20 June 2011

Isaan fix

I had not planned to visit the northeast this time as my schedule was very tight and I wanted mostly recover from a long hard-working period. However there was this boy from Camfrog, and there was also the opportunity of a fast direct flight from Phuket with Air Asia (they offer three flights a week directly to either Ubon or Udon).

So after a short 3 days stay in Phuket, it was a sharp transition from an over touristy island to an almost farang-free Isaan. My first night was in Ubon Ratchathani which I had liked so much last October. This time I chose to stay in downtown Ubon in a simple thai hotel : Krung Thong Hotel (welcoming staff, 450 THB a night and with very clean rooms), whose main advantage is to be next door with the Black Beans Karaoke.

After an afternoon of shopping and strolling around the Thung Sri Muang park, I went straight to the bar. However contrary to my last year's visit, they had less boys, and these were not really interested in this poor lonely farang. I was not treated to detailed introductions of every boy like last year, but left alone sipping my beer. A pity as the boys seemed to be on the interesting side as far as looks were concerned. As for the other places in town, I could not visit "Famous Bar" ; the place was now called "G-Place", not knowing whether the "G" would stand for "Gay" or for "Girls", which obviously would change completely the interest of the place. Just one word to say that the other place is still open and well.

I was a little bit intimidated to think that I would meet in real life the Camfrog boy with whom I have been chatting for a long time. And when I saw him sitting on his moped in front of my hotel in Mahasarakham, it seemed to me that I had been knowing him for ages. Everything went well, we spent two days and two nights together and he was far from being the shy student I had pictured.

Faces in Mahasarakham
Faces in Mahasarakham
By the way Mahasarakham is a vibrant small city with many students, and a general good atmosphere. I staid in the high-end Taksila Hotel (Wasu Hotel was full) which has everything you could want from the best hotel in town (except a swimming pool) ; it is rather conveniently located close to the market and the bus station. Nevertheless I do not really feel at ease in these "Hi So" places - even when they come at only 1000 THB a night. Having a young-looking boy (aged 21) in tow did not help, although the staff was absolutely delightful.

Coming back to Bangkok was an eight hours chore with an unexpected bus change in Khorat, and the dreadful section from Saraburi to Morchit where there is absolutely nothing to see except traffic jams, countless trucks and soulless factories. It was huge relief to be back in Saphan Khwai. Alone, meaning : with the whole town for myself.

1 comment:

naklua said...

You are very busy travelling this time. I am gald to learn that you visited Ubon again. Could you be so kind to give some more details on the Krung Thong Hotel? I would like to know whether the lighting is bright (I hate those rooms which are only very dim lit), whether the bed is a double bed or just two single beds alongside each other (or even worse, separated) and how does the bathroom look like (shower separate or together with the toilet, i.e. everything gets wet when showering). It is sad to hear that you had a not so good experience at Black Beans.