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travel + culture

on the road and what's out there.


out of office (round 3) - Hat Yai, Thailand

Caitlin Surakitbanharn

two posts ago - i talked about Bank and Yoko's insanely gorgeous traditional Japanese wedding that we went to in Osaka.  so Yoko is Japanese and obviously Thai (Jao's cousin...Jao is Bank is Thai.  ok. duh.) they had a beautiful traditional Japanese about a week later, they had a traditional Thai wedding in Thailand!  Jao and Bank's mothers are from a southern city in Thailand called Hat Yai, so after a few days in Bangkok, we hopped a plane down to Hat Yai and prepared for some more Bank and Yoko celebrations!

Hat Yai street food - a rice noodle/meatball soup dish that was particularly amazing upon our arrival.

Bank & Yoko had several friends from the States come to the wedding, so Bank's dad used the family party bus to drive us all around the night before the wedding and go see some local sights.  Jao and I are here with Bond, Bank's brother...loaded up in the party bus, along for the ride!

 this was the first stop for the party bus - a large statue of Guan Yin (Kuan Im, in Thai).  traditionally, you pray to her in times of need or difficult times in life.  around this statue is a series of large bells that you walk around, ringing each one, and making a wish.  the deal is...if your wish comes true, you must come back in one year to make merit.  i'll let you know if i go back next january!

just a little farther up the hill was the Standing Buddha, which overlooks Hat Yai and is truly an impressive sight to see.  looking up at the Buddha is almost dizzying!  

this is basically the last picture, but turned around, overlooking Hat Yai.  the lighting is a little dark, but this is one of my favorite pictures of us from the trip.

afterwards, the party bus moved on to the River Market, which is exactly what it sounds like... a market on a river.  local merchants come and sell food, snacks, clothes, jewelry, etc. along this river from their small boats, and you can walk around and smell, taste, and buy the most amazing foods.  i was lucky to have Jao, Bank, Bond, and Bank's dad there to always help ask if the foods had wheat flour in them (most of them did NOT), so i was really able to thoroughly enjoy this experience! 

see no really - it was a party bus!  please notice Tamir throwing the "live long and prosper" up front there....
this is the day of the wedding - we were downstairs waiting for the next party bus to leave to take us to the hotel for the wedding and lunch!  jao looks very handsome :-)

Jao's grandma - isn't she to DIE FOR?! she's so cute and little!  she's my fav :-) 

Bank and Yoko at the Thai ceremony - again..Yoko looks beautiful!

snuck a picture in ...with the Bank and Yoko poster.  (side note: we were the tallest people at the wedding)

this was after the wedding - headed to the family dinner - really was a party bus!!!

the party bus stopped for some coconut ice cream (the best).

Jao threw his coconut into the water (??)

we liked this purple couch.  very "purple rain."

so after the dinner - there was karaoke!  we were so surprised and so excited!  this is me, Barbara, and Yoko getting warmed up with some "dancing queen..."

and now we're really into it!

Yoko's dad and Bond, the dream team - singing Japanese songs!  (Bond speaks Japanese, so he was Yoko's dad's BFF in Thailand!)

so that was our Hat Yai trip - it was short and sweet - and we were off to Myanmar before we knew it! it was great to see where Jao's parents were from, and get a taste of the south of Thailand!  again... amazing food, beautiful temples, and lots of fun people.

up next...Myanmar.  stay tuned.