Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pak Chong District

This weekend, we took a short trip Northeast of Bangkok to the Pak Chong District where we found the Phu Pimarn Resort (poo pimon) nestled in the mountains. Our plans to walk in the nearby Khao Yai national park were thwarted by the rains that peppered our day, so we hung out in our room waiting for the rain to stop and the corporate dinner that brought us there to begin.

Where's WaldoThe dinner event was something to see. We've been to a few of these now and the consistent feature of all of them is VOLUME. They have great sound systems in Thailand that provide a low distortion experience no matter how much they crank up the decibels. This night's event was a variety show entirely in Thai so my evening was spent people watching and trying to keep count of the Thai words that I could pick out of the entertainment. Still we made a productive evening out of the whole thing by chatting with a couple of expats and some very gracious Thais that stopped by to translate a little for us. One of the Thais explained that of the three people pictured here, one was a famous male Thai rock star, one was a very good female singer and the third was another guy. Can you find the two men in this pic? Gives a whole new perspective to the “Where’s Waldo” game.

garden viewThe garden area of the resort is very well done. Lots of folks were out taking pictures when the rain subsided. I took a few myself, and one that I labeled "the end of Eden" shows the edge of the property in its more natural state which provided a striking contrast from the manicured plantings on site. You’ll have to go to my photo album if you want to see that one.

CowboyOn our way home the next day we stopped by Farm Chokchai an 8000 acre dairy farm that is the largest in Southeast Asia. In addition to their farming operations, Chokchai has a thriving tourist industry in which they offer tours of the farm including the dairy, ice cream factory, feedlots, pastures and "genuine wild west show." The tour was surprisingly long. Even though we started our trip at 9:40, we didn't finish until noon. Now that's a long time to ride around a farm.

rope trickWe made it back to Bangkok in time to clean up and head out for the annual St. Andrews Society Charity Ball downtown. An evening full of kilted men and Irish Scottish dancing kept us out until 2:00 AM during which time we were befriended by Duncan. Duncan chatted us up and asked us how we were enjoying Thailand in a heavy brogue that has survived his nineteen years living in Bangkok. He was hilarious as he told us about his kilt and admitted that he would never dress that way in his native Scottland, but that here in Bangkok it felt perfectly natural.

Such are the characters that find us as we stumble about this strange new world. Take a look at some pics at my photo album, but don't expect any of the ball. For some reason I neglected to take my camera, a mistake that I will probably not repeat.


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