The first time I visited Kumphawapi was in November 2007, together with Nop, Sven and Nut. I came back in January 2009 and 2010, and now two years later much has changed.
The water level is very low, due to the very dry summer, the driest since 60 years, which means that many of the fishing huts are on dry land. The vegetation has grown immensely, and where we just saw a few shrubs two or three years ago, we now find large trees and dense vegetation. The water lily excursions, which had been very low key, just with a few long-tail boats and local fishermen, has grown into a real business with two stations from where to depart and 15-20 colorful plastic boats at each place. Road signs lead from the main road to each of the departure points, prices have gone up and people are afraid that we might be some environmentalists who oppose to having parts of the lake turned into a little harbor for the boats. This means digging out large amounts of the lake’s sediments.
In a village on the western shore of Kumphawapi in November 2009 and December 2012:
The eastern shore of Kumphawapi, from where we departed in January 2009 to get lake sediment cores
I wonder how Kumphawapi will look like in a few years: more water lily excursions, more fishing boats, a much more destroyed lake vegetation, and if the dry years continue, even less water.