This morning I sat outside on a quiet corner, sipped coffee, listened to birdsong, and watched this small town wake up. Nakhon Phanom is the first place I've ever been in Thailand to give me this and this is why I keep extending my stay by two more days.
I'm not really a traveler; I'm a voyeur. I like to go somewhere I've never been and watch it. This is my fourth day in Nakhon Phanom and there are still places I haven't been because I wander slowly, on foot. But I know that the best coffee in my part of town is at Good Morning Vietnam and Coffee and the best pastry is at Ali Blah Blah farther down the road. I've spent a lot of time in both places, watching and enjoying the world around me.
There's a boat trip on the Mekong in the evening (for less than two dollars) ; spider bites are free, but in addition they also serve Beerlao in cans--a first for me. And the riverside is walkable for miles. I know. I've done it and plan to do it again soon.
There's more to see here. I've yet to see the center of town and how people do business there. But so far I'm happy in my 65-year-old Chinese hotel, with its big windows, checkerboard floor tiles, and profusions of wood, and in my riverside neighborhood. I can understand why Uncle Ho lived here. It's a fine place to write and wander and perhaps plot social change. So far I'm still wandering.....