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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Khon Kaen, Thailand

Apr 15, 2011 - Last day with M and J

Today is our last day with Mark and Jaeb. We have spent the last 6 days staying with them in their rural village where they live. This has been one of the best experiences of our trip so far as we have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to experience real life in the village whilst being looked after extremely well by our friends and their family. We have had such fun here but what we really enjoyed most about our stay with M and J is the time we spent together sitting outside their home, playing games, chatting, eating some most...

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Apr 14, 2011 - Water Fighting

Today we get wet, very wet. We have never experienced anything like this. Hundreds of people load up their pick up trucks with huge bins full of water. Most trucks have at least half a dozen people standing on the back, dousing other people on trucks with as much water as possible. There are about 8 of us on our truck. We drive along public roads, often at speed, hanging on with one hand and throwing water with the other. The battle particularly at frequent traffic jams is intense. As our supply of water runs dry we stop at the frequent...

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Where's Jolly?

Apr 13, 2011 - Songkran celebrations

Today and yesterday marks the start of Songkran which is the Thai New Year and the most important festival in the Thai calendar. It is a time when family and friends gather to celebrate the start of the new year and as we discovered this is done in style. For 2 days we attend outdoor parties which are like a kind of mini music festival. Stages are erected and singers and dancers perform whilst the crowds from the village dance and sing. Much merriment is helped along by the sharing of food and drink. Although we can’t speak a word of Thai,...

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Where's Jolly?

Apr 11, 2011 - Fishing but not as we know it

The cockerels sound the beginning of the day and the suns rays enter through the bedroom window. Already the temperature seems very hot to us and it is only breakfast time. Today we are taken fishing but not as we know it. This type of fishing involves using a water pump to drain the pond dry and then the trick is to pace around the mud catching the fish by hand. We wait for the pump to do its work, whilst we rest leisurely under a shelter by nearby rice fields chatting, eating and drinking with our friends M and J. We are all dressed to...

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Where's Jolly?

Apr 10, 2011 - Travel to Khon Kaen

Today we left for Khon Kaen to spend Songkran at the home of our friends Mark and Jaeb. Following breakfast at our hotel and an irritating time trying to access the internet we took a taxi to the bus station which is always further than we think. Bus stations are becoming a blur each having a similar sound, smell and look of organised chaos, with hot bothered, resigned and often confused looking passengers all waiting for their bus to somewhere. On this occasion two very helpful young men tell us the right bus and tolerate our need for...

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Where's Jolly?

Dec 13, 2010 - Nos derniers jours en Thailande

Nous arrivons sur la fin de notre séjour en Thaïlande. De passage a Chiang Mai, nous participons a une discussion avec un moine boudhiste avec qui durant deux heures nous pouvons poser toutes les questions que nous voulons. Nous apprenons beaucoup mais ce temps bien court nous permet juste d'avoir une esquisse car il faut sans doute une vie pour comprendre le boudhisme. Puis nous nous dirigeons vers l'est du pays qui est le moins touristique de la Thaïlande. Dans la ville de Khon Kaen, nous profittons pour mettre a jours certains de nos...

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Jun 13, 2010 - Overnight train to Bangkok

We woke up early and had cornflakes for breakfast before trying out some rockets used for a festival. The rockets are 15cm long, but professional rockets are 50cm long but much more dangerous. Gavin's grandfather tried the first rocket - it went up so high you couldn't even see it. I tried some of the rockets. One went wrong and went into someone's house. The second went into the field the third was okay but launched very quickly. When the big celebration happens, the town had to clear air traffic from the area so the rockets don't hit the...

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Jun 13, 2010 - Leave village

It was time to leave. In 24 hours time we'd be down in the south of Thailand. You couldn't make a much longer journey within the country of you tried! But all that was starting at the end of the day. Right now we had to say our goodbyes. First we had a little session with Anne's dad setting off the little rockets he'd bought the day before. We also met the teachers from the nursery to hand our gifts over. We'd been made to feel very welcome by Anne's family and had been able to experience a slice of real Thai life that we would never have...

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Jun 12, 2010 - A day in and around the village

This was our one full day at the village. John gave us a good insight into village life with a quick tour at the start of the day. We went first to the temple which was finished in the last few years and made an impressive centrepiece to village life. There were pictures around the walls depicting scenes from Buddha's life and various stories from Buddhist mythology. Remi enjoyed playing the gong and drums there. It wasn't just a place of worship like an english church or a mosque would be. It was closer to a village hall - a communal space...

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Jun 12, 2010 - Day at the village

We woke up early at 7:00 and ate cereal for breakfast while Anne's family ate cooked insects. The village also has a temple were they pray. We walked there but were too late to see any performances. The temple is less big than the one in Khon Kaen. The temple is big with a red roof and walls. It looked like the temple in khon kaen. Inside there was a huge gong used for ceremonies, and drums. The walls are decorated with pictures of monks and Buddha praying and animals. There is also a big statue of Buddha covered in gold leaf meditating....

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Jun 11, 2010 - Go to Ann's village

We woke up at 7:00 and drove with John, Anne and Gavin to Anne's village. We passed tescos. It took two hours to get there. On the way there we passed durian, the stinkiest fruit in he world. You can smell it before you can see it. In Thailand mangosteen is queen of the fruits and durian is king. Despite the smell, durian is very sweet. The village is a traditional Thai village. Most of the houses are wooden huts, some of the houses are brick. Anne's old house was quite big and not made entirely out of wood - some parts are concrete. They...

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Jun 11, 2010 - Go to Ann's village

We had a relaxed morning, taking it easy. When John came back from work, we headed off for the village where Ann grew up and her family still lives. It was an interesting drive, going through more of rural Thailand than we'd seen to that point (the journey to Khon Kaen having been spent watching movies with the curtains closed so as to see the screen). The village was fairly small with just a few hundred people living there. There was a range of houses there, some in the traditional style, raised off the ground with livestock kept...

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