I’d seen night markets in other places, and they’re often the same. I generally get tired of the stalls hawking the same things and the crowds of people. My personal Thailand Travel Guide, made the experience significantly different. Instead of looking at thousands upon thousands of cheap wallets, I was filled in on the people behind the stalls. I was let in on the stories of the people selling. There was the woman whose family made the souvenirs she sold every night, and the man passionate about selling, it was almost a game to him. This Nong Khai tour was not something I could’ve accomplished on my own.
In addition to the stalls selling teeshirts and local knick knacks, there was a litany of performers. Again, my private tour guide was able to give me the inside information about the dance competition taking place in the middle of the walkway, and most interestingly about the elaborately dressed violin player. The guide served as translator and helped me understand the process of the homemade garb and speaker system. It was a fascinating look into a crossover of music, art, and ingenuity.
My Thailand odyssey in Thailand tours could’ve been simply a stopover between countries, instead, I was given an insight into a community that was a fascinating mixture of cultures. The influence of Laos was inescapable but had I been on my own I would’ve missed the subtle differences that made the small town feel so much richer. Looking across the river at the end of my short stay, I had more than new expectations of what was to come, I had a new perspective on a country I thought I had grown familiar with, and a renewed curiosity for all of the places I had yet to go.