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Finally I arrive at Korat.  Korat is the abbreviation for Nakhon Ratchasima.  It is much shorter but most of all much easier to remember.

Korat has nothing really it is a medium large city, capital of the province which has the same name.  It is the perfect hub for both historical sites, Phimai and Phanong Rung both at about 65km but in opposite directions.

As I get out of the train station, and almost like in any train station, half a dozen locals jump on you and ask you if you need a Tuk Tuk.  As I just come out of my train and sat for a long time, I like to walk a little bit, also (and it is not good to say I know) it is the perfect moment to enjoy a smoke.  So I wave my hand smiling at them saying no no I don’t need tuk tuk now.

As I am walking in circle, my phone in my hand to geo-localise me and find out where the bus terminal is, an old man comes to me.  His English is pretty good  and asks me where I am going.  I tell him I am planed to go to Phimai by bus and that at this moment I just wait to finish my smoke to eventually take a tuk tuk to the bus terminal.  He then tells me ” I can drive you to Phimai…. “…. I look at his Tuk tuk and tell him ” it is at 65km from here, I think I will be faster with the bus”  The old man start laughing and tells me he has a car engine under the hood of his Tuk Tuk and that I can be in Phimai in just about one hour.  He hands me a card and tell me ” my name is Mr. Cookie” , on his card indeed, he wrote Mr. Cookie English speaking Tuk Tuk who knows everything from Korat.


Negotiation can start again 🙂

We agree on a price after a couple of minutes.  He is smart telling me all the advantages of going by Tuk tuk… I can smoke in it, I can have a drink in it, we can stop at any time and I can enjoy the view like nowhere else.

So Off we go, we first stop at a local shop and by a few beers for the road and the journey can start.  As we ride I ask him a few questions about his English and how he learned it, He explained me that about 4o years ago Americans came over in the region, they created a military base in Korat as they were afraid of a communist invasion in Thailand.  Thanks to that and to many American investments the entire region started to develop.  He managed to work for them and received the nickname he still proudly keeps today.

I was not expecting this, but i suddenly realise we are in fact on the highway with his Tuk-tuk, in the middle of the trafic between heavy load trucks, pickups, cars and motorcycles…


Until we finally arrive in Phimai.

He drops me in front of a gust house all in wood, where I dropped my bags, took a shower before getting to the temple and enjoy the site in the evening light.

The temple of Phimai is nothing compared to what I saw so far.  It is in fact a Khmer temple which was built at the end of the XI century in the same sphere of influence as Angkor in Cambodia.  Phimai was a satellite city on the way to Angkor for marchants and the kings.

I never expected the lights to be so beautiful.  I could not move from this site, the beauty was taking me in a different world I was just like intoxicated.  The dark sky was now covering the temple and I had no choice to leave.

After such a view, I went looking for a place to sit down and have drink.  I turn around the exterior walls of the ancient city and see across the road a nice little bar.  I sit down outside on the terrace and ask for a Singha.  I feel so good, a huge smile on my face as I just lived something wonderful.

A few minutes pass and suddenly a man comes out of the bar and asks me what are may plans for the evening and dinner.  I turn my head and see a European type man standing just in front of the door.  He makes a few steps to come to my table inviting me to shake his hand.  I stand up and present myself.  He tells me he is Dimitri and is coming from Greece.  In fact he lives in Thailand since several years now and jut opened the bar where I was enjoying my beer a couple of days ago.

Dimitri asks me to join them for dinner as they are organising a barbecue on the terrace behind to celebrate the opening.  How could I refuse such an invitation.  I accept straight away and time is set for 8PM.

After going back to my pension for a little rest of 1/2 an our a shower and a few words in my book I go back to Dimitri’s place.

He welcomes me as I get inside the bar and invite me to join them in the backyard.  There a few people are already sit round the table.  two Belgians, one French with his Thai girlfriend Dimitri and I.  And that is how the evening started…..

It ended at out 2am round the table inside the bar with the entire staff teaching me Thai as I was teaching them out Belgian culture singing “Jules Cesar” and “chef un petit verre on a soif”


In other words it was a very pleasant evening….  🙂 after a very long day full of adventures, encounters and emotions.



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One Comment

  1. J’adore l’histoire du tuk tuk sur l’autoroute !!! Heureux d’arriver entier j’imagine 🙂

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