Truth Stranger Than Fiction. A better nickname than The Land of Smiles for Thailand in my opinion.
I like taking the indirect route in Thailand. Getting away from the main highways and wandering the countryside is educational and mind opening. You learn more in an afternoon of exploring than you do reading self serving NGO propaganda masquerading as a actual legitimate research. Propaganda that is used not to better the lives of the people supposedly being documented but instead is produced to extract money from rich countries and line the pockets of overpaid corrupt NGO bureaucrats.
On a recent trip to Udon, I was wandering around the countryside near the Laos/Thai border on the way from Nong Khai to Udon Thani.
This picture shows a typical secondary road in rural Thailand.
I am not sure what years brick was used to pave roads, but this road had a brick surface and actually was in a pretty decent state of repair.
It’s amazing the local residents don’t scavenge the bricks and use them for their own personal construction projects.
You can click on this link, maps.google.com, if you want to see exactly how far out we were.
We encountered this road block.
Tooling along the country road in the middle of nowhere I encountered this.
At first, I thought it was a standard police roadblock and we were going to be hit up for a 200 THB bribe masquerading as a paid on the spot ticket.
Instead we found a party.
A stage had been set up.
A real sound system was booming out Issan Rock.
There were a hundred or so drunk villagers.
The road block had been set up to prevent all the drunk revelers from getting run over by passing cars as they wandered across the street.
Other Thailand bloggers never leave The Reservation and think making a trip 2km up Rachada for a bubble bath is Leaving The Reservation.
Many expats live in Thailand for years, never learn Thai, and declare themselves Thai culture experts — when the sum total of their Thai experience is from speaking broken English with Reservation Girls.
At BigBabyKenny.com we actually leave The Reservation, roam far and wide, get off the beaten track, and when we encounter something unusual, we get out the car, use our rudimentary Thai to talk to people and whip out the cameras!