07.04.2009 - 30.04.2009
It was few months back since I went to stay in Northeast region of Thailand. Although it was few months back, the great memories are still in my head. It was a memorable and wonderful trip as I got the chance to stay with my girlfriend's family and also celebrate Songkran in Iisan.
It was few days before songkran where we arrived in Sai Tai Mai from Hatyai (I will update our journey from Malaysia to Hatyai after this) in the afternoon. We straight took a cab from the airport to Mochit Bus Terminal which serves bus to iisan. It costs around 200-300 baht because of traffic jam. Soon after we entered the city, the traffic was very slow. Bangkokians were also heading to Mochit to get back to their respective homes in iisan. We were worried about the ticket as we didnt ask our friend who are staying in Bangkok to buy for us. Mochit was not so crowded when the time we arrived but the traffic was terrible. It is consider 'normal' during that time. We went to second floor of the bus terminal to get our ticket to Mahasarakham. A small town situated 5-6 hours from Bangkok. I bought VIP Por.1 24 seated bus which they claimed to be the fastest (without stopping because normally buses to iisan will stop at Nakorn Ratchasima or Korat for lunch or dinner) for 450 baht. We had around 2 hours to spend before our bus departs. So we went to have some lunch at the food court and went straight away to the bus bay to wait for our bus. There were quite a number of buses leaving for iisan and also to the North. There were also people in red with Thai flag which is the supporters of the former Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. I knew that we were going into their 'nest' so we didnt wear yellow although I am a 'Pantamid'.
Bought some magazines to read while waiting and finally the bus company attendant called for passengers bus to Mahasarakham. We didnt buy any drinking water as the company provided food, snacks and water onboard. The space was big enough and it was comfortable. Soon after the bus departed, the attendant brought towels, drinking water and our food. They started to play some Morlam and Luk Tung as the bus is heading into iisan region. Right at the moment, I felt the iisan spirit. It was a long journey without stopping and soon, the attendant came to ask which station are we heading to. So we informed him Bor Kor Sor Sarakham and he wrote in in his note. As soon as we passed Korat, I can see paddy fields. I tried my very best to sleep and my girlfriend was already asleep. Sitting for about 5 hours, I was having a backache. The bus stopped at Ban Phai a small town in Khon Kaen province because one of the passengers told the attendant that he is getting down there. And the bus continued the journey for about 1 hour and we arrived in Mahasarakham (Thais call it Sarakham). My girlfriend's mom waited at Bor Kor Sor together with her stepfather in the pick up truck. It was already around 8pm the time we arrived. We went straight home to have our dinner. On the way home, Sarakham looks like a sleepy town. Not many shops open until late night. It is a really peaceful town afterall.