go north-east, young woman

suitcaseissan

(I had to buy a new suitcase to carry all my stuff! The scarf you see is a traditional Issan scarf and farmer’s hat. The space invaders sticker I made myself! Small, on the right side, you can see I have a travel French-press for my coffee, and a can of maple syrup 🙂

Well, I have big news for everyone.

This week, I am leaving my beloved Bangkok for five months to go live in Nong Khai, which is in Issan, the North-East of Thailand.

“You’re going where?” — all my Thai friends

I will be house-sitting a beautiful traditional Thai house for some lovely friends by the side of the Mekong river. There is a legend about this house, that it used to belong to the favorite mistress of a prince!

I’m going to breathe fresh air, watch the sun set on the Mekong river every day, ride my bicycle in the countryside, see farmers plant rice, eat som tam, go to temple fairs, eat thai BBQ by the side of the Mekong, and eat Namueng Daeng (this famous NK Vietnamese restaurant that makes only one item that is like crack) every second day.

“You know there’s no Bed Supperclub there, right?” — Thai friend

The Bangkok pollution has been making me really sick lately, so I decided to make a change, and see a different side of Thailand. I think I’ll be back to my beloved Bangkok, but I’ll love Bangkok even more for taking a break.

I’ve always been quite interested in urbanisation, so it’s also chance to the other side of the coin — where do all these migrating country people come from?

Nong Khai seems to have a cool little expat community — on my soon-to-be soi, there also lives Rupaul’s ex-personal trainer, a bioinformatics researcher who sequenced the honey bee genome, a Cambridge physics grad, and a bunch of artists!

Because it’s close to Vientiane, which has a big French community, there is cheese and wine and good baguette and good Laos coffee — all the necessities of life.

I’m really going to miss Bangkok but I’m also really excited by my new life beginning in Nong Khai! So you can look forward to reading about a new side of Thailand starting soon.

5 Responses to “go north-east, young woman”


  1. 1 James March 23, 2009 at 5:45 am

    How will you update your blog? they’ve never even heard of computers in places like that lol…

    Good luck!

  2. 2 julielavoie March 23, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Haha! thanks, don’t worry, they do have internet in nong khai!

    (thanks for the great comments btw, will answer soon, right now just super busy packing, etc!)

  3. 3 Gen Kanai March 23, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Sounds like a dream of a getaway.

    Please share lots of photos of delicious Bánh mì that you should be able to find if Vientiane has good bread.

  4. 4 julielavoie March 23, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    thanks! i will. 🙂

  5. 5 jan March 30, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    does not sound like you will really come back 🙂


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A blog about culture and technology in South-East Asia.

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Giving presents to the facilitators!

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