Last Thursday would have been the 25th birthday of a good friend of mine who sadly passed away in February. Tyler loved traveling, and the name of this blog even comes from one of his favorite phrases. Tyler’s experience traveling to Thailand a couple summers ago inspired me to travel there last spring. My friend Katelyn and I planned on visiting Nong Khai, the city in which Tyler spent most of his time in Thailand as an English teacher. When Katelyn and I arrived in Bangkok, however, we discovered that train tickets to Nong Khai for the next day were already sold out, so on a whim we chose Chiang Mai instead. We had a great time exploring the northwest, but I still hope to go Nong Khai someday, so I’m adding it to my journey.
Nong Khai is in northeastern Thailand, right on the Mekong River, which is the border between Thailand and Laos. The Friendship Bridge connects the two countries, and tourists can easily cross over. The most appealing aspect of Nong Khai to me is that it’s not as touristy as many other part of Thailand. As much fun as I had during my time in the country, most people spoke English everywhere I went, so I didn’t always feel like I was seeing the real Thailand. Nong Khai and its surrounding areas can offer that true cultural experience.
When I discussed my travel plans with Tyler last spring, he recommended many activities in Nong Khai. I don’t remember all of them, but one that stuck out was renting a motor bike and riding along the Mekong River. Tyler warned me against riding the motor bike in the city because of all the traffic, but by the river, he said, you could ride as fast as you wanted, and you wouldn’t get lost. I had an amazing time exploring the northwestern country town of Pai on a motor bike, so I would definitely do it again in Nong Khai. It sounds incredible riding along not only a beautiful river, but also the border between two countries.
I hope everyone finds someone in their life to inspire them to travel the way Tyler inspired me. To the journey.