are looking for a quite peaceful place with friendly people this is it.
Always show patience in Thailand, I have found if you "give a Thai an inch, they will give you a mile" just don't try to rip them off or haggle over prices... especially in the outlying areas, they are not as used to tourist as say in Koh Samui or other tourist "hot spots"...
They do not have "farang prices" in the out lying areas... I found most things 30 to 50% cheaper than they are in the more touristy areas, of Thailand.
Getting to the area can be done by public bus, or train... if you do the bus as I did, from Suratani, it's probably better having a "Thai buddy" with you the first time! Unless of course your Thai language is reasonably good.