Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Getting Lost In Sirindhorn Park

Yet another of what is touted  as "Royal Initiatives," the  Sirindhorn International Environmental Park is situated inside Rama VI Military Camp in Amphoe, Chaam.  As the name suggests, it is one of those natural parks in this  side of Thailand that had been built to conserve and showcase nature in the raw. Purported to be a natural venue for learning, the park was built to be such a place where students and teachers come to discover upclose and personal about science, energy conservation, flora and fauna, mangrove rehabilitation and such other concerns.  Inside the vast compound are structures devoted to energy conservation, a  museum where documents and prototypes of such undertakings are exhibited.

Can you read that? :-)

That's what it says. :-)

Some sights inside the park.

Text, top pic: Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn grew the mangroves on August 17, 1994.
Text, bottom pic: On 14 August 1994, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn gave initiative idea  to Mr. Sumet Tantivejkul to seek the proper area as well as to look for ways to preserve the mangrove forests in coastal areas which will provide a good ecosystem and natural balances. On 2 April 1998, Thanpuying Putrie Viravaidya was asked to restore the deteriorated soil condition in order to turn to area for recreation activity and ecosystem study.

Well, that's the side that makes you wanna yawn and stretch out your arms. But here's the exciting part.  Aside from it being educational, the place is also good for biking. Yes! That is, if you are the type who enjoys leisurely biking, then this is the place for you.  Sweat it out around the compound. Along the paved pathways, under the trees, by the beach, under the sun.  Let the wind blow your hair like crazy.  

Sorry, serious cyclists who are gaga over mountain bikes and road bikes, tuck your big gears away and go for the rental bikes. The cute ones.  There are tandem bikes, as well, if you care for that stuff.

That's the kind of bike being rented here.

If you get tired of biking, go up the lane where the bird tower stands. If you're lucky enough, you'd get to see a few of those eighty-something bird species that find solace in this green place. 

This place is for birders, too! 

Now if you don't really feel like biking, feel free to be one with nature on foot. In good comfy footwear. No high heels! Slap on some sunscreen, especially if you decide to come in the morning. Bring a bottle of water. And a small towel. 

This is the reason why one should be comfy-shod here.

The man-made bridge that has become the persona of the Sirindhorn Park.

Winding thoroughfares canopied by trees and creepers.

If you get hungry, there's a line of eateries outside, at the parking area.  There is a coffee shop where you can order hot or cold coffee as well as herbal tea. And there are several more stalls that sell lovely bonnets, wide-brimmed hats accentuated with ribbons, and souvenir t-shirts and other apparel.

By the way, why were we lost? We were looking for a palace inside the compound, the Mrigadayavan Palace, but failed to find one among the trees and the mangroves.  We wandered off and found ourselves heading far away from the central area.  Then we were back in the main road, outside the park, but still inside the military camp.  We were ambling toward the bend leading to the entrance and back at the parking area. Feeling tired and thirsty and hot and hungry after the long desultory "stroll",  we decided to park our heels, cool down a bit and just have our lunch at one of the stalls there, where we found the food we were served tasted really, really  good (was it because we were feeling tired and thirsty and hot and hungry???)  that we vowed to go back there someday soon to try other dishes.

This is it for now. Next trip to this park in the near future, for the purpose of biking. And finding that palace.

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