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the Degree Confluence Project
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Thailand

5.8 km (3.6 miles) NNE of Ban Lao Kok Ko, Sa Kaeo, Thailand
Approx. altitude: 31 m (101 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 14°S 78°W

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Bang on #3: How we got there #4: Only metres away from the point #5: Getting dark #6: A local on his way home

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  14°N 102°E  

#1: The plantation

(visited by Philip Rowell and Dzovinar Bassil)

10-Apr-2006 -- I saw the Confluence site from Google Earth, and immediately started looking to see if there were any confluences within striking distance of Bangkok which hadn't been recorded yet.

This one was the closest, so Dzovi and I hopped in the car after lunch on the first day of the long Songkran (Thai New Year) holiday, 2006, and headed north east. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as close as it looked on the map, and we found ourselves stuck on the single lane stretches after Nakhon Nayok behind delivery trucks and slow-moving pickup trucks driven by farmers with one hand hanging out of the window. The sun was getting frustratingly low in the sky, and we were being sucked perilously close into the gravitational pull of the Cambodian border. I was muttering 'we're not going to make it by nightfall' under my breath, and Dzovi was optimistically ignoring me.

We managed to turn off the main road just in time and got within a few hundred metres of the confluence in the unbeatable Toyota Fortuner, driving north from Route 33, crossing north over the Cambodia-bound train tracks, past the village of Wang Hin and further on.

The minor road was obligingly taking us north and west, almost perfectly designed to hit the confluence, when it took a disturbing detour directly east. We turned around, found a dirt track, and went through a small village with kids shouting 'farang! farang!' - me keeping one eye on the GPS readout while making sure not to hit any sleeping dogs.

Just past the village the GPS reader was directly on the required 12 degrees north, but we were still too far east of 104. It was now 5:50pm, about thirty minutes before sunset. We got out of the car and headed frantically west through plantations and neatly planted rows of eucaplytus trees. About six hundred steps later, bravely ignoring the angry howls of protest from dogs that sounded too close for comfort, we hit 14N 102E on the spot. Just enough time to take a few photos then hightail it back to the car for the 225km trip back to Bangkok, punctuated only by a delicious meal at an alfresco Korean barbecue restaurant (one of many, inexplicably, in the Nakhon Nayok area) and arriving back home some time after 11pm. Back at home, there's a strange sense of accomplishment and a feeling that we've somehow connected with a community, both past and present - and we're already looking on the map to see which one we can bag next.


 All pictures
#1: The plantation
#2: Bang on
#3: How we got there
#4: Only metres away from the point
#5: Getting dark
#6: A local on his way home
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)