So, what did you do for New Year ? I had a quiet one, headed up to Ubon Ratchathani province with the GF for a few days with her family. Most of which was spent eating sticky rice and other assorted Issaan food, washed down by a copious quantity of Sangsom rum (although it is usually called whiskey in Thailand!).
New Year is often the only time when Thais get enough time off work for a family get-together, so the roads, trains and planes are packed before and after the holiday period ….a warning, don’t even THINK about driving in Thailand over New Year (or Songkran) as the roads are full of idiots in a hurry to get somewhere no matter what the conditions. Once again this year’s road toll was horrendous.
We flew up a couple of days early, returning yesterday and thus avoided most of the holiday crush.
On New Years Day everybody was up early to go give alms to the monks at one of the local temples, except the monks had a prior appointment at the local town offices where all the bigwigs also gave them offerings, before returning to the temple for a second course. The monks get fed VERY well at New Year ! Another day many of the family got up very early again and headed to a nearby village to consult with a fortune-teller about the coming year. I went along for the ride but while they were listening to the mumbojumbo I went for a stroll and took these 2 photos of the village wat (temple). And tried to wish an ancient old lady “Happy New Year” to no avail, I’m sure my Thai is not THAT bad that she could not understand suk-san-wan-pii-mai so perhaps she just spoke the Issaan dialect ?
The quiet, slow village life is OK for a few days but after a week of being woken at dawn by the roosters, squat toilets and luke warm “showers’ from a bucket I was ready to return to the Big Smoke….I’m not yet ready to move there permanently, unlike a friend of mine who is.
Next week I am off for a week of snorkelling in the Mergui Islands of Myanmar which should be good fun. Get ready for yet more underwater photos !