Readers' Submissions

Chicken Feet And Pig Shaving In Nakon Sawan

  • Written by LeighG
  • August 23rd, 2006
  • 7 min read


After visiting this site for a year it's time I finally gave a bit back. I'm a 34 year old guy from the UK, divorced, a couple of kids, 6 trips to Thailand in last 3 years.

I've been back in England a month now and the Thailand blues are well and truly kicking in again. My last trip was the first time travelling alone to LOS. Previously I'd always gone with 1, 2 or 3 mates doing all the usually crazy stuff in Phuket and Pattaya. Although Pattaya was my first port of call, this trip wasn't to include a swift one in the Pumpstation before I unpacked or an early afternoon walk down the beach via Soi 6. No, this time was to meet back up with Toon (short for Cartoon). Toon is 28, 4 foot something, 30 something kilos and to me totally drop dead sexy. I'd met her on my last visit to the wild west in Naughty A-Go-Go. Yes I know it's not one of the best venues in the area but you know what it's like when you've done all the usual popular places and keep seeing the same faces night after night. I had been doing my usual low-life thing of different women every night so I didn't get attached, but all that changed the day I barfined Toon. And now we were to meet up again and finally see some of the real Thailand, including her home, Nakhon Sawan.

We met up at Areaca Lodge hotel, one of the better ones I've stayed at (Soi Diana Inn off Second Road, from 900 baht per night inc breakfast for 2). She was a lot darker than before due to her spending 3 months back home on the farm doing the rice thing. It looked good on her, although most Thais think the paler the skin the better. Nearly the whole family had made the 9 hour non-air-con coach trip to meet me! We spent 5 days eating, fishing, drinking, cards, bingo, eating and eating. I hired a pick-up for 10 of us to make the 11 hour Nakhon Sawan trip home! We had to endure 2 hours of Bangkok in heavy rain as you're not permitted on the motorways with 5 people and a motorbike in the back. They were soaked in the back but never complained once. I lost the 2,000 baht deposit on the truck due to some scratch the size of an ant! What can you do? It just ain't worth the effort.

Me and Toon booked into a totally crap hotel full of Japanese but there was nowhere else so grin and bear it time. The next day we visited the family farm, which included 2 houses, rice and spuds as far as you could see, 3 mentally unstable dogs, 2 pigs (now one, but more about that later) and 10 of those skinny featherless creatures they call chickens. Every hour someone new emerged to come see the strange farang. All this time Toon was attending to my every need which was mainly water, beer, cooking the hottest food ever to pass my lips, fanning me for hours in the 40 degree heat and constantly asking me if I was ok. I helped with the kids' English homework as best I could. Walked for sodding miles through paddy fields and potatoes crops in the midday heat. Toon took great pride in showing me the areas she had planted rice and built small wooden damns on her sister's farm, all for 130 baht a day.

I was invited to see Toon get a blessed shower from the local monk in the mountains. In brief she's got this bad luck Buddha thing going on since the death of her 2 year old son while she was working away. Followed by kicking her husband out when she found out he was shagging some girl he met in Lucifer's Disco. I also got to attended her uncle's funeral where over 100 people stared at me for an hour and the dead guys 3 year old daughter came up and touched me on my arm to see if I was real! I tell you, not one person cried at that send off and it wasn't because he was a bad man, it's just a Thai thing.

Bit of a holiday low point was eating boiled chicken feet thinking it was a spicy squid salad. Thinking back the crunchy bits should of given it away but I'd had a couple bottles of Leo. After a week Toon's dad and her brothers slaughtered the biggest prize pig for a party for me. I shot off on the moped with Toon to get the salad when I saw the knife come out. Hearing that animal squealing still haunts me today but I know it's quite an honour for me and it's the best pork I've ever tasted (excluding me spitting out a mouthful of intestines into Toon's hands in front of everyone!) I think that's bad manners but they all laughed at me all the same.

Another funny bit was after the kill. Four guys lifted this massive pig on to a table to shave it when the table gave way under the weight and there was pig, broken wood, men and water everywhere! With a new table in place the pigs head was cut off first and sent to the monk who did Toon's shower. Everyone had a job to prepare the feast, well everyone apart from me. I was busy saying no thank you every 5 minutes to Noo, Toon's oldest brother. I was saying no to the raw liver and loin he kept offering me. I've never tried it but I've got a sneaky feeling it's just not my bag. And I don't care that only real men eat it.

A touching moment one day was seeing Toon, her sister and brothers going to visit a woman who is over 100 years old near their old home. They all sat, talked, stroked, and listened to this frail lady. Upon leaving we all gave some money to her for food. These people are so poor that it can't fail but to make you feel very humble, and yet they still give what little money they can spare to someone worse off. Sure LOS is far from perfect but they get many of the basics right and I for one can learn a lot form these people.

Holiday highlight number 1 was visiting a waterfall in the middle of nowhere, about an hours drive from Nakhon Sawan. I can't remember the name but someone on here should know it from the photo. I had to pay treble the entrance fee due to my race. (Not sure what would happen if we tried that one here in the UK?) Anyway everyone thought it was funny. (Thinking back now I was laughed at a lot). Mind you I'd have paid much more to visit such a place. We took a picnic, fed the fish, climbed and swam. It really should be on your LOS to do list. During that day I thought I was with the most beautiful woman I've ever met in the most beautiful place I've ever seen…yeah, ok it's soppy. They were in the process of building what looked like about 10 very exclusive small holiday homes near this place. Bound to cost a bomb but what a place to get away from it all.

We spent my last few days back in Pattaya with plenty of one to one with Toon. Didn't feel the need to visit places or do too much, fishing and 10 pin bowling was about it. Strange, this was my first visit when I didn't feel the need to shag around and get drunk every night! Will I ever visit Heaven Above and Super Babe again? No, yes, but only to take my dad when he goes out for a week after his divorce. It's taken 3 years but the scene has finally worn a bit thin for me. God I must have it bad.

Holiday highlight number 2 was Toon agreeing to come and stay with me in the UK for 3 months and see how it goes. Her family seems keen on it, but then I know the score with a 28 year old daughter who isn't married off. Gogos like to have the young ones working so it's a short shelf life for them and how much can an older girl send back home if her only income is freelancing in Tony's Disco or stalking OAPs on Beach Road? Everything is processing, just waiting for the visa now. That is unless the whole thing is a master mind of a scam and I've just blown about 3 grand for nothing! But would they have killed the pig if it wasn't for real? Oh well wish me luck, I'm off to call her mobile to see if I can hear any loud disco music in the background.

Stickman's thoughts:

A nice report, and I really liked the photos too.