A Trip to Issan

Thai Village Trip (132)

More pictures of my trip to Mukdahan can be seen in A Trip to the Village Gallery

Before my last visit to Thailand in January my girlfriend and I decided I would make the trip up country to meet her family in Mukdahan. Only ever seeing the tourist areas on my previous trips I didn’t know what to expect and of course my western mind came up with all kinds of scenes…dirt roads, huts, and of course the dreaded squat toilets.

Mukdahan is in the north east region of Thailand which is generally known as Issan. Mukdahan province is situated on the Mekong directly across from Laos. My girlfriend told me her family lives in a small village just outside of the city.

We had been in Pattaya to see friends and took an overnight bus to Mukdahan. From Pattaya it’s a ten hour trip but it wasn’t as hateful as one might think. The bus itself was a modern tourist buss with reclining seats, air conditioning and a bathroom. Snacks were provided and blankets for sleeping. Somewhere about 5 hours into the trip the bust stops at a roadside restaurant where a meal and drink is provided for free when you show your bus ticket. The one way trip was 695 baht or about $22.00. I even managed to make a new friend on the trip.

We arrived in the city of Mukdahan about 9:00am and grabbed a small tuk tuk to the Mukdahan Grand Hotel which was way more than I expected in rural Thailand. The Mukdahan Grand is easily a 3 star hotel if not a 4 star with large well appointed rooms and marble clad bathrooms. I thought it odd that the room was not only equipped with air con but also had heat. I would soon find out that the temperature this time of the year in north east Thailand can get down into the low 50’s, which is the equivalent of freezing in Thailand .

My western mind had already painted a a very rich rural scene for me before I got to Mukdahan so I was very surprised to find a very beautiful small city which was cleaner than any city I have been to in America. My girlfriend’s village, located just outside of town, was also a surprise of very nice Thai style houses and paved roads throughout.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be adding posts about my experiences in Mukdahan and Nacome Phanome . You can view pictures from my trip in the gallery or by clicking here: A Trip to the Village.

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