I just returned from a three-week metal detecting hunt at Na Dan Beach in Khanom, Nakhon Si Thammarat and here is my review.
Na Dan Beach was chosen for a couple of reasons. First off, when I start planning one of my three-week hunts, I go to the Low Cost Carriers (Thai AirAsia or Nok Air) and see where their fly/drive or fly/drive/boat packages go to. There are usually a couple of beach/island locations and then I go deeper into the search for length of beach, location, accomodations, restaurants, etc.
When I go on these long hunts, I bring my Minelab Excalibur II and, as a back-up, my Tesoro Sand Shark. Unfortunately, I needed the back-up as the Excal crapped out on me about the 2nd day that I was there.
Na Dan Beach is long beach, about 10 kilometers, and is frequented mostly by local Thais and mostly on weekends. On the surface, the beach appears to be very clean, but under the sand and in the water, there was a lot of trash.
Since I was hunting with a PI machine, I heard every single tone for every piece of metal trash. Lots of rusty nails, blobs of rust, and bottle caps – some attached to broken bottles.
I would estimate that I brought 1/2 to 1 kilo of trash back to my bungalow at Bansonmanee Homestay every day.
The other problem was that I was not finding much of anything to write home about. I would only find a few coins and maybe some kiddie jewelry but not as much as I had hoped for.
As the days went by, I needed to go further and further from my bungalow and I usually did this walking a fair distance just to get to a starting point. However, the nice people at Bansonmanee Homestay had bicycles to use for free. So, I christened this one Detecto-Bike.
This really helped me get around detecting and also to go out to eat or shop at the local 7-11.
Now, since I wasn’t having much luck at Na Dan Beach, I decided to visit the Bay next door – Ao Thong Yi.
The bay is very nice and quiet but the hunting was about the same as Na Dan – lots of trash and little of anything else.
It was getting a bit frustrating, but I continued daily hunts for about 3 hours each morning. If nothing else, the beach was getting cleaner.
I did have one thing to look forward to. One of my Facebook friends, Stefan Burford, from Metal Detecting Thailand & Global Diggers was going to come and visit Nakhon Si Thammarat with his family and we were going to do some detecting together.
First place we went to was Kwang Pao Beach – another quite lovely beach.
I was fortunate that Stefan came and visited – he has a truck and we could go places!
After we hunted Kwang Pao Beach, it was time for some waterfalls the rest of the day and the next.
These were more like swimming holes than the waterfalls I am used to seeing in Northeastern Thailand. Both of us had a great time with Stefan doing much better than me since his CTX-3030 can easily discriminate trash while I have to dig every tone.
Stefan had to go back to Trang since he is a working man but we did manage to have a couple great meals together too.
So, after Stefan departed, I was left with about 5 days of hunting and not much to show for it – except trash and some green coins.
I had hunted the shore line, in the water knee deep, dry sand and the lower and middle part of the wet sandy slope. About all that was left was the high end of the slope and further out in the water at low tide.
To get a better idea of a Thai beach, read my write up – Thailand Beaches, Same Same, But Different.
I decided to go to the southernmost end of Na Dan Beach, actually called Nai Plao Beach, and found something like 2 coins in 2 hours – so, decided on the walk back to my Detecto-Bike to hunt the high end of the slope.
Surprisingly I hit 7 coins in a row and then 3 rings in a row (all junkers) and then a few more coins. I was scratching my head trying to figure out what was going on. This was in about a 3 meter square area.
I decided to go back the next day as the early morning low tide was better. I hunted the same area and then went into the water directly in front of it. More coins and a Thai Buddhist Amulet.
After removing the amulet from its metal case, found out it was Luang Phor Thuad (Thanks Stefan) and was made in year 2524 (1981) – the year my wife was born. So, she has laid claim to it.
I had two more days left and usually, on my last day, I don’t go out hunting. I stay back, clean my gear, pack and depart around 0900. However, I was not scheduled to depart until 1600 (Nok Air Fly/Drive) so, I told myself on the day before departing that if I found a ring I would hunt again on the 24th.
I managed to find four rings – the 90% gold with 9 small diamonds was found in the water about knee deep at a very low tide about 15 minutes after I started. This was again in the same area, just a bit further out in the water due to the low tide.
So, I had my final hunt on the 24th of September and didn’t get much more than some green money.
All in all, I had a great time despite my Excal crapping out on me. Meeting a Facebook friend and detecting together, first time waterfall hunting, good food, and a great place to stay – Bansonmanee Homestay. Can’t wait until the next 3-week hunt!
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