I was in Trat the other day so decided to head out to the reservoir which is just a couple of kilometres out of town to see if there were any nice places for lunch. There weren’t. In any other town there would be some nice waterfront restaurants where tourists and locals could go and enjoy a meal by the water with a cool breeze blowing across the lake.
So Plan B was to head to the much larger Khao Rakham reservoir to see if there were any nice spots for lunch near he water there. Khao Rakham is a proper size reservoir, there are even small islands in the middle of it. Would be a great spot for kayaking, fishing and maybe even sailing. Needless to say there are no places to eat by the water, nothing by the water in fact except for a farmland; a kind of monk’s retreat with a Buddha statue by the water and a handful of small bungalows; and one farmer’s house. I don’t think he gets many foreigners showing up at his door. He’s lived with his family by the shore of the reservoir for 30 years with no electricity. Guess he enjoys a quiet life. But apparently there are plans in the pipeline to try to develop the area for tourists. There is still construction work going on around the reservoir, mainly on the southern side where a smaller dam, sluice gates and a wide drainage canal are currently being built
It’s a very nice area to explore, but you will need a GPS – otherwise it is pretty much impossible to find the dirt tracks that lead through the cassava, fruit and rubber plantations to the shore of the lake and along the shoreline. Many of the roads that criss cross the area are paved and in pretty good condition, but don’t have many signs in Thai, let alone English. on the plus side, traffic isn’t a problem. You’re unlikely to see many vehicles. Empty roads and gently undulating scenery would make for some good cycling too. There are quite a few small hamlets in the area which have rudimentary minimarts and restaurants.
If you decide to hear there on your rental scooter, you will probably end up at the main dam, on the north side of the reservoir. Drive up onto the dam and you will see a track that leads off to the right along the shore of the lake. If you are feeling adventurous, try following this and see where you end up. ( It does eventually rejoin a concrete road. )