Sunday, June 27, 2010
Phu Khao Ya (Grass Hill, ภูเขาหญ้า) or Khao Hua Lan (Bald Hill, เขาหัวล้าน) is an odd landscape feature a few kilometers south of Ranong town directly along Phetkasem highway. Unlike most hills, it is not covered with trees, but only grass, hence the names grass hill or bald hill. Since it was the last stop of a day tour through Ranong, there was not much time left to explore the place in details and walk around on the various trails over and around the hills, but just take the few photos and then continue the return drive to Surat Thani.
But even though it were only a few minutes I walked from parking lot to the most scenic view, the landscape looked really very interesting. I could not find yet what made this hill show this peculiar vegetation, I can only guess it is a secondary landscape with the soil loosing its ability to nourish trees after being deforested. Especially the area between the highway and the hill looks very much like it was made into a meadow for grazing animals.
Apart from too short, the time of the visit was also a bit badly chosen - as it was in later afternoon, the sun was already relatively low in the west, and therefore directly behind the hill when seen from street. At least from the scenic viewpoint it wasn't making photography impossible - it was one of the few days in Ranong on which it had no raining at all, but most of the time sunny. Probably in the morning sun the hill will look even better than it did for me.