Khonkaen Streets

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Photos by MJ Klein

As you probably know by now, Hui-chen and I went back to Thailand for a quick business trip.  Of course, we took lots of photos and will present you with several new articles about our travels there.  This first article is about street scenes in the city of Khonkaen, deep in the heart of Isaan country.

Khonkaen Streets

We stayed at the Tamarind Residences as we have many times before.  Not much has changed since our last visit there.

Khonkaen Streets

We got a few hours sleep and then went out in the early afternoon.  These are a couple of restaurants directly across the street from the driveway of the Tamarind Residences.

Khonkaen Streets

No one was more surprised than we were to find an elephant right across the street as we left the driveway!  Normally elephants are taken out at night when the air and the road surfaces are cooler.  In fact, Hui-chen and I haven’t seen elephants in Khonkaen since sometime in 2006 when the police ran the owners out of town.  As it was explained to me, with the economy on the down side as it is, people are doing “whatever they can” to earn money and hence, the elephant handlers are back.  Notice the man walking in front, holding up a bag.  That is food for the elephant.  The handlers make money selling food so tourists can feed the elephant.  We don’t support this practice because we believe that the elephants should be in the forest and not in the city.

Khonkaen Streets

On the next block is this art shop that always has paintings and photographs on display outside.

Khonkaen Streets

We’re walking towards the “aircon” bus station, with Hui-chen out front.

Khonkaen Streets

Detouring slightly off the main road to show you what the local taxi’s look like, these are “tuk-tuks” – so named because of the sound they make.

Khonkaen Streets

On the corner where the bus station is located, is an outdoor noodle restaurant.

Khonkaen Streets

I really like the light trees on the left.  At night they look nice all lit up.  This is another Khonkaen hotel and night spot.

Khonkaen Streets

Hui-chen and I were very happy to see the #1 Bar again.

Khonkaen Streets

Virtually nothing has changed at the #1 Bar, except staff members.  It’s hard to keep good people working in the bars and restaurants.  It’s a cultural thing, apparently.

Khonkaen Streets

I featured this new housing development in an article about the last time we were in Khonkaen.  They are still completely empty.

Khonkaen Streets

Most buildings have their own step-down transformers for electrical power.

Khonkaen Streets

And most streets have a virtual rat’s nest of wiring overhead.  I’d hate to be the one who has to work on anything here!

Khonkaen Streets

Relaxing in front of the store….

Khonkaen Streets

We saw this purple dog in front of a paint shop.  She’s been airbrushed apparently.

Khonkaen Streets

In Taiwan, the gas bottles are carried a bit differently by (on) motor scooters.  This method seems a lot safer.

Khonkaen Streets

A bakery that we enjoy visiting.  This bakery isn’t so different from bakeries in Taiwan.

Khonkaen Streets

Wherever there is lots of foot traffic, you can find someone set up to sell something.

Khonkaen Streets

There are lots of stores, and not many empty storefronts.  The economy sure looks good from outward appearances in Khonkaen.

In our next article, we’re going to visit the remote area of Phon where we visited a factory.

Thanks for reading.  Be sure to leave us your comments and a rating!

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9 comments

  1. MJ, great post on Khon Kaen. I too cannot tell peope who come to Thailand to never feed the elephants, don’t support the cruelty.

    That dog, WTF were they thinking. too much Thai whiskey 🙂

    Even here in Ubon it seems at the moment the bad economic times hasn’t affected too many people. In the larger cities there has been many factories that have closed.

    The electrical wiring is something I have never seen in any other country. I can still remember standing in Silom many years ago with some mates and we were watching sparks coming from an unbelievable birds nest of tangles.

    MJ, there are some housing developments here in Ubon that have built 20 or 30 small houses and none have sold. Also small walk ups are built and remain empty.

    I am looking forward to your next post

    Bruntys last blog post..A Double Birthday Celebration, Isaan Thailand.

    1. Brunty, we are in agreement on the elephant issue. that dog was crazy! she didn’t seem to mind though.

      i wouldn’t want to be an electrical worker in Thailand, that’s for sure!

      when i see all those new houses, i always think “who’s going to live there?”

      thanks Brunty.

  2. Notice how the electrical posts are square shaped instead of round. I noticed that when I was in Thai a few years ago and when asked the locals, they told me it was to prevent snakes from climbing up. Apparently snakes can climb round posts and not square ones. Don’t know if there’s any validity to that. Should ask the Thai guys next time. But then again, looking at their wiring work, snakes would be the least of their problems.

    1. now that’s very interesting, Andre. i’m going to have to ask my Thai friends about that one! i never saw any snake in the downtown areas, only the village. but that could explain why those poles are square. i thought it was just easier to make and use a square concrete mold than a round one. thanks Andre.

  3. I’ll have to see if I can find this e-mail that someone sent to me sometime ago. I “guess” it had pics taken in India (it said something about… this is where your tech support phone calls are ansswered) and the rats nest of wires was a LOT worse than what you took a picture of in Thailand. You would think with the damage that can be done from snow/ice storms (well… maybe not there), hurricanes.typhoons, and so on… that more places would put that wiring underground.

    OK… I have to say that I’ve NEVER seen any size tank or any type of gas transported like that around here. You said… “this method seems a lot safer”. To me… that souldn’t seem safe at all.

    mike01905s last blog post..Red Sox Game 01

    1. there are lots of those types of emails floating around. normally i don’t keep them because as a traveler, i’ve already seen most of the stuff that those emails think is weird or strange about another culture. there aren’t any ice storms in Thailand or India to worry about, as you indicated.

      in Taiwan, the gas people put tanks of gas horizontally across the back on a special bracket to hold them. i’ll have to see if i can get a snapshot of one for you.

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