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Getting away from it all

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Here is the introduction to a story from the Bangkok Post's new LIFE section that is fun to read and imagine.

Glennis Setabundhu, or Auntie Glen, in front of her little home in the forest.

This is the introduction to a story from the Bangkok Post's new LIFE section that is fun to read and imagine. Few of us will probably ever visit the place described, but it does sound like would be a very different kind of holiday trip. Read to find out if it is something you might want to try. At the very least, you might want to read the rest of the story. You will find the link at the end.

Click button to listen to Glennis and rightclick to download

Tin mine becomes Tourism gold mine

Peerawat Jariyasombat

On the western border, Thong Pha Phum is a pleasant and easy place to hide out.

Someone shouted "Here we are" as the four-wheel-drive truck approached the hilltop where a wooden sign was perched – and I was really glad to hear those words after half-an-hour of bumpy road.

But when the truck got close to the sign, I found it read: "Steep, rough road 4WD only. Welcome to Somsak Mining." There was also an arrow sign, pointing down into the deep valley.

"Hold on tight, we are going down. It is just 20 minutes away," the driver laughed, as he once again tackled the bumpy road.

In fact, it's not really a road. It's just rocky terrain along which our truck had to creep and climb carefully through the dense jungle.

Here is Pilok, a small border town in Thong Pha Phum district of Kanchanaburi. And it takes quite a long drive to get there.

People may think Kanchanaburi is close to Bangkok, but I beg to differ.

Muang district of Kanchanaburi is 128km, or just a two-hour ride from the capital. However, it takes another two hours on a mountain road to reach Thong Pha Phum, plus another hour or two, to Pilok via the narrow, winding road – depending on the vehicle and driver's skill.

Still, many people find such a long journey is worth the effort.

When our pickup truck crossed a bridge spanning over a small shady creek, I saw an old lady standing in front of a wooden house surrounded by a flower bed and next to a stream amid the dense jungle.

"Please come in, enjoy the cake,", said Glennis Setabundhu as she greeted us all with  a smile.

With a strong sense of relief, all the tourists threw their bags down and darted to the table where various cakes were laid out. Within minutes, nothing was left on the table. Auntie Glen, as she is known in these parts, smiled warmly in the knowledge that her delicious baking can still please a hungry crowd.

Situated by a pond and running stream, peaceful accommodation at Somsak Mining Forest Glade is just the place if you are seeking tranquillity.

Situated by a pond and running stream, peaceful accommodation at Somsak Mining Forest Glade is just the place if you are seeking tranquillity.

You can read the rest of the story here: http://bit.ly/fjkKzz

imagine – to form a picture of something or someone in your mind นึกคิด, จินตนาการ, นึกฝัน
mine – a deep hole or holes under the ground where minerals such as coal, gold, etc. are dug  เหมืองแร่
tin mine – a place where tin is dug out of the ground  เหมืองแร่ดีบุก
gold mine – a business or an activity that makes a large profit; a place where gold is dug out of the ground  แหล่งทำเงิน, แหล่งสร้างรายได้, เหมืองทองคำ
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries  เขตแดน อาณาเขต
approach – to move closer to someone or something เข้าใกล้
hilltop – the top of an area of land that is higher than the land around it, but not as high as a mountain  ยอดเนิน
perch on – to sit on เกาะบน
glad – pleased; happy  ดีใจ, พอใจ
bumpy – not even or smooth; with a lot of bumps ขรุขระ, เป็นหลุมเป็นบ่อ
steep – rising quickly and difficult to climb ที่สูงชัน และปีนขึ้นยาก
rough – having a surface that is not even or regular ขรุขระ, ไม่เรียบ
arrow sign – a mark or sign like an arrow (➞), used to show direction or position  ลูกศร
valley – an area of low land between hills or mountains, often with a river flowing through it; the land that a river flows through หุบเขา, ห้วย
tight – closely and firmly; tightly แน่น
tackle – to make an organised and determine attempt to deal with a problem จัดการ
terrain – an area of land, usually one that has particular physical features ภูมิประเทศ
creep – to move slowly and, in this case, with difficulty เคลื่อนที่อย่างช้าๆ
dense – very thick
beg to differ – to disagree ไม่เห็นด้วย
via – through  ผ่าน
narrow – not wide; having a small distance from one side to the other, especially in comparison with the length แคบ
winding – having a curving and twisting shape เลี้ยวลด, อ้อมไปอ้อมมา, คดไปคดมา
skill – the ability to do something well, usually as a result of experience and training ฝีมือ
worth the effort – useful, important or good enough to be a suitable reward for the time spent or the effort made คุ้มค่ากับความพยายาม
span – to stretch right across something, from one side to the other ก้าวข้าม    
shady – protected from direct light from the sun by trees, buildings, etc เต็มไปด้วยร่มเงา, เป็นเงามืด    
creek – a very small river  ลำธาร โกรกธารเล็กๆ
surrounded – having something completely around all sides ถูกล้อมรอบ
flower bed – a piece of ground in a garden/yard or park where flowers are grown
stream – a small narrow river ลำธาร
amid – in the middle of ระหว่าง
relief – a feeling of happiness that something unpleasant has not happened or has ended การผ่อนคลาย
situated – located  ระบุที่อยู่ ที่ตั้ง
pond – a small area of still water, especially one that is artificial บ่อน้ำ, สระน้ำ
accommodation – a place for someone to stay, live, or work ที่พัก
tranquility – quiet and peaceful ความสงบ, ความเงียบสงบ

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