|"I came to Khon Kaen for,
first and foremost, a visa for Laos. I left with that visa and a
whole lot of memories."
It was the end of October 2005 when I first arrived in Khon Kaen.
I was on my way to Laos for the first time. As of this
writing, you can show up at the border with Laos and get a 30-day visa
on arrival for USD 35. Back then, showing up at the border only
entitled you to 15 days. To get a 30 day stay, one needed to
procure a Laos visa in advance, and Khon Kaen, home to a Lao consulate,
was the only place to get one between Bangkok and Vientiane.
It's easy to
make slimy connections in Khon Kaen
It only took minutes to get my visa. What to do then?
Stay and enjoy all that Khon Kaen had to offer!
So what does Khon Kaen have to offer? When I
first arrived, I went to a silk shop to buy extra supplies.
The silk I bought in nearby Khorat wasn't enough for the
partially finished blue silk shirt I was having hand
stitched. I acquired more at a huge silk store in the
center of town, and this later constituted the sleeves of
my ode to the 70's silk style.
Of all the things people get around to doing when they come
to Khon Kaen, a visit to the King Cobra Village ranks at the
top of the list. It's a strange village indeed.
Every house seems to own a king cobra as its own very pet
which they keep underneath the house
and is more than happy, for a free, to engage in dances,
tricks, and various perversions with their little darlings.
The nearby silk-making Chonabot Silk District is known for
its Mudmee silk. The threads are tie-dyed before
stitching. There, people may have
looms positioned just under or beside their homes, ready
to weave more silk garments the second the urge hits them.
I recall the nightlife bordering on the lame side.
There were a few Western-style bars, small, clique-ridden.
Khon Kaen straddled that middle ground between having
nightlife geared around Thais and a nightlife scene crafted
around the foreign dollar. Generally, it would not be
recommended you make an appearance in Khon Kaen strictly for
the night activities. Thinking back on my experience
more than five years later, I wished I'd just stayed back in
my room and watched a rerun of any television show ever
Khon Kaen is sure to keep you happy for a few days.
Think the matter over in greater detail before you consider
a full fledged relocation here though.