Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................

Post 369: Christmas in Bangkok .. New Year in Phitsanulok

Here in Thailand, they celebrate most things .... they don't really need an excuse to drink dance and make merry .... my kind of place. I wandered down to Central World to see the Christmas lights which were really quite jolly, but the crowds were horrendous. Above the main interchange outside of the shopping centre was a huge sign ... 'Happy New Year 2012' .... The last sign that I saw here was 'Peaceful Demonstrators not Terrorists' .... and that was just before the shootings started back in May 2010 
On Christmas Day, I set out on the scooter for a traditional Christmas dinner .... 'traditional' as in here. Chang Wattanna, shrimps and noodles ..... absolutely delicious

For New Year, it was onto a bus with my friend Noo and a six hour journey up to her home town of Phitsanulok. I really like this place, a vibrant city that describes itself as the Indochina Junction .. but I'm not sure why. I love the night markets, the constant festivals, the slow walk of life and the lack of pissed European tourists.

After a night in Phitsanulok, it was off to the home village, Ban Noen Kum a few kilometres from the interestingly named town of Pee Chit.

The New Year countdown started early ..... probably a few days before I arrived. From Bangkok I'd brought fireworks, lots of fireworks. Proper fireworks that fill the night sky and burst the eardrums. In Europe, such pyrotechnics would cost a small fortune, but here they're cheap. They're rudely cheap in fact and 'Safety' seems not to be a problem .... all were ignited using a zippo ... but NOT by me .. the entire bundle of high explosives had cost me less than $10 in Bangkok's China Town ..... so during the ignition stage I was hiding with the kids behind a sturdy brick wall.

Tick Tock Tick Tock .... as midnight arrived, the kum-loy lanterns were released and the night sky filled with an amazing orange light and then it was Karaoke .. so it wasn't all good news.