We broke the journey to Laos in a town with two names: Nakhon Ratchasima aka Khorat. Zoe was still feeling unwell from the heatstroke she'd picked up in Bangkok
, so she waited at the bus station with the bags while I went around town looking for a hotel. I found an OK place (bizarrely called the Tokyo Hotel) and a few minutes later we were both there and finding a room. The main reason for stopping in Khorat (apart from its being approximately halfway to the Lao border) was to use it as a base for visiting the Khmer ruins at Phimai
, which is fairly close by. We'd decided we didn't have time to go to Angkor Wat in Cambodia (it had been on our list before we left home, but plans had changed) and so decided to visit Thailand's largest Khmer ruins at Phimai.
Festival food (insects) - Khorat
We didn't quite realise how little competition there must be for the title of largest Khmer ruins in Thailand - Phimai is a pretty small site. The highlight of the day and a half we spent in Khorat was the fact that we'd turned up in town just as some sort of festival was in progress, so there were lots of stalls in the street at night selling all sorts of things, including food stalls selling all sorts of fried insects (which we didn't try). And in the morning there was some sort of handover ceremony involving the town's dignitaries and Buddhist representatives. We're not quite sure what was going on. Khorat was also the site of one of the stranger meals we had in our year travelling: we found an Austrian restaurant which we went to on the first night there. Very peculiar.