After spending a few uneventful days in Nongkhai, Thailand and in Laos, I’m back in Bangkok with Nai in tow. Tomorrow we’re off to Patong Beach on Phuket Island to spend a week lazing away on the white sand under the palm trees. OK, Patong isn’t quite that idyllic, but it’s nice enough (and nasty, too, but in a nice way 🙂 )
Nongkhai is much as it was a year ago, but Vientiane has made a striking change along the Mekong. A new riverfront park was under construction while I was there last year. It’s been finished and it’s a beautiful addition to the city in an area that used to be dusty and dilapidated. We were there on Saturday and hundreds of Laotians and foreigners were out taking late afternoon strolls, riding bicycles or just sitting and enjoying the view. I’ve got photos of the park and, of course, other shots taken elsewhere; however, I don’t have a conversion program to process them, but I’ll post plenty of pix and a full trip report when I get back to Korea. More later.
I’m back in Bangkok again, and it’s still the polluted, noisy, smelly, hectic and crazy place it’s always been on my past trips–I love it! Not because it’s polluted or noisy or smelly (some of the smells are wonderful), but those detriments do seem to add to its edgy appeal to me. Seoul–that huge megacity–doesn’t have the same attraction; it just seems to sterile, too mundane, and too predictable. Don’t get me wrong–it’s a nice city and many people love it. Nothing wrong with that. But for me, that’s the difference–Seoul’s nice, but Bangkok is NASTY! Nasty, though, in a good way. 🙂
I’m heading north this evening on the overnight train to Nong Khai, where I’ll meet up with Nai tomorrow morning. I’ll probably spend a few days in Nong Khai, then go to Laos for several more, then back to Bangkok and to Phuket on the 22nd. More later.
Oops, almost forgot to put up this photo I took last night of one of my Vision English classes.
VE students–click on the photo a couple of times to get a large version, then right click and save image. I hope all of you have a GREAT summer vacation and I hope I see you next semester.
One of the highlights of our annual Vision English class field trip is the awesome lunch that we’ve always had. This year was no different, and, as a matter of fact, we ate at the same restaurant that we patronized last year. Again, we had a marvelous seafood soup–haemul tang (haymool tahng). It’s more like a stew, however, with all the seafood basking in a thicker liquid than you’d find in a soup.
As with any Korean meal, there is a large selection of side dishes, of which everyone partakes and if you run out, just ask for more at usually no extra charge.
Here’s the stew, chock full of clams, shrimp, crab and veggies, cooking at the table. Dig in!
Here’s my first bowl of this delicious bounty from the sea. I hate to admit that I pigged out and had four, ummmm, maybe five?, bowls. Well, SOMEBODY had to finish it off. (One of the other teachers helped me out, downing about the same amount. It’s hard to stop once you get started, eh Cathy?)
In just a couple of days, I’ll be chowing down on Thai food. More later.