At 6:15 it was still dark. The rain hammered against the bungalow with such violence that the main light flickered on and off. I’m not making this up.
It didn’t ease up much until seven, by which time I made it to the Supra resort restaurant under the cover of my rain jacket. The sea was calm but it had a scratchy look about it. The pale sun struggled to break through the clouds, making the water fluoresce an eery quicksilver against the gunmetal sky. What I had taken for hills were layers of monsoon clouds.
I thought I had chickened out back in Songkhla. I hadn’t.
The Supra waiting staff were eager to serve their only customer. Breakfast was on the table almost as soon as I sat down. It was heartbreaking to leave them.
With the rain increasing to monsoon strength once more, the receptionist told me that there was “no taxi”, not even when it eased off again half an hour later. Maybe Khanom’s sole moto-taxi driver was ill-disposed. I lucked out by scoring a ride with two German flashpackers who had ordered the only car taxi. They were true livesavers as I may have been stuck in uptown Khanom for some time.
We aquaplaned our way the hell out of there.
Still, as we pulled up next to the waiting Nakhon Si Thammarat minivan, I felt a pang of regret about not seeing more of the town itself, with its sodden fishmarket and nearby pier. There seems to be no way of staying here, even if I could somehow convey that I had come for the dolphins, not the beach.
In summation I don’t think I can do Khanom justice with my flying visit. Apparently, around June this place is truly beautiful with clear sparkling waterfalls, lush jungle treks and wats and caves to explore (on a side-note: isn’t it funny that the rains are always supposed to end in ‘June’? Takes me right back to Trinidad.)
Of course the dolphins are the main attraction. There are statues depicting them everywhere, and they look like bottlenose dophins. But if they can be seen from shore it should be kept that way. Following them by boat, even carefully, will interfere with their behaviour and feeding patterns and could endanger them. If there is really a pod of albino dolphins out there, that is something unique and precious and needs to be preserved.