27-Dec-2003 -- On December 27, 2003, I traveled from Bangkok to Sukhotai where I was going to spend a couple of days visiting the ruins at Sukhotai and Si Satchanalai. I was riding with a Thai friend who prefers to remain nameless and asked to be referred to as "the driver." Early that afternoon we had visited Confluence 16°N 100°W.
Before reaching Sukhotai on highway 12, we passed through Kong Krailat, a few kilometers south of Confluence 17N 100E. It was not too late yet, and the driver was kind enough to let me try and visit a second Confluence. We left Kong Krailat in a northeasterly direction on Hightway 1046. A check of the GPS receiver showed that we were south of our objective, so we turned north (left) on the first paved road and moved closer and closer. The closest we got was about 900 meters on the northeast side. There were a few farm houses there, and trees under which we parked the car. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon.
My friend, as earlier that day, waited in the car as I started walking west. First I followed an easy trail from the farm houses, but then I had to go southwest to reach the goal, which meant walking through wet rice fields. I walked on small dikes between wet fields, going sometimes west, sometimes south. Once in a while there was a dry, harvested field which I could cross diagonally.
As I was getting near the goal, disaster struck. The batteries in the GPS receiver went dead. I could have walked back to the car to get fresh ones, but I doubted my friend would have the patience to let me go a second time. So I took the batteries from the camera, put them in the GPS receiver, and continued my walk. Luckily, the destination point was in the middle of a large field that had already been harvested and was therefore dry. There was a farmer in that field, who looked at me in a funny way. He could not understand what a foreigner was doing in his field. I greeted him using one of the two Thai words I know (Sawasdee krap) but I doubt I could have explained what I was doing, even if I had been fluent in Thai.
I put the flat batteries in the digital camera and tried to take a picture of the GPS receiver showing the coordinates. Unfortunately the picture is out of focus and it is hard to read the numbers. This was the only chance I got: I could not take a second picture. I therefore enclose a plot of the walk from the car to the Confluence Point, which shows that I have actually reached it. The gap in the path occurs where I had to replace the batteries.
I put the good batteries back into the camera and took pictures of the area.
The picture of the general area shows the direction from which I came. The confluence point is in the middle of harvested field, about halfway between where the farmer is standing and the point from which the picture is taken.
The other photographs, in the four cardinal directions, are self-explanatory. The picture towards the West faces the setting sun and is therefore no well exposed. The picture towards the East shows a little house on a post. I don't know what it is; perhaps a house for the spirits of the land.
Two additional pictures were taken while walking back to the car, on the little dikes between rice fields.