Archive for the ‘Isaan Life’ Category

The Siamese Trail of Ho Chi Minh

HochiminhThe Siamese Trail of Ho Chi Minh is one of those mixed fact and fiction books that set me off.At the end of the day I end up not believing most of what is written.
Yes I am aware of Ho’s time in Siam and have visited a couple of those locations, but when the author talks about being able to see Phu Kieow from That Narai Chang Waeng I know he is either mistaken or fictionalizing.


Wat Pho Kham, That Phanom,Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, Buddhism

20130111_094824The Temple is located in Nam Kham village south of Thai Phanom and the Kham River. This is yet another of the isaan Mural temples from the Paper by Pairote Samosorn “E-sarn Mural Paintings” 1989. The paper sponsored by the Toyota Foundation is available as a bilingual book. Once again much like Wat Phra Si Mahapho in Mukdahan there is a “disconnect between what he describes and what is on the walls. At times I wonder if he actually visited some of the sites or were students sent to complete the survey? We have, once again, a wonderful example of an early 20th century ubosot. Unfortunatly, you need to see this one and many of the others soon as they are not being maintained to any standard and are deteriorating at a quick pace.

Chit Phumisak,Jit Phoumisak,Communists,Sakon Nakhon,Thailand

jitfirst posted in 2013. The other day the Bangkok Post one of Thailand’s Nearly English Language Dailies posted a story, Jit statue to go up next month. I have been familiar somewhat in the Free Thai Movement and the Communist happenings in Northeast Thailand for some time. Also I just found out I know some people who are members of the Jit Bhumisak Foundation. So living in Sakon Nakhon and interest for a number of reasons I beefed up my resaerch.
First of all the Posts states His anti-nationalist writings, which included a Thai translation of Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto, landed him in trouble with the regime of Marshal Sarit Thanarat, but fails to mention that the translation  was hired by the U.S. embassy to help assist William J. Gedney, an American linguist working in Thailand, to translate The Communist Manifesto into Thai (in an attempt to scare the Thai government into taking a tougher stance against communism).

46th Special Forces Camp, Nam Phung, Sakon Nakhon,Thailand

Larry and I had been communicating with Joe, a  Vietnam era veteran who was moving to Thailand for some time. Joe finally arrived in Thailand and got up to Sakon Nakhon, looking to visit the old camp. I knew right where it was having visited it before so off we went. On the North side of the reservoir is the old airstrip and the 2 marker to the south east shows the location of the camp, now utilized by the Thais and the airstrip.
With the help of Khun Prasit, long time friend and mentor we finally got access to the camp and a guide of some rank. We did get to the site of the old runway which was pretty much overgrown. Our guide also took us to the site of what he called the old clinic, which Joe pointed out was not the old clinic….


Free Thai Movement and More Heroes from Isaan, Northeast Thailand

mapHere I am forcing these old eyes to try to research more about the Free Thai Movement that took place in Isaan after the Thai  Government kissed Jap ass. Or as a Thailand’s Nearly English Language Dailies would say were forced to capitulate. one  of the names I am interested in, in relation to the free thai movement and communist movement in the 70s are mentioned,Khrong Chandawong,also mentioned Tieng Sirikhan whose name and likeness I have already come across in my searches.


Lam Pao Reservoir, Thepsuda Bridge, Kalasin, Thailand

Thepsuda Bridge, Lam Pao Reservoir, Kalasin, Isaan 15.11.11

A few 100m from the dedication site HRH Princess Theparattana Rajasuda Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (somdet prathep) will preside over the opening ceremony of the Thepsuda bridge, which has been in use in…Continue reading


Wat Lao St Petersburg Florida

Wat Lao Mixayaram, Saint Petersburg, Florida, Buddhism in the U.S.

I had gone down to Saint Petersburg to have a Vietnamese meal, but on arrival found that the restaurant was not at that location. Google maps is only as good as the people who update it. I had seen…Continue reading


Bangkok, Dubai, WashingtonDC, the Trip

breakfastFrom Bangkok to Dubai is a 6.5 hour trip, drop Dubai to WashingtonDC is 14 hours. At 68 years old it’s  a bugger, even on Emirates. Economy is economy even with free wine and beer. Dubai also has a transit hotel inside the international area, no going through customs, which I will probably try when on my own. I found the layover quite useful from both the physical as well as the mental points of view. The big shocker this trip has been the weather here, down near 0 Celsius is a bit of a shock coming from Thailand, but the apartment has heat, and we have plenty of warm clothing.


Phu Mu,Loeng Nok Tha,Mukdahan,Thailand and some VietNam era History and More

phu muBoth Phu Mu and Loeng Nok Tha Airstrip in Mukdahan, Thailand played a role during the Viet Nam War and while only remnants exist on Phu Mu the airstrip outside Loeng Nok Tha is still in use. I read what is available on the internet about OPERATION CROWN. And I found some recently updated information about Phu Mu- Leong Nok Tha online as well.
It is an interesting set of stories in itself and of course I had to go visit the sites myself. Looking at the photos from the 90s not much has changed on Phu Mu. The road is passable and potholed, it is probably the same road that the western engineers laid. Some nice views from the top. It is a narrow ridge so everything is sort of right there. For some reason I messed the swimming pool and could not find a Budweiser anywhere, but worth the trip