Another mobile photos of toilets in 2014-2015. Mostly in drinking around my neighbourhood in Bangkok, Phra Khanong, and also in some cities I’ve been: Yangon, Kuala Lumpur and Washington DC.
- 8 days: 26 July – 3 August
- 5 provinces: Udon Thani, Nong Kai, Phitsanulok, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son
- 2400 km travelled
- 5 modes: plane, rent car, train, mini van
- 591 photos
- 25 videos
- 73 Instagram posts
- 2 edited videos
- 10 blog posts:
One thing I could not really afford to miss in Si Chiang Mai, where I spent the first night of the trip was to run along the Mekong River. It was a nice way to explore the town. I used to come here on school breaks but had no memory about this place.
The first thing that struck me was the façades of the houses by the river. They were like time stamps of architectures such as temples, wooden and concrete shophouses.
I was told that the town used to be very busy because it was right opposite to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. People used to get across the vast river by ferry. But that slowly died out when the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge opened in the 90’s.
That could be one of the reasons why you could variety of house styles along the strip.
As the first destination of my travel this year, I went to Si Chiang Mai District in Nong Khai Province with my brother to spend sometime with our long lost father. We haven’t seen him for two decades or so. We lost contact a long time ago. I remember the last time we met. We were drinking together at an aunt’s. That was way before I decided to move to Australia.
All those years, I wondered where he was and even considered to seek for him as an ultimate life mission. But he found us first, with the help of a life insurance salesperson. It could be a good idea to pay him a visit. But this reunion might not be as easy as catching up with old friends over some drinks.
He was working overseas most of the time when I was a little kid. At eight, my parents were devoiced. Unlike my two brothers—six and seven years older than me—I didn’t really get to know him as much. There were fragments of memories of him but I could not put those pieces together and make sense of it. Surely, there was a father figure that has been missing in my life. It was a sense of a longing for something I have never had. This visit might help answer something in my head.
We met him and he took us to a restaurant by the Mekong River. We ended up with another one next to the motel he booked the rooms for us. My brother didn’t drink (he doesn’t at all), my father had some moderately (in my standard), and I binged (as usual).
As the night turned out, it was filled with the conversations that didn’t necessarily answer my quests. However, it became a revelation to me.
Metaphorically, there’s some ingredient missing in a traditional food when you live in another continent. You’d like to make it. By all means, you have to work around it without that ingredient. It may tastes different but you develop it into another thing that makes it you. And I’d like to think that my dish is now quite amazing without that ingredient.
I have been thinking too much of what if he would be around when I was growing up. Would be I like others with perfect family, whatever it is?
I thought I needed that component to resemble that traditional dish. But in reality, our minds have coped with it all along. I have already worked on my life with what I have and don’t. I have my own spice in my life to go on now. This event made me realise that my food is already yummy without it.
Now, that missing ingredient is back in my life. Honestly, I don’t know how to incorporate it with my life recipe I have been working on. That’s something I might have to work on it.
I’m having three weeks off work and about a week traveling in Thailand. Most of them I haven’t been for a very long time.
From Bangkok, I flew to Udon Thani Airport to meet my brother, which came on another flight from Don Muang Airport. We drove a rent car to Nong Khai to visit our father and stay the night in motel rooms he booked for us.
Original posted on Instagram, Good Night, Nong Khai
In morning, I got a chance to run and explore the small district by the Mekong River called Si Chiang Mai.
Original posted on Instagram, Morning Jog by the Mekong River
Original posted on Instagram, the End of Siam
While we were driving to see the father’s land, the weather was so nice with light rain. It made the rice paddy scenery so serene.
Original posted on Instagram, Rice Paddy and Farmers in Action
After we spend sometime with father, we drove back to Udon Thani. My brother dropped me off at a shopping mall where I hope to find a spot to wind down by myself and to get my way to the next stop, Phitsanulok.
Luckily, there was a bus station at the mall but it was in the evening. So have hours to kill. Hanging out in the shopping mall was not an ideal for me. It was pretty much the same as any mall in Bangkok.
Original posted on Instagram, I’m stuck in Udon Thani for hours and walking in a shopping mall isn’t part of the plan
There was a local street market which was much more interesting, especially, a Ferris wheel ride that hasn’t changed at all.
Original posted on Instagram, Local Market Is More Appealing
Original posted on Instagram, Ferris View
Then I spent half of the night on a coach. It arrived Phitsanulok around 1.30 am. My friend, a childhood friend, picked me up and took me a small hotel I could stay for a couple of nights.
Original posted on Instagram, Night Ride from Udon Thani to Phitsanulok
My first two nights were remarkable already.