Thailand 2012, Day Seven

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Photos by MJ Klein – with FOOD PHOTOS!

UPDATE: I forgot that I had a video to add to this article!  It’s in the article at the appropriate place below.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

This was my last full day in Thailand on this trip.  I did not want to ride the motorcycle down to Phon, rent a car or take the bus.  So I decided to ride the train.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

This is my ticket to Muang Phon for later that afternoon, but first there was something else that I wanted to do before the train ride down south.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I rode the motorcycle down to the lake area because it had been so long since I had been there.  Remember, I used to visit Khonkaen several times a year, but now it’s more like once every 2 or 3 years.  This is a Chinese temple.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

But inside the gate there is a heavy Thai influence of course.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

We blogged on this place before.  As always, it looks immaculate.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I went looking for the PP Hotel, which is where Hui-chen and I have enjoyed many an evening eating delicious food and singing karaoke.  But it appears to be gone now, with this Honda dealership in it’s place.  Khonkaen sure has changed a lot since 2004 when I first visited.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I wanted to eat at the Roma Hotel, another place we’ve enjoyed over the years.  Lunch sounded like a good thing to me.  But when I got there, the place was deserted except for me.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

This is my lunch:

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

A delicious oyster dish

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

and some deep fried pork.  I had an enjoyable time with the place all to myself.  Years ago it would have been packed….

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Since I was going to take the train and not driving, I thought it might be a good opportunity to check out the local run, Sang Som because we’ve been drinking the export version in Taiwan.  I was surprised to find that the domestic version tastes a great deal better.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The outside of the liquor store.  I returned my motorcycle and took a tuk-tuk to the train station, where I arrived just as the train was in the station – perfect timing.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The train was full of friendly students on their way home!

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Many of these students come from far away and ride the train for more than an hour just to attend school in Khonkaen city.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

This student had on the train conductor’s hat.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

You can see the conductor standing in the background.  This student went around checking tickets and the other students had fun with it.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I noticed at several stations that new track was being laid.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Kids just being kids.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I happened to look out the window and saw something interesting….

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

A solar panel farm was under construction.  I cannot tell you anything about it though.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The train stopped at every little station along the way.  Ban Phai is about 1/2 way between Khonkaen and my destination, Muang Phon.  The train was running late but it didn’t seem to matter to anyone.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

More construction along the track.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

A brief shower cooled everyone down.  If you view this photo large, you can see the rain.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

No air conditioning in this train!  The cars were quite old.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Pulling into another station.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Just as it was really getting boring….

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

We arrived at Muang Phon – more than 30 minutes late!

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I waved goodbye to all the students.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

They were only too happy to wave back.  Thai people are very nice.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Muang Phon station.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I hired a tuk-tuk to take me to the Sabua Resort.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

To be honest, I did not recognize much of the scenery, because it had changed so much….

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Never saw this place before….

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

But this corner, I knew well at one time.  Here we take a right and cross the train tracks.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The ride down the highway toward the resort.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Local village roads….

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

My driver poses for a photo after dropping me off.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Wow, I cannot believe how much this place has grown up even more than ever!

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I don’t even recognize this building anymore!

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

No one was around so I went into the road and over to Dr. Su’s house.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The neighbors hadn’t seen me in years!

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The gate was locked so I walked around through the resort.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

My old wood smoker is still there, but it’s rapidly deteriorating.  I really wish I had time to use it on this trip.  The truth is, I will probably never get to use it again, unfortunately. 

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

This patio is new.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

And so is this building.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I don’t know what the building is, but it sure does look cool!

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The old kitchen where I used to hang out and cook some late-night snack, or daytime meals.  Hui-chen used to cook here too.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Finally this guy showed up.  His name is “M” and he now runs the resort.  After a few minutes he recognized me, commenting that I used to have a beard.  I asked him to locate Aunty for me and he made some calls.  He also called Dr. Su who told me that her husband Ben (Mr. Banchob) was now in Australia where Ben’s daughter was attending university, and that the Sabua Resort was now for salem since Dr. Su was building a new resort in Chiangmai.  I told her that I would come visit in Chiangmai the next time we came to Thailand.  Chiangmai has been on my list for a long time but I’ve never gone there (yet).

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Aunty’s son Michael appeared (sorry about the focus problem).

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

And then Aunty arrived!  Aunty used to really take care of me at the resort over the years.  She’s been a part of my life for quite some time, and I must have really missed her because my eyes welled up with tears when she appeared before me.  I gave her a great big hug.  We took a walk around the resort.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Aunty doesn’t speak English but we’ve always been able to communicate.  She showed me how much the vegetation has grown, and how different the resort looks now.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I used to stay in this room, back in the day.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

There are more chickens now….

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Actually I think I’ve stayed in every room in the resort over the years.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The sad part is that I didn’t have time to stay in the resort.  I would have to leave shortly.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Aunty showed me the yellow blossoms on all the trees.  Quite lovely.

But then, Mr. Somkhit’s driver came to pick me up, and we headed to the factory for our meeting.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I snapped this shot out of the window as we drove to the factory.  Phon is rapidly growing up and has changed since I first came here since 2005.

Oh well, I could reminisce all day.  Mr. Somkhit invited me to join him and his daughter for dinner at a BBQ place in Khonkaen.  I went back with them to Khonkaen and we went directly to the place.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Walking to our table I took a shot of this grill.  Something cooking over charcoal always gets my attention!

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Mr. Somkhit orders some dishes.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Ploy asks a few questions about the menu.  I just sat and waited.  Mr. Somkhit has never steered me wrong before!

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I liked the place a lot.  No frills, just great grilled food.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

For our readers who have never dined in Thailand, the baskets of cucumbers, scallions and coriander (cilantro) are standard issue for many meals.  So is the ice.  Also notice the sauces.  In Thai cuisine, sauces are very important.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The first dishes arrive.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The florescent lights didn’t help this dish look appetizing, but it certainly was!  The fresh mint on the top was perfect.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Perfectly grilled pork,

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

and beef.  It doesn’t get any better than this.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Another deliciously spiced dish.  I never get tired of Thai food!

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

A nice papaya salad.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

This dark soup was rich and flavorful.  It’s difficult for me to describe the complex flavors.  The simplicity of grilled meat paired with these side dishes was perfect.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Mr. Somkhit took us in the car to another place for a famous dessert.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

All these ingredients look great!

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

But I had no idea what we were getting….

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

This is it.  Or at least part of it.  Fresh mango over sweet rice with some crunchy stuff on the top.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

This is the rest of the desert – coconut milk with salted egg and some other stuff I couldn’t put together.  It certainly was unique and although I didn’t care for the salted egg, I was glad to have tried this dessert.  Now, if I can only find this place again!

After that, Mr. Somkhit dropped me off at the Number 1 Bar and later I walked back to my room.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The last time I was in Khonkaen I took Michael Turton and Michael Cannon to this place to watch some girls sing karaoke.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

I was too tired to go inside, so I just took advantage of the D7000’s high ISO capability to shoot some photos.

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

Thailand 2012, Day Seven

The perfect end to the day was this ladyboy who agreed to pose for a photo.

Whew!  We just reviewed over 90 photos!  There is one more day in this series, and even though it’s not so eventful, I do have a few things to show you before this one comes to a close.  Thanks for reading.  Be sure to leave us your comments below!

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8 comments

  1. Hi MJ, looks like it was an interesting visit. I liked KK, it was my first (short) time to the city and would return to see the things I missed.

    I’m not into trains, but your trip appeared to be scenic and amusing 😉 I accidentally deleted your comment off my blog…fumble fingers 🙁
    Snap´s last post ..Road Trip – Pak Chong to Khon Kaen

    1. hi Snap. i’m not so enamored with Thailand trains either, having spent more than 9 hours on a rambling, non-aircon train from BKK to KKH. but on this occasion i was looking for something different than the bus and i knew it was a short ride. the small bottle of Sangsom helped me to pass the time! lol i’ll see if i can remember what i wrote and re-submit my comment on your blog! thanks Snap.

  2. Always enjoy your travels and meals. I had phab thai with chicken for lunch today. It was very good. No spices as cannot handle those on an old stomach.

    1. hi Carolyn. that sounds good, but it’s too bad you can’t enjoy the spice. personally, i’d be inclined to take the risk, hehe. take care.

        1. oh, the PP Hotel and restaurant. i did find the physical spot where it should have been, and i was rather shocked to see a Honda dealership in it’s place. had some good memories there for sure. one of the first times i went to the restroom there was an attendant there who put a cool cloth on my neck as i stood at the urinal doing my business. at first i did not realize what he was doing (he didn’t say a single word) and my natural reaction was not pleasant! the hotel itself was rather nondescript but not a bad value for the baht. thanks Stefan.

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