Leaving Suphan was really hard. My last few nights were some of the best, and the last night especially left me joyed beyond belief. I literally woke up with a huge grin on my face. The smile disappeared quickly when reality struck and I realized I had to finish packing up and leave my beloved Suphan. But, luckily, I found a quick remedy for my sadness... Mick OB. Mick, one of my awesome friends from the States, decided to join the first 2 weeks of my backpacking adventure with Srall. When I turned over in my bed, struck with waves of giddiness and then depression, I got really excited upon seeing Mick with me in Thailand. After showing her the hot spots in Suphan and getting some of my final meals at Baanya's and PTL, we set off on our journey. First stop: Bangkok.
We did the normal touristy jazz in Bangkok and may have had another epic night involving 25 Hours before hopping on an overnight bus to Khon Kaen. Over the past year I've covered a lot of ground in Thailand but the Northeast was the only general area I had left to conquer. And after experiencing it, I understand why- there isn't much going on there. Don't get me wrong- I still enjoyed myself. I mean I was in Thailand with two of my best friends, eating amazing food, getting massages, meeting cool Thai peeps and exploring new places. But, in terms of things to do and see, Khon Kaen is lacking. We did spend one day wandering around the big lake and strolling through the many wats. One in particular stands out, not only because it was a gorgeous 9 level chedi, but also because Mick joined monk school. I guess i should preface this by saying that Mick is a photographer and getting up close and personal with a camera comes easily to her. So when she took a seat at an open desk during monk class, she was met with a lot of giggles, myself contributing. We also had another monk moment when we stumbled upon a hundred or so novice monks being addressed before they took a big exam. Their teacher, so excited to see farang, asked us to speak to the group. Sarah took charge and hearing 100s of monks repeat after her was pretty awesome. So although Khon Kaen didn't deliver in terms of sights, it sure gave us a lot of happy monk moments, which obviously makes it a success.
After two days we made our way up further north to Nong Khai, the border town between Laos (our next destination) and Thailand. I personally thought Nong Khai was a beautiful little, homely town. Their was a gorgeous riverwalk along the Mekong, in which boat races were taking place. We spent our days wandering the town, eating some delish meals and taking lots of pics. Nong Khai is also home to this incredible sculpture park, Sala Keow, where these giant stone sculptures, depicting various religious and non-religious concepts, tower over you. It was really different and I enjoyed walking around, although the descriptions were only in Thai. Mai Pen Rai.
I was super excited to continue our trip into Laos, but that also meant saying goodbye to Thailand for a little bit. My heart was still aching with the absence of Suphan, so the thought of leaving Thailand altogether pulled at my heartstrings. But, we cheersed with some bia Singha and watched a Thai band sing some of our faves (per our request) and prepared to journey into Laos the next morning.
You'll have to excuse my lack of pictures, but without my laptop, I can't upload my pictures. I swear I will actually make a facebook album when time allows.