Priscilla Kibbee

I love to travel all over the globe shopping for textiles to add to my wearable art. I have taught quilting to school children in Nepal, seminole patchwork to seamstresses in Thailand, and jackets and embellishment to quilters in Turkey where I also served as a judge at 2 of their International Quilt Shows. I have created garments for 5 Fairfield and Bernina Fashion Shows and teach classes on embellishment and wearable art. Lately I have been leaning more toward making art quilts.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Nong Khai Thailand

After two days in Laos it was time to go back across the bridge to Thailand and Nong Khai. This is a laid back town (around 61,000) which spreads along the Mekong River. There are nice restaurants on the river edge and great sunsets.
A couple of years ago Nong Khai was listed in an article in Money Magazine as one of the best places in the world to retire. I have spent a lot of time in this town and still can't figure out why. They site a large colony of expats as one lure. Well yes, but most of them are former military men who have married Thai women.
Riding around on tuk tuks has always been an adventure. You tell the driver where you want to go. He nods that he knows where that is. You set off. After a few minutes you stop at a bar or restaurant. He motions you both to go in where he asks directions. This always draws an interested crowd (remember there isn't all that much to do here) and after directions you set off again. After a few minutes you hit a second restaurant and the process begins again. After two fun stops you usually get where you wanted to go. The town is basically only three streets wide so its hard to get very lost here.

There are wonderful restaurants within the market along the river but I've never been interested in the fish. The Tha Sadat market runs for a number of blocks along the river and I used to love to shop here. But in recent years there are less and less ethnic textiles on offer and I rarely buy anything.

Beautiful flowers on a fence near the river.
One of the highlights of the area (and very underpublicized) is the Sala Kaew Sculpture Park. Built over a period of twenty years by Luang Pu Boun Leua Sourirat who died in 1996 , the park features a weird and wonderful array of sculptures ablaze with Hindu-Buddhist imagery.

I have never been able to adequately describe to people that I bring here what they are going to see. I usually say something about huge fantastic statues. For that I usually get some sort of "ho hum" response. When they get here this all turns to Wow! The same man built a similar park on the Laos side a few years earlier but it is much smaller and quite a ways from Vientiane. It is called Buddha Park. He left Laos during the Communist upheaval after the Vietnam War and built the park in Nong Kai. I much prefer the park in Nong Khai.

The Wheel of Life area entered through a giant mouth.

Replacing the first wife with the second wife.

This figure near the entrance is about 80 feet high. Its a buddha seated on a coiled naga.

On the property was a fish pond where you could buy a pack of fishfood for 10 bhat and feet the fish.

You can see the construction on this statue which didn't weather well. The base is brick surrounded by cement.


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