We are back now mate, hence all the posts today.wabbits;25372 said:Good value CI where did you get the CRV from as Mrs W likes the idea of one of these for our Surin run.....Though lack of CD is no worry an ipod jack is a want not sure what local surin radio would be like but if is anything like local bahn music.......Might go a little ting tong.555555
When is the return date for you in Perth mate Mrs W is looking forward to sharing Som tum.
Hello to C1Changone;25361 said:BKK to Buriram – Jan 2012
A few more pics from Phuket
AND ONE MORE JUST FOR VANGUY.....
We left BKK as planned about 10.30am as Nut was about 75% recovered, but not before Cheeky Monkey (Sister no 1) brings junior Cheeky Monkey from Sister number 2, to go with as you visit Yai.
First time ever, I drive solo out of the Hotel into Soi 2 and left on Sukhumvit.
Now ye of little faith would say “Fine so far, but whaddaya do now hot shot?”.
This is a very fair question, which I had of course posed to Mrs C some time back, and was assured that both she and Cheeky Monkey possessed the local knowledge of taxi drivers, and that no GPS would be required. And I believed her.
It couldn’t have been more than 400 metres and I hear “Turn left”.
The very next thing I hear is that peculiarly Thai expression of dismay and disappointment that accompanies the realization that we are going in the wrong direction.
I say “You have no idea where we are going do you?”. “She says, “No, not really”.
Bangkok has us now…..
Anyhooo…. after some hasty initial navigator training and much barking from me, we get it together, “If you need me go left lane, say LEFT LANE PLEASE! Loudly 200 metres BEFORE turn”. “Oh…my buddha…we nearly clipped that guy…!”. She yells.. “THERE There…”. “What… you mean go right lane quick…?”. “Yess..that what I mean…!”
We swerve across a coupla lanes and make it onto the motorway entrance.
Thankfully we are now pointing in the general direction of NE Thailand.
We travel in the CRV, which while very comfortable, needs a couple cracks of the whip to get to 120kph cruising speed, (its gasping at 140kph)... I ask Nut if car have USB and she looks everywhere and says “No only hab CD”. “Great… we have no CD”. So she cranks up the Ipad which is a very poor substitute for a hi end multi speaker integrated car stereo, particularly when I prepared a USB playlist last night for the trip. Anyways…we need to stop for Kin Kow and rest break, and Im getting used to the car so I decide to have a better look, Bingo! Flip up the panel in front of the passenger and there is the USB port. Nut has gone shopping, so Cheeky Monkey and I plug in the USB and crank up the music and resolve to act like nothing has changed. She comes back and I’m sure she noticed the Dash display changed, said nothing. After a few minutes we ask, “Notice anything?”, “Yes…”. “OK get USB, where is it?”. Looks franticly, No result. OK, repeat after me..”I can’t find anything”….OK, now “My husband is a genius”.
Whacks me right in the shoulder…owwww..!
Arriving Buriram about 4.00pm after passing all the seasonally overloaded sugar trucks along the way, I give the CRV about 8/10 as before we have had Jazz and Vios. Miss the Berlina though, could’ve done with that V6.
Straight into village and Kin Kow, as Mama get to work about ten minutes later Imm.. Maaak….
Can’t believe the contrast between here and busy Bangkok, all sorts of different bird noises, ones that go “Hoot Hoot” and are called Nok something…. and so many others
Lots of extended family and kids around now, cheeky monkey and sis are now cleaning fish and mama is cooking, best choice? Go inside and watch the Muay Thai on tv with the men. Fascinating game this, can be hard to see if red or blue have the upper hand, but all is revealed in the fourth or fifth round, lots of ceremony and very little shouting except by the audience that is.
Spot the deliberate mistake...
Got it yet...?
Thats right folks...only THREE legs...
Haven't got a computer desk...?
Nooo worries mate....
What to do later? Apparently we must go and see the ancestors, who have been promised some top shelf liquor, Marlboro cigarettes and a couple of whole barbecued chickens. So off we all go in the CRV with Nut holding a big plate with all the loot. Shortly after we are sitting at the edge of the road while Mama organizes all the divvying up, and lighting candles cigarettes etc. Then my phone rings, who can this be? Hire car place?, Hotel booking….? Nut answers, “Haloooo?....???....Hands me back the phone, ”I think is Fred Flintsone, for you..?!”.
Sure enough, it is “Fred Flintstone”, better known to all of us as Rivo, calling to say he is in Phuket! We have a brief chat as I explain where we are and promise to call him back later. And before you all go changing your avatars, I’ve got dibs on George Clooney.
Next we are off to Phanom Rung. The car is packed with family and lots of kids, including the luggage space (As you do on all the best trips) for a time out in the National Park which is Phanom Rung.
Buriram is fairly flat, so the best way to describe Phanom Rung is like a great big Ayers Rock , but with trees, and a lake at the bottom. Like all the temples in Thailand its built on the highest bit of the highest bit of land around, and yes, you can see for miles.
We climb all the way up and chase the kids around taking pictures as we go until the sun starts to set and we make our way back. With a carload of kids there are always surprises. As we took the turn out of the park and motored over the hill and crested the steep slope there was a loud collective “OOOOoooooohhhhh…..!!!!” Something we take for granted.
But from the back, it was as if we had driven off the edge of the world for those kids, absolutely priceless.
Today they are up early to go and see the decorations for the new Buddha place on Phanom Rung. Last night I took some pics of the work, and today we can see the finished article. We made our way up to the Temple with Mama, Sis, Aunty and kids. There was the offering, and we all took some gold leaf and put our names for prayer, we are allowed only one wish. There was a kind of MC guy there with the mike giving a commentary of proceedings about all the Buddha stuff as lots of people were coming and going and making offerings. He insisted on a couple of photos with the only farang for miles so I obliged him, even though I had to stoop down a bit to get in the photo frame.
Later, on the way back we paused at the roadside Temple for more offerings of Marlboro cigarettes and another bottle of top shelf totty as well.
Guess I’ll have to make do with the Sangsom.
That night we went back to see the new Temple completed with all the offerings and monks etc including the lucky new monk who gets this temple for life now
We have just bought another slice of Isaan, so today we went off to have a look at it.
It’s really not much to look at but it is a couple of good sized blocks of rice producing land. We don’t own land anywhere else, so I had this overwhelming urge to stand in the middle of it and tell anyone who would listen “Git orf moi Laaaand…!!”. Unfortunately, the two buffalo and a dog present weren’t that impressed.
Later got my haircut in the village 50Baht (Are you kidding?).
Elsewhere 200baht, Aussie? 750Baht.
I just cannot convey in words the pace, or the feeling of the last few days, except that it is the polar opposite of everything else I have experienced in Thailand. Down to earth people who are straightforward and friendly, without being imposing.
On the last day, somewhat reluctantly, we pack the CRV to travel back to Bangkok and then back to Australia. What with all the suitcases, two very large bags of rice and all manner of other produce for family in BKK, we set off, but not before Papa says how impressed he is with the vehicles load carrying capacity…
…An easy drive to BKK with the intention of dropping off Cheeky Monkey and about a years supply of food somewhere in Bang Na. The journey into and over BKK is more harrowing than the whole of the rest of the trip, but eventually we get everything into a local taxi and wave goodbye.
Later when we go to the airport everyone turns up to see us off, Sister number two, as well as Mr and Mrs Cheeky Monkey smiling as we wave goodbye at the security counter.
Thai airways to Phuket and then Virgin to Australia. Both flights provided food and drinks at no extra cost, and we even got near front row seats with just the two of us for the longer haul. Back to work? All too soon.