Thailand | Huay Koong – Buddhist World

Yesterday was our arrival into Huay Koong, which was an easy hike down, though slowed by our forest transect. The river is our only solace here, as the village seems rather unfriendly on the whole. Thus, we go swimming as often as possible and the water is clear and crisp. It is hard to form relationships with the villagers, despite being so excited to see a Buddhist village.
When I ask names, I am not asked mine in return. There is little interaction with our familites, so most of the time is spent writing our development papers. Our Muga has yet to smile or speak – perhaps our cold welcome is a reflection of our purposes here; after all, we are not laying trail here, only visiting. We did help fix up the CBT center by rebuilding the bamboo fence and clearing the yard of vegetation, dead leaves, and trash. It’s startling and sad to see so much trash here, something we have all been quick to comment on. Authenticity and globalization reach a strange tension here. This village seems far less removed from the comforts of Thai living; the bamboo huts are built firmer, taller, and larger, and it feels relatively connected. We are served cookies and Nescafe regularly. I cannot help but wonder: Without road access, how does this stuff get here? On our second night, we sang songs by the fire with the villagers and felt welcome for the first time. However, tomorrow we are off to Huay Hee, and we are all excited for a familiar place.

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