Blogs from Nong Khai, North-East Thailand, Thailand, Asia

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Asia » Thailand » North-East Thailand » Nong Khai January 25th 2020

Today is our last here in Phon Phisai (the 'h's are silent) with Jeremy and his family. Our paintings are finished and drying in the sun. We're off to local restaurant The White House tonight for dinner. So I thought I'd share with you a few miscellaneous aspects of life here including a visit to the Sala Kaew Ku sculpture park in Nong Khai. Nong Khai is the largest town in the region about an hour away from Phon Phisai. The sculptures tell the equivalent of morality stories in the Buddhist and Hindu religions and is dominated by a huge Naga sculpture - 7 headed snake. Waree took us to a Vietnamese coffee shop on the riverfront for a welcome iced coffee. Back in Phon Phisai (pop >100,000) we found some paper to roll our paintings ... read more
73Ian and Cody feeding pigeons
Feeding huge catfish...
Waree and Cody emulating the snake lady

Asia » Thailand » North-East Thailand » Nong Khai January 20th 2020

There has been lots of fun and anguish. Ian is OK. He can draw. But me. I only pretend. Give me a computer any day. For the first piece we had a look around our local area. Ian chose the house next door which had a great big power pole in the middle of it. But it turned out ok even after he painted over it with violet ink. Mine is from a photo. Of Tuscany from Fiesole looking back towards Florence. I took it in 2018. Strange I think, coming to Thailand to draw and doing a scene from Italy. Jeremy's style is very loose and scribbly. We started off with small thumbnail sketches. I wasn't much good at them either. One was chosen to put on paper. Very good, expensive paper. We're supposed to ... read more
Jeremy doing mine
Still needs some work
Cheating

Asia » Thailand » North-East Thailand » Nong Khai January 19th 2020

Picture a hot Sunday sitting on a raft in the middle of a lake sipping wine, watching fish, chicken and prawns cooking on a bbq, eating them with green papaya salad, then having a swim to cool off. That was yesterday's activity. We've had quite a few 'pinch me' moments on this trip and this was one of them. The Ford Ranger was packed in the morning, Jeremy, Ian, Waree (pronounced Walee) , Cody and me inside and Jitt, Adam and Toby in the back sitting on cushions. Off to Lake Pan about 30 kms south of Phon Phisai, near where the house warming was the other night. On he way we stopped off to buy fresh whole fish. We met Nee and Robert there (they of the house warming) with her sisters Nam and Num. ... read more
The jetty
Lighting the bbq
Lots of rafts

Asia » Thailand » North-East Thailand » Nong Khai January 17th 2020

We finally made it through our long flights none the worse for wear, and were very glad to arrive in Phon Phisai, at Jeremy Holton and his wife Waree's house on the banks of the Mekong River. When they're not here they live in Perth, together with their three sons, the youngest of whom is Cody aged 4. We're getting in practice for when we see Alexander again in a couple of weeks, who is also 4. Jeremy teaches a particular drawing technique using oil pastels. Quick thumbnail sketches of scenes, choose one, transfer it to a large piece of paper and colour it with thick layers of oil pastels beginning with light colours. It is supposed to be done quickly without thinking too much and looking for patches of colours. Covering it all over with ... read more
Tiny Orchids
White orchid
Another orchid

Asia » Thailand » North-East Thailand » Nong Khai November 20th 2016

As I anticipated the last 2 weeks + blogging went out the window, blame it on the Chang, the partying, friends or the heat or maybe them all but I will now attempt a quick re cap. Up north section 20-28th November'16 First of all, we had an amazing time!!!!! Big big thanks to Andrea and Wan for being such amazing hosts, tour guides, food advisors, driver, clothes suppliers(!), party organisers and for enabling us to get a glimpse of real Thai life. Thanks also to Debbie, Karen and Liam for just being there and sharing the experience with us and making us The Magnificent Seven! :) We all rendezvoused in the departure lounge at Bangkok airport and flew up to Udon Thani together, at this point I have to mention the inflight snack, a BLACK ... read more
Nong Khai
In the minibus
Stalker alert!

Asia » Thailand » North-East Thailand » Nong Khai June 21st 2015

The train chugs as it arrives at the station, the final stop after traversing the northeastern railway for almost 11 hours overnight. I quickly alight the train, a purple second-class sleeper, and make my way to the information desk. I am now in Nong Khai, a sleepy riverside town in northeastern Thailand more famous as an entry point to Laos than as a charming destination in its own right. But I have spare time so I might as well burn it exploring the town. Nong Khai is a multi-ethnic town that’s prospered since the construction of the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in 1994, connecting it to Vientiane, Laos’ capital, in the northern side of the Mekong River. Consequently, trade between here and Laos flourished, and made travel between the two areas easier. Notwithstanding the growth of the ... read more
Governor's House
Sala Kaew Ku
Mut Mee Guesthouse Garden

Asia » Thailand » North-East Thailand » Nong Khai March 11th 2014

The march northeastwards continued with a 3h bus ride from Khon Kaen to the riverside town of Nong Khai, fronting the mighty Mekhong. This wasn't actually my first time in this Thai border town -- some seven years ago I'd passed by briefly en route to the Laotian capital of Vientiane that sits just across the river, barely 20km away. Seven years later I finally had the opportunity to see what I'd missed the last time. In fact, not that much, but perhaps that's precisely the charm of Nong Khai. Apart from the weekending Thai crowd from the other provinces who'd made it up here for a quick getaway, Nong Khai preserves its quiet charm throughout the rest of the week. I'd originally planned on staying only three days, but soon decided to spend an extra ... read more
Nong Khai Riverfront Promenade
Mut Mee Guesthouse
Sunset on the Mekhong

Asia » Thailand » North-East Thailand » Nong Khai March 16th 2013

Arriving in Vientiane after a thirty minute flight we cleared customs and immigration before catching a taxi to the the Friendship Bridge (built with Australian money in 1994) which crosses the Mekong River which is border between Laos and Thailand. We had decided not to spend any time in Vientiane as we had visited the city twice before. A bus took us the short distance across the bridge and a small local bus dropped us at the Nong Khai bus station about 8 kilometres away. From there a tuktuk drove us to the riverside hotels, stopping enroute so we could take some Thai baht from the ATM. A lot of luggage changeovers in a short time! We found a lovely guesthouse - the aptly named Mekong River Guesthouse - and though our comfortable room didn't overlook ... read more
Mural in Wat Pho Chai
Sunset over the Mekong River
Thai floral temple offerings - so pretty and beautifully made

Asia » Thailand » North-East Thailand » Nong Khai February 9th 2013

We spent a couple of days in Chiang Mai the capital of the North. It has the most incredible night market where the streets are so full that if you walk down the centre you cannot even see the stalls on either side. Lots of buskers and street food but in the main not special as they were catering for the masses and had pre-cooked a lot of stuff which unless is a stew or soup does not bode well for a Thai meal which is all about fresh, made on the spot stuff. We followed the stalls into a Wat which was a lot quieter and had some dinner there – a delicious curry served by a young girl of about 8 working with her mum and grandfather. She was animated and spoke English very ... read more
Hill Tribe dogs clothes
Sukhothai
 Temple ruins and dog

Asia » Thailand » North-East Thailand » Nong Khai January 4th 2013

Well today was the first day for our 800km bike ride – it started off really slow which was nice considering I didn’t do any training then everyone found their pace after the first water stop. One leg I found really hard but then we stopped for lunch which was nice and of course I over ate so the last 20kms was also a little tough! No stacks today so that was good! We did 85kms so was a shorter ride than I thought which was a GREAT thing as when I finished I was hurting! Claire and Pete were the little rockets and leaded the pack most of the day with their matching bikes (cute)! J Claire and Peter have had to drive back to the airport as Claire left her laptop on the flight ... read more
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