And that was my situation my last day in Thailand, having only 50 bahts (1,25€).
I had already spent my last 500 bahts in Chiang Khan (a town in the Mekhong riverside, which is a holidays destination for Thai people so I couldn’t find anything cheaper than 300 bahts for sleeping) and having dinner with Tamara, the German CouchSurfer who was hosting me in Nong Khai.
I could have gotten money from the ATM, but in Thailand one not only has to pay the home-bank commission, but also 180 bahts (4,5€) for foreign cards (the only exception is the Japanese bank AEON, where one has to pay 150 bahts, but it’s difficult to find it and only in big cities). First of all it’s a real pain in the ass for me to give money to banks and secondly I couldn’t continue my trip around Isaan because my Thai tourist permit would expire in 2 days so I had to cross the border to Laos from there and get bahts was a bit stupid.
I didn’t have to pay the host thanks to CouchSurfing, but I still needed to eat. After wander around the market I found in 7-Eleven the answer to my prayers: food for 13 bahts (0,32€).
Only hot water is needed to cook it. It’s quite bad food indeed, but thanks to that I could eat something that day and not pay commission to the fucking banks For water, as I’ve already told before, there are water machines to refill your bottles for 1 baht per litter (I used hot water in my host’s house but you also can eat the food with cold water although of course it will be even worse).
Regarding Nong Khai itself, there are a couple of interesting things:
- Sala Kaew Ku, a park of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures started in 1978 by the Thai artist Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat and continued by his followers. It’s similar to the Buddha Park, created by the same artist in Vientiane (Laos) some years before, but more extravagant and greater proportions.
- And at 18:00 every day the whole city stops. Everybody stop doing whatever in their position, like a frozen picture, during 30 seconds (unfortunately the photo I took was wrong stored ).
Theoretically it happens in all Thailand. At 8:00 and 18:00 the national anthem is played in public and everybody stops doing whatever they were doing and listen to it, but after a month in Thailand this one was the first time I saw it. They also have something similar in all cinemas of the country (I was in Bangkok): before the film San Sern Pra Baramee song (translated as Bless The King) is played and are projected photos of the king while everybody stands up in silence.
Some more pictures from Chiang Khan and Nong Khai: