Visiting Khon Kaen

Trip Start Oct 15, 2009
Trip End Dec 15, 2013

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Where I stayed
Pullman Khon Kaen Raja Orchid
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Thailand  ,
Monday, November 16, 2009

Mark and David arrived yesterday. I took a hotel room for them at the BKK Airport Novatel for 4 hours before our flight to Khon Kaen. They were grateful for the shower and nap after the very long trip from New Hampshire, via, Boston, Los Angeles, Taipai and finally Bangkok. Khon Kaen is in Isaan in Northeastern Thailand. Sumalai is from a rural rice farming village about 30 kilometers from there. There is a wedding party planned for Wednesday in her village. We have never been to the Northeast in Thailand. I planned a few days for the family for jetlag and sightseeing.

Sumalai's twin sister, Sumalee, nicknamed Aa, drove us to our hotel last night.  She picked us up this morning for a visit to the Khon Kaen Museum and to the unusual 9 story Wat (Buddhist Temple). We enjoyed the museum of Isaan life and people, and the temple too. We climbed to all nine floors and the view from the top was quite nice.  The wood carving, murals and paintings in the Wat are a testimony to the local artists who make them! David especially found it very interesting.

We are staying at the Pullman Raja Orchid Hotel. It is reputed to be the best hotel in Khon Kaen. The rooms we have are very spacious and comfy and the service is attentive. There are at least 3 or 4 greeters to open the doors and Wai us each time we enter or exit the hotel. That makes me feel a little funny. But the hotel is working out fine. We are taking time to relax and get ready for Noah and Sumalai's wedding party.

Visiting Khon Kaen is a different experience from Bangkok. Few foreign tourists come here. There are farang business people but not so many. The earnest help at the hotel are not so fluent in English as in other parts of Thailand. I am actually happy for the opportunity to speak Thai. It is understandably easier to learn here than by myself in New Hampshire with only Noi, (my teacher) to speak with. But Mark and David do seem intimidated and have not ventured very far by themselves.
That said, they are still jetlagged from the long trip over. Khon Kaen is uncongested and relatively quiet and is a good place for R & R.
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