The province is named Nakhon Ratchasima, but for me, it's all Khao Yai, an area of hills and some of the most beautiful jungle around. Khao Yai, to me, means nature, wine vineyards and cows and it tells me that we're almost home when we are taking the bus back from Ubon to Bangkok! With all of the ranches and steak houses there, I felt like it would be a good idea to get my cowboy on!
This year it took on a little more meaning to me as I had been planning to run The North Face 100 trail ultra marathon in the Pak Chong area of Nakhon Ratchasima, right next to Khao Yai. It was an opportunity for me to see some of the conditions that the runners would be running in. I've since decided not to run the race, but considering it and learning more about the area helped me to spread my horizons a little bit and learn a little bit more about places in the country I now call home.
The resort itself was 10 huts on low stilts, set up in a row. They had open topped bathrooms and the walls were tent material with windows and doors rolling up like a tent. One night, p'Nut had to catch two large "Sneaky Frogs" as Pae called them. The type that just sit there with their big bulgy froggy eyes and watch you, ready to hop!!! Looked like Kermit to me! p'Nut bagged them and I flung them out far away from our tent.
The resort was about 150 meters off of the main road that went half way around a big lake with a dam. I would get up and run this early Saturday morning just to check out the area, run on a more rugged surface and to see what running in the altitude and the cold felt like.
The first thing we noticed our first night there was that there seemed to be a thousand times more stars than we're used to being able to see in Bangkok. We took a walk in the dark to a crossroad between a couple corn fields where there was no light and just spent fifteen minutes marvelling at the heavens and trying to recall the names of the constellations that we may have only really seen so clearly in a textbook back in school! It was beautiful and the countryside was so serene. The millions of stars seemed to make the night sky a hundred times more vast than usual. Absolutely stunning.
|p'Neung had to work this weekend and is the only one missing from the photo|
The best part of the trip was that Pae and I would be able to be together for three days, away from the city and with Mom, Dad and p'Nut. I haven't spent much time with the family since our wedding two years ago, so this was nice to hang out with them and share the time together.
|This is where we stayed. We had two of these for five of us.|
|The hills are alive...|
|My favorite person in the whole world ;)|
|Mom among the beautiful purple flowers and Flora Park in Wang Nam Kiew|