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Thailand Photos: North-East: Loei, Pi Tha Khon, Chiang Saen, Nong Khai, Vientiane: 08 - 10 July 2005

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When we planned to go out of Bangkok in July we remembered Pi Tha Khon (Pee Tha Khon or Phi Ta Khon) festival in Dan Sai district in Loei province. Without thinking much we decided to go there. We took a night sleeper bus in the evening of 07 July and arrived Loei in the next morning - the day the festival started. After witnessing the procession of Masked Pi Tha Khon's on 09 July we continued our journey to find the meeting point of Heung and Mekong rivers - triangle of two provinces in Laos and Thailand's Loei. I also visited Chiang Khan, Nong Khai, and Vientiane - the capital of Laos before taking a night sleeper train back to Bangkok.

A beautiful scene of Loei
A beauty of Loei, a view we had on the road from Tha Li to Thai-Lao border bridge over Heung river. Loei enjoys fine weather and good earth which allow farmers to grow quality fruits, vegetables and rice.


Heung river  Thai-Lao border bridge over Heung river
Left: Heung river, the border river between Laos and Thailand. Right: View of Thai side from Laos. The 110 meters long bridge links Ban Na Kraseng village of Tha Li district in Loei province to Kaen Thao district of Lao Sayabouri (Thai people call it "Chaiyabouri") province. Heung river flows to north-east to join Mekong river at Ban Hta Di Mi in Chiang Khan district.


Pee Ta Khon  Pee Ta Khon and tourists
In the morning of 09 July the peak period of Pee Ta Khon festival Dan Sai main street was filled with both local and foreign tourists many of them armed with cameras shooting photos of Pi Tha Khons as well as themselves posting with masked ghosts. It was a hot day. 'Today Pi Tha Khons are a bit different from the old days,' an old man told me. 'The ghosts are now becoming sexy; they hold guns which look like something, and they get names like "big boss".' I saw some people wearing masks that were not Phi Ta Khon.


Pee Ta Khon  Pee Ta Khon procession
The ghosts danced, and the audience cheered and shot photos. Children played with the ghosts. At about 10.30 a.m. the procession or parade started on the street. The forward teams followed by Pi Tha Khons from various districts walked slowly to Wat Phon Chai temple (Dan Sai) where activities and ceremonies were set to take place.

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