I thought it might be time to further elaborate the place where I'm living, and there's no describing Nakhon Phanom without mentioning the Mekong River, or the Mae Nam Khong, as the locals call it, which literally translates to "the mother river." With good reason--the Mekong River, spans from Tibetan plataeu, to China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and flows into the South China Sea. It is one of the world's 12th largest rivers at near 3000 miles. I had a crazy idea that it would be the most awesome trip to kayak down from Tibet, but I suppose rapids and waterfalls might compromise my corporeal integrity by the time I get to the sea... My roommate and I have made a pact to only visit Vietnam by boat (hearsay tells me it's only 80 baht...). During the dry season, there are even areas in Nakhon Phanom where tobacco plants supplant the river's flora.
This last weekend, my roommate and I visited the river and discovered that a beach had surfaced, most likely as a result of the dry season (hello daily 100 degree weather). Locals greeted the onset of the hot season by taking a dip into the river, sans traditional bathing attire. Most of them fully clothed, adult and child alike, combed the beach for some freshwater clams and lazed around in inner tubes. Trish and I walked for most of the day so our respite placed us at the river, just before the glorious sunset of Thailand.
Here are some of the pictures that Trish had taken: