The Land of Seas of Mountains – Part 1

The Land of Seas of Mountains – Part 1

The Land of Seas of Mountains – Part 1 Blog, Photography, Southeast Asia, Thailand, The Struggle
December 30, 2016

From Bangkok to Loei.

Thailand’s capital city is a mess. The stifling political heat within the city, and accompanying it was the sense of middle class apathy, has drained me.

Then the opportunity presents itself, almost out of the blue – for me to travel north. Loei is a mountainous province, and is seen by some Bangkok urbanites as a rural, backward, province that’s vaguely interesting. Though many speak about it mainly for the late-year cold weather. But then again, these urban dwellers often know nothing beyond their social prejudice.

Slightly more than an hour, and I found myself in a small, clean airport in Loei. The flight from Bangkok was smooth. A good start to my journey.

Loei Town

Agriculture once drove the economy in rural Thailand. Hilly terrain decorates the the landscape around Mueang Loei. Its the capital of the northeastern province, more of a town than a city. A slow-moving town, with very little traffic. I could get used to this environment, especially with the comfortably cool December weather.

A Thai woman sells fruits at the roadside [Loei / Dec 2016].


Generally Thais in Loei town are friendly and accommodating. And many are different than those in Bangkok. The people here, from the street food vendors to those working in the post office, don’t shy away when they hear me talk in English. I’m beginning to like the townsfolk. A different feel to the social environment, almost a laid back culture in this province, with a strong Lao-based ancestry.

I sat at a roadside coffee shop, tasted the local coffee. A much-needed break from the walking. It was a good time to stay away from direct sunlight, just to unwind. Its cooler, fresh breeze and relaxing. The roads were devoid of traffic congestion. Sellers frequently walked toward me, and politely asking whether I was interested to buy lottery tickets. Seems many locals are in this line of work. The shop’s server said times are bad, and the poor would take any opportunities to earn a living.

A tuk-tuk, an affordable transport [Loei / Dec 2016].

The weather is sunny and hot during the day. Fortunately, its cooler under the shade [Loei / Dec 2016].

In the streets

Street vendors sit in the shade while waiting for customers [Loei / Dec 2016].

Grub time [Loei / Dec 2016].

A Thai street vendor sells honey from the countryside [Loei / Dec 2016].

There are many street lottery sellers in town [Loei / Dec 2016].

A migrant worker cooks sweet ‘roti’ on a cold night [Loei / Dec 2016].

In the morning, Muslim women cook and prepare fried chicken by the roadside [Loei / Dec 2016].

A mythological being or ghost, unique to the province [Loei / Dec 2016].


Folks are proud of their community, traditions, farms, livestock, rivers, hills and mountains. Though many have experienced hardships in the couple of years. Income from agriculture and inter-provincial trade has been severely affected by the national economic slowdown. Local goods, from foodstuffs to handicrafts, are not seeing good times ever since Thailand’s coup of 2014 when the military disposed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the government.

Local rural communities continue to struggle against the odds despite what urban Bangkokians say about this rural province. In Loei, hard work and perseverance charts their daily survival.


Loei, Part 2



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