I love Thailand. The first time I was there i joined a small group tour, visiting cities and some adventurous three day walk in the jungle. Later I went all by myself, its very easy to find your way around. People are very friendly and helpfull. During one of these trips I met my wife.
19 Oktober: Arrival
We arrived in Phon Phisai a village in the north of Thailand next to the Mae Khong river. We are here to visit the family of my wife, meet friends and enjoy the Naga festival. Our daughter is adjusting very well to the new climate, she enjoys the shade of the banana trees in the back yard of my parents in law. We planted these trees two years ago, then they where only one meter high and now they are huge and loaded with very tasteful bananas.
20 October: Preparations for the Naga festival
The Naga festival is one of the most famous festivals in the region. It is said that the Naga or friendly dragon spits balls of fire from under the Mae Khong river. Today the town of Phon Phisai had traditional Thai dancing to thank the river for its continuous gifts of fresh water, fish and to encourage the Naga to spit lots of fire balls. The actual festival will start in the coming days and thousands of people will arive, being a big boost for business.
The Thai telecom network was already setup to support the extra amount of mobile calls by installing a mobile transmitter rack in the toilet room of a restaurant and hanging the antennas in the tree tops. The guy on the picture also helped me setting up the internet connection on my HTC Desire smartphone. Now i have internet connection for 100 baht / 30 hour that is 2.5 euro.
23 October: Naga festival
The Naga festival is a great success, lots of food, music and dance. But sadly we did not see any fireballs. We where too busy eating and talking with friends so we probably missed them. Maybe next year.
24 October: Meeting Jack
This morning we started with traditional Thai breakfast as usual. Thai breakfast is a little different from what we have at home. In the afternoon we met our friend Jack, he was a monk for a limited period of 3 months. It is custom for Thai men to be a monk for a short period of time. Jack is a serious monk. We had bought some fruit for him as a present and he prayed and gave us his blessing “Long and happy life”. His monk period will end this week and after that he will join us again and can we go together for a drink, but not now of course.
Update: Jack is no longer a monk he has found his love with Patricia from the Netherlands they now live together in Phonpisai (Thailand). He has setup the “Isan Survivor” organization.
Isan Survivor is an organization, operating in Isan (North Eastern Thailand), which offers the opportunity to experience true Isan culture, by participating in many traditional recreations that can create friendships with the vivacious, loving, beautiful and kind people of this region. A placement in the local community will let you live and interact with the villagers.
25 October: Going to the temple
This morning we went early in the morning to a temple in Phon Phisai by motorbike. A friend of ours Mrs Jupaporn had organised a special tamboon meeting. Tamboon means “making merrit” doing a good thing for the community for religious reasons. We arrived at the temple and where supprised to find lots of people where there. Mainly family, friends and school children because Mrs Jupaporn is an English teacher. We did not have breakfast but lucky for us offering lots of food to the monks is tradition in Thailand. After the ceremony the left over food is eaten by everyone.
I met the family of Mrs Jupaporn and had some interesting conversation. At 12:00 we finished and we heard that later that night a concert was planned. On our way back home we ended up in a typical Thai traffic jam, you can see my wife on the motorbike on the left.