The first weekend in December was not only my birthday, but also the King's Birthday. When traveling and living in Thailand you learn pretty quickly how important the King is to this country. Most buildings have pictures of the King and Queen inside and during this month you see GIANT pictures of the King just about anywhere you go. So, with such an important holiday Greg and I both got a 3 day weekend. We were invited up to Khon Kaen (Cone-Kin) with one of Aor, one of Greg's engineers, to visit her home and meet her family.
We (us, Aor, and our friends Eric and Melanie) took an early morning flight from Bangkok to arrive in Khon Kaen. On the way we took a closer look at the itinerary and background information Aor supplied us with to see what we would be doing and gain some background information. Ok, Greg read the info and I took a nap. Nonetheless, Aor was planned out and we knew we were going to be taken care off.
We were greeted at the airport by Aor's sister, Oh, and her parents. It was "chilly" 70 degrees and for the first time in Thailand I had goose bumps outside. The first place we headed to was the town/province's spirit house. Aor's parents felt like visiting the spirit house was a best way to start a trip to a new place. Aor and her family made offerings of flowers and incense and prayed. It was a nice start to the trip.
Day one highlights consisted of visiting a Dinosaur Museum (they have found dinosaur bones near Khon Kaen), checking into our first ever 5 Star Hotel (reservations made by Oh who works for the University, so we got a discounted rate), and eating dinner at Aor's parent's home with her entire family.
|Before heading to dinner, Aor took us to their local street market which was right by this lake. We stopped because the sunset was beautiful!|
|This was the food on the table for the four of us! We didn't get a good shot of all the food here, but in reality this picture could be a before or after shot. The food just kept coming!|
|Aor's niece practicing a traditional dance, the following day she'd perform it at a celebration for the King.|
|Unlike the US, this big lake has no boats or people out on it. Aor said it used to have a tourist boat, but it sunk.|
Our last day we toured around Khon Kean. Before heading home we visited a sculpture park, saw many views of a big lake and visited the famous 9 story temple. Eric and Melanie brought along the information Aor printed out for us, so we were able to read what each level was about as climbing up to the top for great view of the city. We ended our trip with a delicious meal at a local Vietnamese Restaurant where you put together your own fresh spring rolls, yummy!
The weekend was fabulous. We were very grateful to have Aor and her family treat us so kindly.