Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Short Work Week

Having arrived back on Wednesday, I feel like the weekend is fast approaching. I have settled back into things at work. I am feeling a bit tired from traveling, so I am thinking of staying in town this weekend. I still have lots of things to see in Wuxi.

So, below is a quick summary of my time in Thailand. The pictures do a lot of the telling too, so take a gander at them. Videos take a bit longer, so I will get to it soon enough. I forgot the Singapore pics in a previous post, so I have put them here as well.



I arrived in Thailand and spent the night in Udon Thani. I immediately noticed the blue skies and clean air; at night it was the stars I noticed. These things are not found in China...although I think I saw a star one time. The next morning I headed out with some of the Peace Corp volunteers. We were going to the town of Dansai to join my friend Maeve and other for the festival. We stopped frequently for pics, bathroom breaks, and to pick up more volunteers heading to the festival. The four hour trip took about seven hours, but I got to see some very small villages and awesome scenery along the way.

In Dansai we stayed at "home-stays". We had a beautiful house with a very kind Thai family who provided us with sweet, white bread and coffee (since all foreigners like these things according to Thai people). We took "tuk-tuks" any where we needed to go.

Once the festival started the music, dancing, food, and beer would not stop till we left on Sunday. All day and night the streets and stage were filled with ghosts (the costumed men, women, and children). They performed traditional songs and dance on the stage. Others paraded around with the floats. At 4am the spiritual guide of the town jumped into the river to search for the spirit rock. Every time he would raise his head above water and hold up a rock and ask the crowd if this was it and the crowd would yell, "no." On the third try the crowd yelled, "yes," and he came out of the water and we followed him to the temple in a long, noisy procession. My favorite part of the festival was dancing in the streets with the ghosts and hanging out with all the Peace Corp volunteers.

On Sunday, we headed for the town of Phitsonulok and I checked out some of the sights around town. All three towns I visited were small and beautiful. The people always had a smile on their face and were very welcoming.

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