Khonkaen Nights

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Photos by MJ Klein – with a few food photos….

On our first night back in Thailand, Hui-chen and I took a walk around at night and I took some night shots – my favorite photographic work (besides shooting models).

Khonkaen Nights

This is Namuang Road, just outside of The #1 Bar, previously blogged about.  We’re going to take a walk down that side road with the blue light.

Khonkaen Nights

Which leads us to the famous Chaipat Hotel – a place where we’ve stayed many times.  The Chaipat has a karaoke lounge in the basement with some interesting characters to say the least.

Khonkaen Nights

Around the corner to the left is Seven’s Corner Bar owned by our friends Nigel and Gigi.  This is one of our favorite places in Khonkaen.

Khonkaen Nights

Seven’s Corner has an interesting look to it, and it’s open along 2 sides which give it an open feeling.  The building comes to a point at the corner.  We’re going to continue walking down the road to the right.  That’s Hui-chen sitting at the far left edge of this photograph.

Khonkaen Nights

Walking down the road next to Seven’s Corner Bar we are heading to Sir Chant Road, which gets renamed to “Sticky Rice Road” during the Thai New Year celebration.

Khonkaen Nights

I thought I would show you a building that was started many years ago, but hasn’t been worked on since, because of a water dispute between this building owner and the neighboring owners.

Khonkaen Nights

This is the intersection with Sir Chant Road.  Directly across the street is a shortcut to many interesting places.  What I like about Khonkaen is that everything is accessible via these shortcut roads so you can walk practically anywhere in just a few minutes.  In a moment we’re going to cross the street and go down this shortcut and take a right turn.  Please note that this is the place where I’ve geotagged this article for viewing on our map page.

Khonkaen Nights

This is the scene down Sir Chant Road to the right of where the last photo was taken.

Khonkaen Nights

Sir Chant Road to the left.

Khonkaen Nights

Around the corner to the right, past the Kosa Hotel.

Khonkaen Nights

Continuing down the road….

Khonkaen Nights

We find the Kosa Steak House which is new since we were last in Khonkaen.  Note that I’m not using flash in any of these photos.  This scene is so well lit up because of the shopping complex diagonally across from it.

Khonkaen Nights

A few more meters down the road and I turned around to photograph that shopping complex I just mentioned.  The Kosa Steak House is on the right out of sight in this perspective.

Khonkaen Nights

Walking past the Kosa Steak House and then Leo’s we’re going to take a look to the left….

Khonkaen Nights

This is one of my favorite little strips in Khonkaen.

Khonkaen Nights

The D’Lite is where I made my musical debut in Khonkaen, and where I met my friend First. The Pomodoro is an Italian restaurant with what is probably the only real pizza oven in the city – imported from Italy by the owner.  The pizza is super-thin crust and really good.

Khonkaen Nights

Continuing down past the Sofitel we come to one of Khonkaen’s many gates spanning across the road.

Khonkaen Nights

Standing at the intersection under the gate, this is the view to the left.

Khonkaen Nights

At one time this was a very hopping place.  In 2005 I was staying around the corner at the PP Hotel (real name!) and I hung out at the club with the red neon lights at the left.  It was an entirely different place back then.  Directly afross the street on the corner was the 60 Bar.  I spent many evenings sitting outside at the 60 Bar surrounded by hundreds of people talking and drinking.  Now this once busy corner is dull and boring.  It makes me wonder how/why successful, busy places go under….

Khonkaen Nights

Continuing down the street, we pass the Rad, one of the larger clubs featuring go-go dancers and a dance hall under one roof.

Khonkaen Nights

This is a Vietnamese restaurant buffet where we’ve eaten many times before.  The layout has changed but people tell me the owner and the food is the same as before.  We didn’t eat there on this trip.

Khonkaen Nights

We turned left at the Vietnamese restaurant and ended up on the “night market road” as we call it.  The “Bar-B-Q Hut” isn’t actual barbeque of course.   The fenced-in area to the right is where the Marina (aka Sohub) used to be.  The Marina was one of the best places in Khonkaen and always had 2 great bands plus a singer every night.  The food was cheap and the menu was great.  I’m shocked to see it gone now.

Khonkaen Nights

You never know what you’re going to find walking down the street in Khonkaen, and this outdoor restaurant is a good example.  Things like this make it interesting.

Khonkaen Nights

Similar to Taiwan, but with distinctly different food, there are lots of street vendors.  Taiwanese will recognize some of the food items, but not all of them.

Khonkaen Nights

Typically there is no English whatsoever, and rarely is there Chinese.  Most street vendors can understand a few words like “fried rice” but don’t count on it.  Pointing, sign language or a Thai friend, helps.

Khonkaen Nights

Thais like their bugs and you can find them in many places.

Khonkaen Nights

We found ourselves at the end of the block and at the perpetual Khonkaen night market.

Khonkaen Nights

We decided to check out the night market and get something to eat.  This market has food on the left and other items on the right (well, left/right depends on which side you enter the market).

Khonkaen Nights

These night markets aren’t quite the same as what we find in Taiwan, but they are entertaining just the same.

Khonkaen Nights

It’s frustrating, with nothing written in a language you can comprehend.  The problem is, unless someone is eating a dish that you’d like to try, there isn’t much to point at to indicate what you want, as much of the stuff is behind the counter out of sight.

Khonkaen Nights

This is what we got for dinner.  We got different types of chicken dishes, including soup and the vegetables shown to the right for about 80baht.

Khonkaen Nights

After that it was time to go home.  We took a tuktuk back to the Tamarind Residences.

Khonkaen Nights

Khonkaen Nights

Be sure to get the price for the ride up front before you get into the tuktuk.  I had to hang the D80 out the side to get these shots because tuktuks are too small for me to see out of!

We hope you enjoyed seeing Khonkaen at night.  It’s a great place to have fun and meet interesting people.

Thanks for reading!

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4 comments

    1. Turton » hey man, just make sure you make it here on October 25 or there will be a lot of upset people! i’m going back to T’land after CNY. the seat next to me is still open ;).

  1. What more can i ask for MJ. Food,travel,experience and plenty of fun as your blog subtitle says 🙂 All your night shots turns out pretty good as I see here and many other articles you wrote before. Do you use a tripod or all of them are hand-held? ISO? Would love to hear more on that as most of my night shots turns out terrible.

    Ashishs last blog post..A long weekend in Sanxia

    1. Ashish » thanks for the compliments 🙂 the night shots that i show are of course, only the best ones. i’ve taken plenty of bad shots (both night and day) but the main aspects that allow my night shots to work at all are:

      1. Nikon’s auto-ISO capability, which adjusts the ISO up to 1600 automatically, as necessary, when shutter speeds drop below a user-selected point.
      2. My Sigma Optical Stabilizer lens.

      all those shots are hand-held. there is a technique to hand holding to make your shots as stable as possible. we’ll talk about it in person next time i see you.

      thanks Ashish!

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