The Bueng Kan roadtrip was a pleasant few days, with a few exceptions. One exception being the drive down the Mekhong River road connecting Ban Phaneng to Ban Chaiburi in Nakhon Phanom. I hadn’t travelled the rout in more than 10 years and in that time the only thing that is happened is that a derelict road had become more so. But, like in much of rural Isaan one can always find that hidden gem. I often read about the Thai Government’s announcement of recycling or energy recovery schemes, but seldom see them working.
Archive for the ‘Isaan Moment’ Category
I’ve been driving the Blue Highways of Isaan for more than 20 years now and for all those years I have heard each and every Thai government bloviate abot fixing the roads. And for 20 years I have watched the potholes disappear, for a short time only to return bigger and badder than ever. The road pictured in the video has been recently “repaired”. In true Thai style most of the money for these repairs go into pockets and not into the material and equipment to do a proper reair job. Instead of properly cleaning and edging the hole it gets a rudimentary sweep and usually gets filled with a tarry gravel and sort of packed in.
Sean and I were coming back from Southeast DC caught in Saturday traffic when I decided it was time to once again go live and twitcast from the mean streets of Americas capitol.
It seemed it was the day for funerals and the need to make detours became evident.
After a 20 some year absence I had no sense of direction while Sean expertly wove his way through the side streets and lanes of the district
So below is an Isaan Moment on the streets of Washington DC, back twitcasting live.
To my mind this bridge and it’s background is the most photogenic of the bridges that have gone across the Mekong in the past 20 some years. The lush treelined bank with the Karst mountains in the background provide a picturesque scene even on an overcast day. The long approach makes dramatic panoramas as well as photospheres. The entire length of road 212 from Nong Khai to Nakhon Phanom, about 300 plus kilometers used to be single lane. The rout while a bit longer is a bit less hectic than the drive from Nong Khai to Udon, then on to Sakon Nakhon and to NKP.. As I have documented over the years there is plenty to see in do in the area, but, unfortunately the town has fallen in the shodow of Mukdahan 100 kilometers down river in my opinion. I will show the rest of the drive in town and along the river in a soon to come post.
This time of year a roadtrip can be more dangerous than usual and the start of a long weekend especially so. Departing Sakon Nakhon at about 0530 the sky looked okay so I decided that the Phu Phan route would be okay and it was until a bit more than 30 kilometers before Somdet in Kalasin, where it went pear shaped. The sky gat darka nd heavy fog set in. Thai drivers seem to think using headlight is expensive as they are very slow to turn them on. They also do not understand things like wet conditions and solid yellow lines. The long weekend put about 10 times the normal traffic on that road and if it would have been the same conditions in Somdet, Kalsin I would have pulled over as their are plenty of crashes on the road from there to Kalasin even in good weather.So here is the 2 minute or so twitcast of the phu phan in the fog…
I have been posting today about the wind and the cold in That Phanom, along the Mekong River in Thailand today and it is no joke it has gone right chilly. Reminds me of the old,old days when floods and winds wrecked havoc through the region.
Anyhow to prove my point I shot a short twitcast for you to check out and even the bird has escaped the scene.
I do hope this stops soon as it will not hope those folks looking for diners this evening
It happens periodically throughout the year. Generally the only warning is the sound of the blower heading your way. If it is so safe why is the guy wearing a breathing apparatus? Most people cover up food in the open and some do not. It beats me if the stuff does any good or not as the mossies are usually still around the next evening. Actually I think it kills off the weak ones and at the end of the day makes for a stronger family of mosquitos in the neighborhood
This morning the Chinese Community near Wat Phra That Choeng Chum did what goes on on a daily bais, but more ceremoniously for auspicious days, they sai baht, or filled the monks bowls.
I have been phographing Chinese events in Isaan for more than 15 years now and 1 of the things I enjoy most is how punctual they are. Normally Thai events are early if they start only 15 minutes late and I have seen people left waiting in the hot sun more than an hour, waiting for a so called VIP. I have also seen the Chinese Thai start on time VIP or not and the rather embarrassed arrival of said VIP after the event has started. Anyhow here is an Isaan Live, shot live and twitcasted live moment from Sakon Nakhon