Monthly Archives: April 2010

Ubon Ratchathani history – Theatres

Last month when I wrote about he Ubon Pappayon Theatre I received some great comments from a regular reader called Michael. Michael has lived in Thailand for many years and most recently in Ubon for the past few decades! He is a wealth of information on all things Ubon and many times I have called on him for help with some obscure question regarding the history of Ubon.

After he read my post about the Pappayon theatre he got inspired and supplied me with some more history as well as photos and I am very happy to publish them here for you all.

I have not edited anything at all but have simply just cut and pasted. I will split them up into three different parts. Theatres, bowling alleys and hotels.

Ubon Plaza theatre used to be called Chalerm Wattana Theatre. I attached a photo with the Ubon Plaza name clearly in Thai. It is still a Department store selling clothes etc far cheaper than elsewhere. Also very cheap booze at their liquor store.

Ubon Plaza theatre used to be called Chalerm Wattana Theatre.

The Theatre on Luang Road is still standing tall, very tall. You can see the entrance to the underground carpark. I can’t find out the name of this theatre because it closed as a theatre over 50 years ago. I have attached two photos.

Old theatre on Luang Road

Old theatre on Luang Road

The Sinrachabutr theatre was on Ratchatbutr road where there is now a tall car park building. Between the roads Khueanthani and Phrommarat. No photo.

The theatre that burnt down at the SK shopping centre was called Srisin theatre.

Ubon Pappayon was usually known as Ubon Cinema.

Nimit Rama theatre was opposite Home Hub on Chayangkhun Road just down from the Esso service station. It was pulled down some years ago but the vacant land can be clearly seen.

Life through the view finder of a four year old

I am currently in Bangkok on my way back home after attending the ANZAC day dawn service at Hell fire pass and the morning service at Kanchanupburi yesterday.

I will get back to regular blogging when I get back but in the mean time I thought I would upload some of my daughters work. A few weeks ago Ariya (aged 4) asked if she could use my camera. I set her up with a few quick lessons and then left her to it.

This is what she came back with.

Air Asia increase flights to Ubon Ratchathani

It is official. Air Asia will double the number of flights between Bangkok and Ubon Ratchathani.

Beginning on June 1 there will now be two daily flights. The first flight remains in the morning at the usual time:

Bangkok –> Ubon departs at 7.25am and arrives at 8.30am.
Ubon –> Bangkok departs at 9.00am and arrives at 10.10am.

The new flight details are:

Bangkok –> Ubon departs at 6.50pm and arrives at 7.55pm.
Ubon –> Bangkok departs at 8.25pm and arrives at 9.30pm.

They have put on some pretty good opening specials meaning a return trip is possible for less then 1,000 baht. ($33 AUS)

Trip to Laos part VI

While Dad and Des were out having a wow of a time exploring, Paul and I had a full day of work at the farm. It was an interesting day as we were cutting down trees that had been set aside as experiments and some of the results were not what we expected. Apart from the usual cutting, grading and setting up carving teams we also managed a few sales which was encouraging.

A busy day ended at our usual restaurant (the only half decent one in town) before another early night. The following morning Paul and I checked out of the hotel and left Dad and Des to sleep in. We went back to the farm to finalise a few sales as well as organise the carving team for the next few weeks work.

After lunch at the farm we began the seven hour drive to the capital of Laos, Vientiane. Before we left town we stopped in at the local market where Dad had found a small gravity water fed power generator for sale that he wanted some information about. Instead of myself battling through the language difficulties we took our manager along to translate.

Where did it come from? Vietnam, I think, not sure.
What company made it? Don’t know.
Who did you buy it from? Don’t know.
Who delivered it? Some truck, not sure.
Do you know where I could get any more information at all? No

Dad walked away shaking his head in disbelief while I chuckled to myself and said to him ‘welcome to doing business in Laos!”

Back on the road we had an easy run until the outskirts of Vientiane.

As we left later then expected we ended up driving the last hour in darkness which I was hoping to avoid. It is that time of the evening when all the farmers are heading home on bicycles, tuk tuks, tractors, two feet and a heat beat or buffalo and more often then not have half their livestock with them also. It wasn’t too bad actually but then it started raining and I discovered that my headlights decided they preferred to check out the moon instead of the road in front meaning everyone coming towards me was flashing me with their high beams which made things rather awkward.

Anyway, we made it safely around 7.00 pm and found the first two hotels we went to were full. The third one had some spare rooms so we grabbed them, unloaded and then went out for dinner.

I mentioned earlier in this series of blogs about the coffee addiction that Dad and Des have. It became the daily comedy show as they would retell there stories of trying to find a decent coffee in all the far flung places we were visiting. It got so bad that when they discovered a jar of nescafe in a market they celebrated like they had just won the lottery and took that everywhere they went along with some long life milk and made their own cuppa wherever they could get there hands on hot water.

Imagine the euphoria when they discovered that Vientiane actually had real coffee shops! They were in heaven and (they say due to the rain) they spent most of that night and the next day right here!

The next day Paul and I spent in the office sorting wood and making plans and by mid afternoon we were all finished. Our work was done! We caught up with the oldies for coffee and then went out for a good dinner which was a nice way to finish things off.
At 6am the next morning we were all packed up and ready to go. First stop was the airport to drop Paul off so that he could catch his flight home to Australia. For the three of us left we followed our nose (and missed the turn off) to the bridge to take us back over the Mekong and into Thailand. No problems here and we made good time to Udon Thani were with a few phone calls managed to find a pub called the Irish Clock. I had been told that their breakfasts were really good so for research purposes for my shop thought I would check them out. It was pretty good (especially if you are from England) but I still prefer Peppers Big Breakfast with our home made bread and superior coffee.

It was here that we bid farewell to Des. He had a flight booked to Bangkok as he wanted to go and check out Kanchanupburi and Hua Hin for a few days before joining us back in Ubon.

That left just Dad and I and we had a nice easy drive all the way back home to Ubon arriving back a little after 4pm to some very excited kids.

It was a great trip, a lot of fun, a little bit of work and really good company. Thank you Dad, Paul and Des for your companionship and I hope that this isn’t the last time we get to do it!

This ends the reports on our trip to Laos. I will do one more catch up post of my parents visit to Thailand (when we visited the village) next.

Trip to Laos part V

I have decided that I must finish my Laos trip report before I start on any other blogs. Thanks to one generous reader I have some great new information on some of the theatre and shopping history of Ubon which I am looking forward to posting.

To refresh your memory here are Part I, Part II and part III. and Part IV

At the end of part four we had arrived at the farm and had spent the afternoon getting the harvest ready to begin the following day.

Early the next morning we were back at the farm after organising two motorbikes for Dad and Des to have for the day so that they could go out exploring. They dropped in on us at the farm before they hit the road. There bikes were left over from the Vietnam war (well not really but they rode like they were 40 years old we were told!)

As I didn’t go with them I cannot really comment on what they got up to. All I know is that went up to the border crossing with Vietnam and then took some back roads for a bit of exploring. Here are some of their photos.

The wet season has arrived in Ubon!

After the typical wet season build up (40+ degree days with high humidity) the wet season broke without much warning at lunch time today. It was a welcome relief and the kids just loved it.

After coming home on the motorbike and returning with the car to pick up the kids and Seerung we dropped her off at Peppers and then came back home with the kids all the way asking if they could play in the rain. The remembered the fun they had last year with Auntie Rachel and their cousins when they visited at the end of the last wet season almost eight months ago.

As I type it is still raining and lightning is striking all around us. The kids didn’t last long outside as the 10 degree drop in temperature down to 30 degrees was a bit of a shock for them so they are currently taking a warm bath! Talk about acclimatised!