14th Day Primates 1 & 2 again, & Cha-Am Night-Market

Cha-am Travel Blog

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The bat cave

P1 & 2 again today. It was hard getting up, but once again, we got through the day okay, just putting one foot in front of the other and taking each task as it comes. At the end of the day you always wonder what it was you were so worried about! I guess it's just hard getting out of bed early.

Anyway, we were all trying to get through our tasks quickly today as we were leaving in taxis early to go to a bat cave and to Cha-am for the night market, so we were motoring through everything. I lost my headscarf to another cheeky gibbon, but fortunately he was in a raised cage and when he left it on the 'floor', I turned the hose on, he bounced away and I retrieved it with relief. One day I'm sure I won't be so lucky!

We were done by 4.

Thousands of bats
45pm (hurray!) and by 5.30pm we were off in the taxis to the Bat Cave (cue much "dunuh nunuh nunuh nunuh  BAT CAVE" type-jokes). We parked by the roadside and walked a little way across a stream and to a raised veranda beside a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. In front of us was a large rocky outcrop with two caves high up on the face. We sat for about 45 minutes till it was getting fairly dark with dusk, and then....and then...wow....and then...

About half a million bats came streaming out of the cave, forming a long, waving stream of black, bending and swaying, swirling towards the horizon. The stream just kept on coming, and minute after minute hundreds and thousands of bats flew over us. I had spent the time before they came out planning how to take the best shot of them, though after about 20 seconds watching them realised a video would be more effective. After one badly taken video however my camera battery died....and then Steph's camera went....and then Lieke's camera went! It was very frustrating! But we all got something anyway. Hopefully we will get another chance to go and see it! It was truly a David Attenborough moment - I felt really privileged to see it. As we walked back to the cars, some of those numerous bats were swooping around the branches above our heads. They must cover such a phenomenal area to be able to feed so many.

Back in the taxis and off to Cha-am Night Market. We arranged to meet the taxis at 10,30pm nearby, which didn't leave us a lot of time by now, but as it turned out it was more than necessary. The night market was pretty big; mostly clothes stalls, shoes, toys, electrical goods etc. We saw many pets being sold; tiny puppies, rabbits dressed in clothes, lop-eared baby bunnies, mice (some dead and dessicated, some alive), and fighting fish kept in milk bottles. Naturally it's harder now for us to see this kind of trade and not feel angered or sad.

We wandered around, buying some things, and trying to find something we dared to eat. Lots of places were selling food, but mostly seafood (dodgy!), and meat curries and noodles that had been sitting around a while. I was looking for a vendor that cooked stuff at request while you watched but couldn't find anything. Eventually we filled up on freshly-squeezed satsuma juice, whisky fruit slushies and vegetable mini-cubed fritters. The market started packing up at 9pm so we headed to the internet cafe. As we wandered past a stall that looked like it was selling crepes we stopped to ask what kind and the seller rolled a taster one with thin pancake and green sugar strands for us to try. Laura said it was like a pancake with candy floss in the centre, Laura screwed up her face in disgust and said conspiratorially "guys, this tastes like fried hair...". None the less, we ate it gratefully, went to the internet cafe till it closed and 10pm and then wandered back slowly to the rendezvous point. Cha-am was kinda weird, with the streets deserted at 10pm and no business's open. Elise and Sarah had spent the day at the beach there and confirmed that it was definitely a place for the Thais to hang out, rather than tourists - they were the only white bikini-clad people on the beach. We could have found more places to drink and eat at the beach but we didn't realise the beach is about 20 minutes walk away and didn't have time/impetus to go. I probably won't return on any of my days off now; I'll go to the resort or back to Hua-Hin instead.

 

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The bat cave
The bat cave
Thousands of bats
Thousands of bats
Cha-am
photo by: thelailama