Friday 21 November 2008

A daytrip to Khanom, Surat Thani

A daytrip to Khanom, Surat Thani

Today we went to Khanom, for a quick visit. An uncle of my wife's cousin's husband (you still with me?) passed away and we went in a 3 car convoy over to Khanom, where the cousin's husband originates from. We literally rolled off the ferry, hung a left in the first two curves we encountered and than it was just another 20 km's of straight road ahead of us, at the end of the road it was another two right turns and we there!
Khanom is located in the province of Surat Thani, just like Koh Samui. Earlier this year, in June, we stayed overnight at a hotel in Khanom after our trip to Nakhon Si Thammarat at one of the beaches that Khanom is known for.

It has been a while since we had a chance to get off Samui and this was a good enough excuse to get off the island again and every time it's such a relief to drive on a nice road where the car doesn't bump up and down every 10 meters once you reach the mainland!

What may be unusual to the Western eye, is the way Thais conduct funerals. Tents are pitched in front or near the deceased persons house and over a couple of days friends, foes and relatives come to visit and eat, until the day of the cremation, usually within a week after the person in question passed away. This is a sample of those tents, this one being a big and 'luxurious' version. It seems that the uncle was well known and there were messages from various prof. dr.'s from Uni's in Canada; Calgory, Montreal and Toronto were all present, as was Washington.

The monks at work. The daily prayer. After the prayer the monks eat and than get carried off again, back to their temple.
A few items to mention in this picture are the nice seat in the immediate front of the picture, occupied on various occasion by a main monk for chants (they can last for a while, bring a good book!). On the right hand, the whiteboard lists the daily events until the cremation, which happens to be tomorrow.
The Samui posse decided to travel a day early since too many people were expected tomorrow.

The place the monks use for their prayers. Interesting wall decorations, which big 'poster' like things pinned to the wall. At the right, it almost seems a copy of Motorhead's 'Ace of Spades'! Next to it, on the left, a poster with spoons in it, not very visible due to the flash but the 4th poster from the right, has also spoons in a pattern in it! Am still trying to figure out what the spoons means or represent.

After the visit to the deceased persons house, we went to the cousin's husband house which was just down the road but in the sticks so to speak. A couple of hundred of meters of muddy road eventually led to his parental house.
This picture shows how rural life in the rainy season is with an outdoor toilet which is standing on flooded land! Great if you have an urge in the middle of the night!

There were also chickens and a couple of cows running around on the premises, this cow with skinny legs and all was grazing away happily during the rain!
Although we had various bouts of rain during the day, it was a lovely day out and the ocean was surprisingly flat, despite some hard wind, which made the ferry rides smooth and easy.
Looks like we won't get off Samui until January again.


Anonymous said...

Een hele 'happening' zo'n crematie. We hebben er laatst weer eentje bijgewoond en ze verwachten echt dat je gedurende een week iedere dag 3x komt eten ;) Ze klaagden steen en been over de gokkers die tot middag in de nacht bleven hangen :) Morgen weer naar Hat Yai voor een visarun en misschien dat we op de terugweg Khanom weer een dagje aandoen, heerlijk plekje al wordt dat nu langzaam aan ook ontdekt door de 'farangs'. Fijn weekend, Monique

Camille Lemmens said...

Hoi Monique,

Het zijn inderdaad hele andere gebeurtenissen las dat wij gewend zijn.

Veel plezier op je visa run!