[pinterest-pro type=”pinit” pin_url=”http://siam-longings.com/1people-and-places/esarn-house.htm” pin_image_url=”” pin_counter=”horizontal” pin_desc=”A look at some of the results when one tries to find information for the term “Esarn House.””]
There is an “Esarn” or “Isan” restaurant in Bangkok that I have not before heard of:
Welcome to Vientiane Kitchen — Best Isan Restaurant in Town
Welcome to the atmosphere of the country side (Local Northeastern Style) with our warm hospitality.
Vientiane Kitchen is the place you can indulge a Thai-Esarn cuisine in a décor of Nipa Palm (Northeastern House Style) Enjoy a spectacular performance of Thai classical dances show, it’s a nice place to host a meal for Thai people and foreigners.
With over 300 seats available, it’s clearly quite a large place, and open from noon to midnight.
I have often enough posted mention of the London (U.K.) Esarn Kheaw Thai Restaurant:
Mr. M. Puntar was living by the paddy fields in the Northeast of Thailand. (Ubon Ratchathani Province). Around 1968 Mr. Puntar became a member of the “Bangkok Officer Open Mess” in the Chao Phraya Hotel in Bangkok.
His position was an assistant cook. Here he learned the basics of being a good chef. In 1974 he applied for working in England to work with “Trust House Forte Hotel LTD;”.
By September 1974 he was able to come to England to work at the “Imperial Hotel” in Jorquay Devon. This was his first job abroad as a Chef.
After two months, he transferred to work at the “Kensington Close Hotel” in central London as a sauce chef. During his time there he was able to work with differrent tools and learnt different skills. In 1977, He filled out an application form to go work at ” Intercontinental Hotel“, Park Lane. His application was accepted. His position was a Demi Chef de Party. After one year, he was promoted to a chef de party.
By July 1987, He was able to receive an “Outstanding Employee Award.” Because of his hard work. He was promoted to a sus chef. This meant having responsibility and teamwork. He worked at Intercontinental Hotel for sixteen years.
Throughout his time there he was perfecting his cooking. During September 1992, He decided to start his own business.
In 1993, He resigned from “Intercontinental Hotel” to open what is now known as “Esarn Kheaw Thai Restaurant LTD”. Till this day, Mr. M. Puntar has never forgotten his old colleagues and thanks them for giving him experience to open his own Thai Restaurant.
A couple other restaurant examples of an “Esarn House” are the Houston (Texas) Esarn Thai Restaurant (menu), which seems not to feel the need whatsoever to have its own website (a profound error); and another London (U.K.) business, Som Tam House Thai Restaurant:
Opened in 1993, Som Tam House is the 30-seater and fully licensed Thai restaurant, one of the finest in west London. It has been recently refurbished with beautifully decorated Thai decor and air conditioning. It is located with good public transport and parking spaces in the area.
Three of our Thai chefs, each with more than ten years experience in five star hotels in Thailand, guarantee genuine authentic Thai cuisine.
Enjoy your Thai taste with the improved new menu. All meals are prepared from fresh ingredients, imported directly from Thailand every week. Current meal prices remain the same as they were in 1999.
The restaurant provides a friendly family atmosphere and a variety of services.
- take away
- free local home delivery ( min. £ 10.00 ) or 10% on collection
- express lunch for only £ 5.50 ( please see lunch menu )
- party and outside catering.
All major credit cards are accepted. Tel:0208 749 9030
Yet another “Esarn House” might be the Mut Mee Guest House on the banks of the Mekong River in Nong Khai.
For accommodation rates, go here.
The Mut Mee website is surprisingly helpful, including just about everything you might need to know concerning Lao & Thai Visas. Of course, things change, so please refer to their website for updates. But here is what the situation is as of the May 3, 2012, date of this post edit:
The Lao Consulate in Khon Kaen gives 30 day visas only on a fast one hour turnaround. The price including an unavoidable “rush charge” is 1300 Baht approximately, but there are once again some surcharges depending on nationality.
In Bangkok travel agencies can arrange a 30 visa for you.
30 day visas are available for about 1600 Baht (possibly plus surcharges) within 4 working days. As before if you want the visa quickly you can get it within 2 working days for approximately 1900 Baht, again surcharges for nationality can apply.
But then you have to stay in or return to Bangkok to wait for your visa…
Note: Many of the travel agencies in Bangkok are telling travellers that it is not possible to obtain a 30 day visa on arrival at the Friendship Bridge, Wattay airport etc. Somtimes they say it is possible, but give an inflated price. Their aim is to sell travellers their more expensive, more time consuming service. As you can now get a 30 day visa on arrival, by far the easiest way is to not bother to get a visa in advance.
The Lao Embassy in Bangkok provides 30 day visas. These are available at the same prices as on the bridge (see information above).
Unfortunately they are located a long way out of the centre. Their address is
520/502/1-3 Soi Sahakarnpramoon, Pracha Uthit Road (End of Soi Ramkhamhaeng 39), Wangthonglang, Bangkok 10310.
In every case, except for the visa on arrival, do watch out for public holidays, these can slow you down, and remember that you will need either one or two passport photographs.
It certainly doesn’t pay to be Canadian where the cost of a Lao Visa is involved!
Concerning actual homes in Isaan, the following is from the website Siamese Style:
Old fashioned Isaan houses are made of wood and stand on stilts. Some, unable to afford such housing, live in tiny wooden shacks or in framed houses covered with tin sheeting.
Villages are clusters of houses near rices paddies and other crops. Isolated farm houses are almost unheard of, mostly because there is still a strong belief in spirits — not all of them benign. The farm villages symbolize the strong group and communal nature of rural Thai society.
Continuing with this May 3 (2012) post edit, here are a few other “Esarn House” references:
Cool Resort-E-Sarn. E-Sarn food. E-Sarn house. Jim Thompson Farm- E-Sarn village ( E-Sarn means northeast). A Cup of Love-On the way drinking spot, it also has a sheep kindergarten room. In pic-feeding milk 20 baht/per …
Publish Date: 01/02/2012 22:06
In The Wilds Of Esarn. Here I am sitting in an old house that has been in my wife’s house for more than 3 generations. It’s in a small settlement called Trakarn Puedpon, about 40 kilometers north east of Ubon Ratchathani city. Many of the …
Publish Date: 07/10/2006 19:48
E-sarn Loom Yen. 431 . Hard to feel cool. With more new hotels and luxury condos built at the Victory Monument area and its vicinity, the nearby Nangnam Road seems to enjoy a blooming restaurant scene; patrons are now …
Publish Date: 03/30/2012 11:49
The Esarn wedding ceremony is a unique one and involves lots of dancing, a procession through the fields and the groom buying the bride with gold and cattle. Quite a sight. dancing at the Groom’s house. procession of …
Publish Date: 02/24/2011 20:53
E-Sarn Thai Cuisine is not too far away from her house. So Momo, Gorilla and I settled for a quick dinner here. The place was packed! It was good that we were there early. There were still available seats. Those who came 20 …
Publish Date: 07/13/2009 8:59
Then we get to the first Esarn house, what a beautiful house. “Simple Esarn people” as they are known to city folk have mastered the art of using directing windflow for ventilation and temperature control, so as to regularise …
Publish Date: 01/13/2011 1:39
Thailand – Isan Animistic Healing Ceremony and Dancing at Songkran
Published on Apr 14, 2012 by MichaelSchemman
Our grandmother, Yai Lod, a kind and animistic ‘sorcerer’ communicating with the dead, is holding regular dancing and healing ceremonies around our house throughout the year. (Animism from Latin ‘anima’ meaning ‘soul,’ ‘life’; the belief that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical or material world, and souls or spirits exist not only in humans but also in all other animals, plants, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers. Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names, or metaphors in mythology. — See Wikipedia, ‘Animism.’)
This video was taken on Sunday, 15 April 2012 AD (2055 BE, Buddhist Era), during the Thai New Year Festival (Songkran), the main festival of the year after the Spring Equinox (around the Christian ‘Easter’) [see ‘The Essential Guide to Living and Retiring in Thailand’ by Michael Schemmann available at Amazon], when the young people return home from their factory jobs at the big cities (mainly Bangkok) to their villages to be with mother (and maybe father) for a couple of days and the extended family; a time Thais call ‘summer’ and schools are closed for two months.
Location: Pak Thong Chai, Province of Nakhon Ratchasima, gateway to the Northeast of Thailand a.k.a. Isan (or Isaan, or Esarn; see Tenzin Dawa (2011) ‘Isan. Quiet Splendor’ at thaisunset.com click on ‘Publications’). ‘Swasdee pi mai!’ (literally ‘Greetings Year – Not?’ or simply ‘Happy New Year!’)
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