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Published: February 20th 2011
Isaan - a special place in Thailand
Dec 9 to Jan 23
I spent most of my time again in Pattaya and Bangkok but made sure that I planned a trip to Udon Thani, a major city in the North east of Thailand. I would also visit a friend in Sakhon Nakhon to the east and on the way there look at the world heritage sight of Ban Chiang. I booked a flight and rental car only to find on the night before leaving for Udon that I had food poisoning. I decided to catch the bus from Jomtiem to the airport in Bangkok and I am still not sure how I made it to Udon without a side trip to the hospital. It took me five days to recover but I still enjoyed my country visit even though my night time activities were limited to staying in my room or going for short drives because I felt so bad.
Udon and Sakon are typically quiet country cities with large lakes standing out as landmarks. I drove north to Nong Khai to see the Australian funded Friendship Bridge which borders Thailand and Lao. The nearby Sala Kaew Sculpture
Near Central World
is a must see if you are in that area.
I like going to Isaan and the people of the north-east because they are polite, welcoming and they drive much slower than their relatives in the big cities. I was actually getting a bit impatient when driving in Udon and Sakon because everyone was so caerful and polite, a big change from driving in Pattaya.
I dropped in to Khon Kaen on my way from Sakon to Korat where I would visit a Thai family near Chock Chai. Khon Kaen is not the most appealing city but it is a huge regional centre and there will be more to discover on future visits when I am feeling better.
My day in Korat was the most enjoyable time for me on this visit to Thailand. I have stayed with the family many times and it is so nice when people of all ages welcome me back to their home. It was a beautiful, relatively cool day and we just sat around talking, eating and drinking and I met some new additions to the extended family. I always have a good feeling about this place and the warmth
of the Thai people to each other and this foreigner is on full display.
Isaan is my favorite part of Thailand. I have never missed Thailand so much since I have returned from my last visit.
Kop khun khrap - Thank you
Sawatdee khrap - Goodbye
Pob gan mai - See you again soon
Click on the pics if you want a larger view of the photos
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