On The Road

Day 63 – Thailand’s most Christian Road

It was a strange day, mostly because we passed more than a dozen Christian churches on the road from Nakhon Phanom to Sakon Nakhon. A very strange experience overall because the churches have been here, in the middle of nowhere, for the past 20 to 30 years. In my opinion, that’s strange. It made me think that maybe they were left over from a time when the Isan people needed ‘help’ and the church was willing to do it for a price… their souls. That’s the deal the Devil makes.

Anyway, today’s ride was along a very straight-ish road with nothing really remarkable on it except for the over-sized Christian places of worship, in every flavour imaginable. We grabbed some photos, but I think that if you’re coming down this road you should check it out for yourself. I’m sure each church has a very interesting story behind it.

We left around 6am, had a meal at the local Thai style breakfast joint with June and Joy, our hosts from last night, and then headed inland. It was a public holiday so there was zero traffic on the roads until about 11am. For part of the ride we had a mammoth four lane highway with a very wide shoulder all to ourselves.

The sky was overcast, which kept the day cool until the last 20 kilometres. I had been in this area before, back in 2002, and was looking forward to wandering around the town. I also intended to revisit a place called the Green Corner cafe, which is a quaint little farang hangout where I could get some white man food.

From my memory, the place was fairly rustic back in 2002, but now it’s a lot bigger and looks like a modern food hall in an upmarket shopping centre. I was a little saddened. I was kind of hoping it was the same as I remembered, but happy for the owners who obviously have made a good living out of it in the past 10 years.

We didn’t spend much time wandering around town. We found the Dusit Hotel for 450 Baht per night. It is basic but nice. Once we were settled into our hotel room we had a nap, relaxed, and dropped off the washing at the hotel’s laundry for a fee of 30 Baht/kilogram. That price is so much more reasonable than the 30 Baht per piece some other places we have seen wanted to charge.

I think we’re just going to have an early night tonight and sleep in tomorrow for our day off. We’ve traveled 4,450kms and this is our 38th province. Once we ride in to Kalasin we will officially be beyond the half way mark of our trip and we can finally start taking this thing seriously.

I’m happy because my official guesstimate of 9,000 kms looks like it will be correct. I planned 5 months for this trip… we’ve done 63 days so far and 65 by the time we get to the halfway point. So, assuming the hills of the North don’t kill us, we’ll be complete in 130 days.

So, tomorrow we will relax and catch up on some work and emails. Then we’ll be off to Kalasin, a province that most people have never heard of and somewhere I’ve not been before.

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