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Thursday, May 11, 2017

#Thailand - A land that time forgot

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Surin province in Thailand's lower northeast delights with its high mountains and Khmer ruins

“RICH in castles, aromatic rice and extremely beautiful culture” reads the blurb on the promotional literature describing the province of Surin, encouraging visitors to explore its seven wondrous attractions. 
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Located in the southern Isaan region, the area that now makes up Surin has a history of human settlement that stretches back more than 2,000 years. Straddling Cambodia’s Oddar Meancheay province to its south, it was once part of the Khmer Empire and has largely retained the Khmer culture. 
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It is also famous for its elephants and its people are recognised for their skills in capturing and taming the beasts. The provincial capital underscores that fame with the annual Elephant Round Up and both the festival and Ban Ta Klang Elephant Village draw in tens of thousands of tourists every year. 
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I start my trip by shopping in the Green Market where villagers, local farmers and artisans decorate their stalls with green fabric to show that their products are organic and contain no toxins. 
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Organised in the heart of Surin town since 2008, the market is open every Saturday and offers a wide selection of organic agricultural products and top-class OTOP handicrafts, ranging from riceberry, jasmine rice and vegetables to hand-woven silk, cotton and silverware. Visitors can try some local food and sweet treats, or check out the fresh seasonal ingredients like ant eggs, fresh fish, frogs and field crab.
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