Maeklong Market

Most folks just drive through Samut Songkhram on their way to somewhere else. If you’re on your way south to Hua Hin or beyond or are going to Don Hoi Lot, you just stay on the freeway and don’t even see the town. If you’re going to the Domnoen Saduak, Amphawa, or Bang Noi floating markets, you drive through town but usually don’t consider stopping. Maeklong Train Station, Samut Songkhram, ThailandThere’s been a good reason to stop for many years but most folks don’t know about it. The Maeklong Market (ตลาดแม่กลอง), or Maeklong Railway Market is unique in that a train goes through the middle of the market, scattering vendors and shoppers alike, a few times each day. Continue reading

Plearnwan or A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words…

FBF has made a few less than complimentary comments about Plearnwan but folks continue to be drawn to the odd looking structure; thousands of folks every day. There are many expensive cars from Bangkok, VIP buses from the boonies and school kids by the classroom full. In fact, FBF Jr’s class is there as this is being written. Continue reading

Art & Culture Come to Hua Hin At Wik (Vic) Hua Hin

The brain cells must be going faster than realized. Had driven by Vic Hua Hin several times in the past few weeks and couldn’t figure out why they would build a club/disco so far south of town. It looked like something more for the Bangkok crowds so didn’t think much more about it but did note that at least it wasn’t as ugly as Plearnwan and certainly had much better parking facilities.

Then last week observed that the new buildings going up just south of Vic were to be a school for the performing arts–Patravadi High School no less and couldn’t imagine why anyone would build a high school next door to a club/disco.

But then late, late last night had an epiphany and realized what was what.

It had been years since FBF had commuted in Bangkok. This was long before our current wireless days with iPhones and netbooks so there wasn’t much to do while stuck in traffic but read. Long traffic jams often made short shrift of magazines and books and sometimes one had to resort to reading the Post. Even on a good news day it didn’t take long to read the first section and one was then stuck with their Arts section. That’s where he’d seen the name Patravadi.

The Judy Garland of Thailand. Hair the opposite of Khunying Porntip, often on TV in a special with her name in the title. The name that comes to mind when putting the words Thailand and Broadway together.

The Vic isn’t going to be a club or disco. It’s either a super club or theater, in the live, so close you can smell them, sense of the word. Original name too, if was pronounced like a V.

Late night/early morning research then led to the fact that the Fringe Festival 2010 will be held at the Vic. (It was so late that FBF kept reading the venue in the Thai flyer as Wat Hua Hin rather than Vic Hua Hin and was wondering why all these concerts where being held in the Hua Hin Temple…)

The festivities kick off on the 22nd of January and continue most weekends through late February. There will be concerts, plays, musicals, puppet shows and comedies. Tickets are from free to 1,200 Baht, depending on the show.

There will even be a Thai-US Country music battle with the US represented by a Kyle Dillingham from Enid*, Oklahoma, that little zit off the panhandle of the Great State of Texas.

Kyle ain’t no Johnny Gimble or Doug Kershaw but he’s one of the featured performers in Patravadi’s Phra Lor which debuted last summer at the Patravadi Theater in Bangkok and will be presented in Hua Hin January 29-31, 2010.

So, polish your shoes and iron your suit and get ready to get cultured. If you have teenagers who are aspiring entertainers, check out the high school.

Art and Culture are coming to Hua Hin.

*Two old wildcatters, Wiley and Will, had dug their last dry hole and had just gotten plumb tired of Champlin getting all the good leases. They decided to head west where they’d heard that Okies were treated right nicely in CalifornIa. It was a particularly windy day in the Dust Bowl, and as they headed west they passed a wide place in the road and noticed a couple of buildings almost covered in tumbleweeds. Wiley asked his buddy, Will, “What in blazes was that?” Will was driving as it was the only way he could get even with Wiley for the way he flew, so he looked in the rearview mirror and replied, “eniD.”