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phuketsub

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About phuketsub

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    Ranode, Songkhla

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  • Location
    Ranode, Songkhla

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  1. Storm Warning

    That reminds me of a time I went on an English Language Summer Camp to Khao Yai with a bunch of hi-so kids from Bangkok. We went hiking and some leeches got on them and it was like a scene from one of those Hollywood B horror movies. .. Anyway, I am happy to report that the flood waters are way down after two days of sun. Fortunately the TMD's prediction of more heavy rain over the last few days was inaccurate.
  2. Any farangs in the red zone?

    Enlightenment.
  3. Storm Warning

    One thing I will add is that the Thai spirit really comes through during tough times like these. It kind of reminds me of being in Phuket for the tsunami. Most of my neighbors have been living in knee- to waist-deep, polluted water for already a week, yet they somehow remain in good spirits -- and never cease to get excited about seeing the token farang slogging through their now semi-aquatic community on a booze run, grumbling all the way. This afternoon I walked through the canal-side community here to the shop where they sell imported spirits at a highly-reduced rate...business as usual, even though the transaction went through in knee-deep water. The thing I am just starting to understand/appreciate is how these floods extinguish life. We had a period with centipedes, cockroaches, newts, salamanders, worms, cats, puppy dogs and & grasshoppers and even some birds trying to find refuge in our place. It's tough. We are all gods, in a way. I only went to (chemical) warfare with the ants. They are formidable. And then the rains abated. \We had fish swimming around in our front yard, on our soi. It's just amazing how resilient life, in its myriad forms, can be. At the same time, one can really feel the loss of energy. Maybe some of it just got sucked under the water. Whatever: Life prevails. I hope I am not totally embarrassed by this tomorrow,
  4. Storm Warning

    Absolutely correct...Here is a photo of a ditch they are digging directly perpendicular and across Route 408 in Pak Tre, just south of the Rap Praek junction....I don't know if the road will remain passable after the flowing water takes its inevitable, erosive effect.
  5. Storm Warning

    I am in the middle of this now and the flooding here in downtown Ranode is totally unprecedented. The amazing fact of the matter is that this has nothing to do with a 'typhoon' or any other kind of tropical depression. It is just bog-standard monsoon season bands coming off the sea from east, with some extenuating factors that are completely the result of bad planning. They don't keep official rainfall records for Ranode, but I think if you could compared this year with previous ones you wouldn't see any major difference. The main hydrologic difference is that almost none of the water can no longer get from Songkhla Lake to the sea using the system of local canals here. These canals were designed not for drainage but for agricultural purposes: to get fresh water to the rice fields and other agricultural lands west of Rt408 and to the extensive shrimp farms east of it. The project to expand Rt408, which started at the border of Satingphra and goes all the way North up the isthmus of Nakorn Sri Thammarat, has effectively blocked drainage to the sea through these channels. The fact that the road is still (barely) passable when everything on both sides is flooded is a testament to the fact of how high up the road was purposely built. To my knowledge there was never any EIA or public hearing done on this project, which had already left many homeowners angry because now their bedrooms, shopfronts and front porches are now right up against the new breakdown lanes...many below it. The Songkhla Lake drainage basin is enormous. All the water from all of Songkhla as well as Phattalung must flow through it to the final outlet at the tip of Samila Beach in Songkhla Town. [see first and second images] How effectively drainage into the sea can be accomplished also depends on the tides, which in turn depend on lunar cycles. They will be at their greatest extremes during a full moon period...the last full moon was December 3... Another important factor that gets no attention at all is that the flooding has a positive-feedback-loop effect. Look at the radar image (image 3) taken yesterday afternoon and you can see that much of the downpours that left Phattalung Town submerged last night resulted from cloud formations that developed not out over the sea, but over Songkhla Lake and its flooded surroundings. This is because it takes far less 'solar power' to evaporate shallow fresh water than saltwater. So the resulting cumulus clouds form and rise up, then get blown west by the prevailing winds until they hit the drainage divide...the hills that separate Pattalung and Trang. When they hit the cooler temperatures in these hills, they condense into heavy, if not torrential, rains. (see image 3)...then it is flash-flooding in the villages in the lower hills and then all the water is channeled through the existing streams and rivers (image 2) past all the pig farms and - you guessed it -- back into Songkhla Lake. So the more flooding there is, the more rain there is likely to be from terrestrial evaporation -- as if we don't get enough already from the sea. Now the authorities are actually excavating sections of Rt 408 where it passes though the Rap Praek Intersection, the one where you head west to get to Ranode Town. The fact that they have to do this is a testament to bad planning and a complete failure of inter-agency cooperation, not to mention a lack of simple common sense: water always flows downhill. There is an old saying in Ranode that 'when the Lake meets the sea it will be the end of Ranode'. (my translation) Maybe they should tweak that to read: 'when the Lake doesn't meet the Sea' it will be the end of Ranode'. It certainly feels like we are drowning here...
  6. I wouldn't recommend anywhere along the East Coast this time of year because of the rain. It sounds like Phuket would be your best bet based on what you are hoping to experience.
  7. Excellent wheelchair service at BKK

    Sorry, but I don't know when it started. I was surprised at how cheap it was , about US$1,200 r/t for cattle class...even though we booked only a week in advance. I just booked it directly through CX though one of those cheap online collator sites. On the way over, my daughter and I had a row of three to ourselves, with a seat between us. That made a huge difference. The way back takes longer, about 15 hours. Most of the passengers were Asian. The configuration of the economy section would have made it difficult had it been all full of plus-size Americans like me...
  8. Excellent wheelchair service at BKK

    Yes, and they now have direct flights to Boston...It was a 15-hour grind going over the North Pole. Watching those cute air hostesses do their jobs so professionally made it bearable, and also makes Delta and the other American carriers look lame. I guess it comes as little surprise that no American carriers can compete on trans-Pacific routes any more.
  9. I just got back from a grueling trip to the States with my daughter, 12. During the trip I got what I believe (self-diagnosis) was a stress fracture on a metatarsal bone in my foot, which swelled up badly and was too painful to put a shoe on or put any pressure on. The Cathay Pacific air hostesses called a wheelchair for me and the service was phenomenal. The staff member took me and my daughter though baggage, customs Immigration, waited as we used the bathrooms, then cut the really, really long and slowly-moving queue, all standing in line with their baggage and waiting for metered taxis. I was at the absolute end of my rope and this free service saved me, so I just wanted to note what a good job they do. I did tip the guy 200 baht, which he seemed very grateful for. I didn't catch the name of the company providing this service, but I just want to say what a great job they did.
  10. wanting to learn basic south words

    There are actually some small communities in the Deep South where they speak Issan/Laos. One of them in Narathiwat even has a rocket festival annually. I guess they were migrant workers in the past who chose to settle here. Also, like most of the country, there are many Issan people running restaurants here. That's a good thing IMHO, because a steady diet of gaeng som and gaeng tai bplaa gets old after a while.
  11. Weather Radar Woes

    Some signs of life with the Songkhla (Satingphra) radar...they put out an image at 5:30 this afternoon...probably a test as it hasn't been updated and the loop function still doesn't work...still, a step forward. The Krabi radar is still down (since June 17).
  12. Sorry about that. Maybe it's the Irish Coffee effect. It's just a long-standing bias by New Englanders against New Yorkers. The aforementioned 'Yankees' took 3-4 against the Red Sox over the weekend so I am pissed . Yes, I know it is just a game. Can't wait for the NFL season to start, But for the record, real Yankees live in New England, not New York...and that's a fact.
  13. Anyone growing Asparagus?

    I finally found some seeds, but now I found out that they take 10 years to produce fruit!
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