Loei, An unexpected Journey Part I
|Morning in Chiang Khan|
Dec 21, 2012, 2000 hrs. About forty old folks, majority women gathered in mass front of an obscure village in what appears to be dooms day mass suicide. Meeting together next to very busy Wongsawang road, they will fling themselves into the path of oncoming trucks and buses. That would be what fanatics of Dec 21 2012 driving by would perceive. No, no bloody ordeal followed. That was just a congregation of village folks for yet another budget tour, organized by themselves, a 1,500 Baht I paid. To northern Thailand, Chiang Khan we headed on an aging ten wheeler coach. I was summoned to be on this journey by my girlfriend’s mum. We must do good, we were going tamboon.
Although there are several attractions in Loei such as Phu Ruea, staying put in a resort in one of these provinces would result in doing nothing except binge drinking which is inherently part of the Thai culture. Attractions are sprinkled here and getting to them requires driving and most essentially, time. Some of these spots which I speak of are only most impressive in winter mornings. When the air is heavy the fog will be aplenty blanketing lowlands, peaks of mountains hovering in misty white. Timing is crucial so the normal itinerary should to be at heights in the early morning for sunrise and fog, to be frolicking in pastures of yellow flowers towards noon when the sky cast her deepest blue and whitest clouds. And after lunch the temples, the others picture posing spots to endorse I-had-been-there and then the waterfalls could follow towards evening so that shots of white flows contrasting on dark rocks and deep green flora could be achieved. Timed right, one should reach Chiang Khan in the night and enjoy the cool walk along the night market enjoying hot after dinner coffee and maybe the beer along Mekong river. We, however did none of that, organizers screwed up the itinerary, totally, really depressing, oh I so disappointed this time round.