Sunday, December 14, 2008
MUT MEE GUESTHOUSE - NONG KHAI, THAILAND
Typically when one travels, you pick your destination and then you find an accommodation at that destination where you desire to stay. We have followed this "formula" for our entire trip with the exception of this one. We came to Nong Khai because that is where the Mut Mee Guesthouse is located.
When researching Southeast Asia trying to decide where we wanted to go, I came across the website for Mut Mee. I immediately decided that I wanted to stay there. There were a couple of things to do in Nong Khai that were of interest, but basically, I wanted to go there so I could stay at Mut Mee. So finally, after a two year wait, here we are.
Mut Mee is not a luxurious place. In fact, it is probably the most rustic place that we have stayed in so far. The rooms are simple and the walls are so thin that we can hear every sound coming from the rooms upstairs and next door. You even have to pour water into your toilet in order to create a "flush" and where tiny ants hang out in your bathroom. So you ask, "What's so special about this place?" It's about the serenity of a garden on the banks of the Mekong. It's about being in a real Thai town that sees very little in the way of tourists. But mostly it's about the community of people who gather here on their way North into Laos or South into Thailand.
While we planned from the beginning to stay here a week, that is the exception vs. the rule. Most people check in for just a night or two but then seem to never leave. The Irish guy at the table next to us came for a night and 4 days later is still here. The Australian at our breakfast table was leaving for Laos this morning but by 11:00 said, "I guess I'll leave tomorrow." The place is very seductive. The garden tables are perpetually filled with people regardless of the time of day. People are talking, playing cards, reading, eating, drinking, painting... Occasionally people leave to go to see a site in Nong Khai (there are a few) or nearby, but mostly people are just hangin. You talk to everyone and one person's life and travels are as interesting as the next. Many people out there think that our family traveling around the world is an unusual adventure ,but here, it's just another adventure, nothing terribly unique, for everyone who passes through here is having an adventure of their own.
Tomorrow we will rent a car and drive 70 km to a historical park that is suppose to be incredible. Yesterday we were at a sculpture park that was amazing. But today, like everybody else, were just a-hangin!