On the ride back to his place the stars were about as bright as I've ever seen them. We just stood out and stared up at them for quite a while.
Tomorrow I'm breaking camp and heading by bus further north to Nong Khai, which is right on the border with Laos. It sounds like a charming little town and I'm happy to get to explore it a bit. I'll spend the night there and zip down on Wednesday to catch my plane back to Bangkok. Alas, I'm looking at an 8 hour layover. Steve thinks I should grab a taxi and go have fun in Bangkok!
At the least I can get one last massage at the airport before my long flight home.
So here are some random photos for you, dear reader....
Thai filling station. Actually same in Cambodia, though the sign is a bit unusual.
Another building project underway here. I like the shapes!
A fairly prosperous farmstead outside Seam Reap in Cambodia. I saw a lot of big hay stacks and many water buffalo wallowing in the little ponds or streams. It was incredibly hard to get a good shot from the bouncing, careening tuk tuk though.
This was flying in to Udon Thani. So much farm land, not just here but the whole flight, and most or all of it obviously cultivated by small farmers. So much more productive--and beautiful--then massive corporate holdings. This picture needs major Photoshopping, but believe me when I say it was really lovely.
Can't remember if I posted this already. The Khmer (and Hindus) really celebrate the whole male female thing. I saw these things in pretty much every temple, but this was the only one with any detail left!
So one of the great things to come out this epic battle between the gods and demons was the birth of the Apsaras--sort of celestial dancers. I don't pretend to know jack about this, but it was a really big deal for the Khmer. Pretty much all of the temples had a big Apsara dancing hall where specially trained women would do the sacred dances. This is the only real link back to that culture, 1000 years earlier. There are still Apsara dancers and nightly shows in Seam Reap. I ducked into one, but it was too crowded for me at that moment, so I missed out.
More Apsara dancers
Just another few days and I'll be home. Back to my wonderful family, satisfying work and the craziness of the US at holiday time. I feel extraordinarily grateful to be on this trip and to be able to share it with you!