Thursday, 14 August 2014


So the teeth were fixed, new and looking great, time to get out of this crazy town...  oh wait, Danca is back again after going home for his 26 day work roster!  Once again we hired a car and headed out into Isaan to explore some more. 

Our first long day in the car took us through outback Thailand and back to Timeout Fishing Park for a quick hello, the place looked quite rundown and Ludo, the owner, was back in Norway working.

Late in the afternoon the call was made to spend the night in Surin at the Maneerote Hotel, a  decent place and great value at 450 bt ($15), plus they have a good coffee shop in the lobby.  After check in and a well needed shower we hit the town, I should probably add that there were 4 of us, with Danca and I finding ourselves no longer single!  He has been seeing his girlfriend for a while and I happened to meet a nice girl, Noi, who is sitting with me now on a bus in Malaysia as I type, but more on that later!

We happened across a Surin 'Go Go Bar' and went inside for curiosity's sake, not much to report except a bored looking girl in a bikini, half heartedly swaying back and forth on the 'stage'!  Oh well, the drinks were super cheap and we can add it to the list of things we have now seen in Thailand!  

We didn't stay long though and soon found a reggae joint, JahBar, with great live music, friendly staff, ridiculously cheap drinks and a general feel good vibe to the whole place.  Well worth stopping in if you happen to be in town.

The next day we drove out Phanom Rung Historical Park to check out the 700-1000 year old site.  I have to say, I was impressed by this one, definitely worth a visit, I love the history and architecture in places like this, coming from a country that really has no ancient buildings, ruins, temples etc, I find it amazing to be standing on something that was built up to a thousand years ago, it's incredible.
It was now early afternoon and we were off to Buriram for the night, passing a specialist Cowboy Hat manufacturer of all things along the way?!  Weird, but very little surprises me in Thailand anymore!  Having found a great room again, Lake View Place, for another whopping $15 and getting scrubbed up we hit the streets. 
There was a great little local market, surprisingly very little food on sale here, which is odd for a Thai street market, more clothes and knick knacks.   There seemed to be a fair amount of nightlife here and we checked out a few places, before heading back to the room for a slightly early night.

  That was until we decided to stop in for '1 last drink' at the little place right next to the hotel.  Well, we should have just gone there earlier, finally we had found a place with a pool table plus it just seemed like a really chilled place to sit and chat while enjoying a  small bottle of whiskey.   All in with mixers, bottle and ice, for 4 people to relax for an hour the bill came to around $12!

Back on the road the next day took us to
Saraburi, Noi's hometown, where we stopped in to see her sister and newborn boy.  The family house is a fair way out of town, hidden in a labyrinth of tiny back roads and right on the Saohai River, the water’s edge a mere 3 minute walk from her place and apparently home to plenty of Pla Suwai (striped catfish).  May test that theory next trip!

Before actually arriving in Saraburi, we stopped in at
Nam Tok Chet Sao Noi (Waterfall of seven small girls), it had looked nicer in the pictures, but i think the water level was low and is still worth a visit.  

Take some food and set up on the banks of the stream, have a swim and relax, a great way to spend a couple of hours or more and best of all, free!  We briefly explored the surrounding areas before making our way to Saraburi, not far away.

We were supposed to stay for the night, but made a late call to head back to Pattaya to get our gear organized, with Danca and I heading off on the same day, him flying back to Australia, Noi and I jumping an overnight train to Arau, Malaysia. 

 It was only a short trip but we both agreed it had felt like a week and how nice it was to get out of the madness of Pattaya, yes it's good fun briefly, but if it wasn't for good mates living there i probably wouldn't stop in. 

Phanom Rung Historical Park

Cute pups at temple

Ummm..  silly farang and monks?

Folks in Buriram are CRAZY about their soccer team, this stadium is huge

Nam Tok Chet Sao Noi,  near Saraburi