Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
Trip End Nov 29, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of Thailand  , Maha Sarakham,
Saturday, November 7, 2009

Today I went with O, Nan, their two dogs (Da-Wan and Yuro), Fei-Li, and six exchange students from China on a sightseeing trip to another province. We headed out around 9 and stopped en route to pick up breakfast from a roadside vendor. Nan bought everyone something called Sai Mai - crepes filled with spun sugar (like cotton candy). Not the healthiest breakfast in the world but it was awesome.

Our first stop was O's family's chicken farm in the Chiang Yuen District of the Maharasarakham Province. Her parents welcomes us into their home, fed us watermelon, and invited us to walk around the chicken farm. They have many, many, many chickens - around 2000 of them - and every morning, her mom goes to the wholesale market to sell the eggs for that day.  We dropped Da-Wan and Yuro off with O's parents, then hit the road for our next stop - Koh Sam Phi Park. We bought some bananas and headed into the park to see the monkeys. They swarmed over the van, climbing onto the windshield and reaching through the windows. We decided to get out of the van so that we could get better photos of the monkeys.By alternating banana-tossing with picture-taking, I was able to get great closeups of the monkeys without ever having a monkey touch me.  O wasn't quite as fortunate - a monkey snatched a plastic bag right out of her hand, but fortunately it didn't make contact with her skin - just with the plastic bag. We all jumped back into the van when we started running out of food and we closed the door. Monkeys were everywhere - on the roof of the van, on the rear view mirror, under the van, everywhere. It was an incredible experience - I'm so happy I had a chance to see the monkeys up close. It was kind of sad, though - the park wasn't well maintained and there was trash (plastic bags, bottles, etc) everywhere. As we were driving through the park, we saw a dead baby monkey in the grass next to the road. The monkeys were clearly extremely hungry...seeing them have to beg for food was a bit depressing.

After the monkey park, we headed to "Pizza Company," a restaurant in downtown Mahasarakham. It was a lot like a Pizza Hut, only cheaper and with stranger pizza toppings. The veggie pizza had corn and pineapple - yum! After we ate, we window shopped in the Sermthai Shopping Center, then went to Lotus (a grocery store) to pick up toiletries for the group. Afterwards, we headed back to O's parents' house to pick up the dogs.

We headed back to Khon Kaen, dropped the dogs off at O and Nan's apartment, and stopped at Big C (like Target) to do some grocery shopping for the week. Then we headed to the night market to meet O's parents so that she could pick up a piece of paperwork she'd forgotten earlier in the day.

After I headed back to the dorm, I answered email and worked on the proposal a bit until around midnight.
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