But Wait, Before We Leave Isaan Behind - Unchained Melody - CycleBlaze

January 8, 2024

But Wait, Before We Leave Isaan Behind

But Wait, Before We Leave Isaan

Before we all leave Isaan behind, I need to report that I have new knowledge to replace my own jumping-to-a-conclusion style of research about those bales of rice straw.  Remember, I reported that I saw rice straw bales lined up next to rubber trees and because I couldn't figure out anything better I said that they must be there to absorb water when it rains and keep things moist when it's dry?  It was a lame conclusion that I now want to revise having done hard, intense, scientific research on the subject, (meaning, I noticed something).  

It seems that the straw bales I saw hadn't been dealt with yet.  I have since seen the straw scattered all around on the ground under rubber trees as a mulch.  No bales in sight.  I regret the way I jumped to a conclusion without doing more research but now I figure it has all been corrected. 

I'm pretty sure rice straw has been scattered under these rubber trees. Possible proof of my latest theory.
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And there are a few other things I want to touch on.  For those, I'll just caption a bunch of photos.

This is the traditional style of house in Thailand and Laos. There are a few variations but this is basically what they were building for a long time. On stilts because of flooding which was common just about anywhere.
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Another traditional style house. These are disappearing quickly.
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The country houses are not fancy at all, often without windows. But when grandma dies these are being knocked down and modern homes with shed roofs are replacing them, especially in the countryside because I figure shed roofs are cheaper than pitched roofs.
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Homes in the country are often very basic and cheap to build.
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Then they started building houses not from wood but from cement/stucco in the 1960's. Still on stilts but the bottom level, prone to floods, probably doesn't house valuables.
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You often see what used to be a house. Thais are on the move. They want new, clean, modern houses.
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We are always surprised how sudden change happens in Thailand. This is not an uncommon sight.
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They will still build homes on stilts sometimes but almost all the time now they will first raise the level of the land they will build on and probably not build a house on stilts.
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The totally modern Thai house in the country. It is probably relatively cheap especially with the shed style roof. You see these shed roofs everywhere now. (Seriously, it's called a shed roof as opposed to a pitched roof style.) This shed roof is a phenomenon in Thailand in just the past few years. It is almost all they build now.
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An even fancier version.
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A rather nice house with a more complicated shed style roof.
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Businesses have also adopted the new style of roofs. Everyone is going with this shed style roof. We even saw big new factories with the same shed roof style.
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This noodle soup stand got a big upgrade with the roof. It's another version of the shed roof but without walls.
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Even a field hut is getting the new modern style of roof.
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If a house is continually upgraded through the years this is what it may look like. The evolution of a house. First a wooden house on stilts. Next they might put cement blocks on the lower level and fill it in completely. Then they might get rid of all the wood on top and use cement/stucco. And the modern shed roof to top it off. Or, the whole thing could be brand new as well.
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A bit of research done on sugar cane.

If the sugar cane is mowed down (harvested) and left alone it will regrow for a second crop but it will not yield as much due to kind of scattered growth.
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This is what sugar cane looks like when the old crop was harvested, the field plowed and then a new crop planted.
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A bit on the many rest shelters on the roads of Thailand.

We love these shelters to rest in and have a snack. We ride our bikes right inside them and are eating or drinking within seconds. These shelters are everywhere in Thailand. On some roads they are every mile or so.
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This is the style of shelter that they built for many years made mostly of wood. But we saw some new ones (sorry, no photo) where they were using cement entirely and big slabs of cement didn't look as comfortable to sit on as teak wood. I understand that upkeep is reduced however.
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Love the wood.
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Mike PalmquistThanks for taking this photo of the framing on this. I love the design and am thinking about building something like this up at our lake house.
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4 weeks ago
An older one of these shelters.
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Old style rest shelters by sides of roads are still in use...by us.
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A very little bit on tapioca.  I am kind of disgusted that so much human energy is spend on growing this nearly useless crop.  Tapioca has no nutritional value other than it is simply a carbohydrate.  It's mostly an additive to foods.

This is another reason tapioca farmers can't be making much money. The chemicals they spray on the little stalks must cost something.
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lovebruce

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Scott AndersonI’ve really enjoyed seeing this part of the country. It’s really much different than the other regions you’ve shown us over the years.
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1 month ago
Bruce LellmanTo Scott AndersonI've always wondered what it was like in this part of Thailand - Isaan. I always knew there were lots of ancient Khmer sites but I didn't know much about what the countryside looked like. It's been fun. As many times as I've been in Thailand, there still are other regions I've never seen.
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1 month ago