Thanakorn Family Day Trip

Trip Start May 03, 2010
Trip End Oct 18, 2011

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

One day while I was having lunch with Meaw, my boss's assistant, she said that her parents and nieces and nephew were coming down to visit for the week and invited me to come on a day trip over the weekend with her and her family to Ratchaburi.  I knew her sister, Jeab, who works at the hair salon next to our office and her brother, Dej, who works for another department at AIT, and since I'd never been to Ratchaburi, about two hours outside of Bangkok, I accepted looking foward to getting out of Bangkok and meeting Meaw's parents.

That Sunday I took a van to Future Park where she picked me up with her mom, her niece and her nephew and we were off.  Meaw's dad, sister, and sister's husband were following in a truck behind us.  Our first destination was her friend Tiim's house, where they had just built a new extension overlooking the Tha Jiin River.  When we arrived, Tiim, Tiim's sister and Tii'm's mother had prepared a huge feast for us.  In customary Thai style, they set the plates of food on the floor in the center of the porch and we all sat in a circle around the plates, selecting bites of our choice with our own plates of rice to eat.  They were all very surprised that I was willing to sit on the ground with them, as foreigners don't usually do that (we like chairs and tables and shit, ya know).  So yeah, I'm pretty much a local by now. 

One thing I've definitely realized is that when you come to Thailand, you need to get with the Thai program.  This includes family style meals that are sometimes enjoyed while sitting on the floor.  I rather enjoy this type of dining, which I've mentioned before.  Plates get passed around, everybody shares and it's all around a good time.  Having said that, sometimes when I join a group of Thais for a meal, they move away to be polite by giving me space and letting me eat first.  I realize that this is their way of honoring me as their guest, and paying respect to my culture and their knowledge that I might not be comfortable eating with a group like they do.  I have to explain that I want to eat with them before they'll come back and join in.  So I was actually really appreciative that Meaw's family sat with me and passed me food, making me feel like a part of the group.   But as it turns out, after 7 weeks of Thai conversation classes, I'm not nearly as convincing as I thought when I speak Thai, as Meaw and Tiim's family were very amused by my attempts to speak their language.  *sigh* it's nearly impossible to get those tones right.  But I digress.

Our lunch feast included all the classics: som tam (papaya salad), laab moo (spicy minced pork), yum ma-muang (mango salad), nam-prik-pak-sod (fresh vegetables with shrimp chili dip), ka-nom-jiin-nam-yaa (thai noodles with spicy fish soup), hard boiled eggs and steamed rice with pickles and jack fruit for dessert.  I was so busy eating I forgot to take a picture, so by the time I did some of the food was already gone!  Haha sorry, but you get the idea.  We relaxed and hung out for a while after lunch, enjoying the view of the river from Tiim's porch.

After lunch we all piled back into the cars and headed to a couple of temples.  At Wat Nong Hoy, which features a statue of Guan Yim the Chinese goddess of mercy, they did their Buddhist stuff while I hung out, guarding our bags, taking pictures and saying hello to the young monks walking by (some kids will spend a month of their summer break living in a temple, being kinda like a temporary apprentice monk).  Turns out I'm not such a good guard because a macau monkey snuck up from behind me and made off with a bag of fruit that Meaw had just bought.  He got scared and dropped the bag when I chased after him, so I was able to recover most of it, but he got a good treat off of us (sneaky little thief).  Anyway, we left for the next temple of which we couldn't remember the name but after everyone prayed we took some pictures outside the front entrance, overlooking the valley below.

Our next stop was Kao Ngoo (Snake Mountain), where an old woman and young boy conviced us to buy way too many bags of corn to feed the monkeys with.  So as we drove through the park area we rolled down the windows and threw corn at the monkeys waiting on the side of the road.  One big monkey was dominating on my side of the car so that wasn't as much fun as the other side of the car, which was a sea of monkeys.  I took a video though I'm willing to admit that it's not very interesting.  We got out of the car for a while to check out an old zip lining spot and to pet the puppies that the young boy selling the corn had with him.  Then we bought more corn (shaking my head... damn kid). 

The last stop of the day was Thum Kang Kao (The Cave of a Million Bats).  Meaw and I wandered through the ta-lad-nud (open air market) and bought some roasted chicken, sticky rice, guichai (my fav) and a not-so-delicious sweet potato curry puff for dinner and sat down on some grass to watch a colony of bats fly out of their cave.  It was a pretty spectacular sight, watching a steady stream of thousands of bats fly out of their cave and off into the night, though apparently it goes on for an hour (that's how many bats there are).  I only filmed about 3 minutes of it which was admittedly also not a very interesting video, but got Meaw's super cute niece to smile for the camera at the end. 

And so, the Thanakorn Family Day Trip came to an end and we made our way back to Bangkok.  It was fun hanging out with Meaw and her family and a really nice way to spend the day.
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Juan on

Kate- Good stuff by the white giant. Dad

OneLight on

WOW..your adventure sound like some stuff I did recently..Actually I did the million bats last December, I just visited a cave in Ratchaburi that had some monkeys on close to the entrance of the cave.. nice story.

straykat6 on

Thanks OneLight! How long did you travel in Southeast Asia? Glad you enjoyed the story.

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