Here comes a Farang ! Here comes a Farang ! I heard kids as they passed by in front of my house. I and young girl friends had to stop playing and leave all our toys and ran after the kids to see this strange thing called "a Farang" "Farang" is Thai word referring to western people who have white skin. It also refers to the fruit that is known as “Guava”.
My small village is called Pang Wwang. It is located about 47 kilometers north of Chiang Mai. Most of the villagers have orchards of Lamyai (Longan ), Lichee and mango trees, and they also grow sugar cane and coconuts, as well as other things. It is a very simple village and the people live happily together.
After we reached the house of Ai Ma (Brother Ma ) We saw a group of adults and kids who were staring at the top of a coconut tree. They were watching a man who was knocking down coconuts one after another. When the coconuts fell to the ground, all the kids started shouting "Hey! Hey !" happily. “ I will use the coconuts to make cookies to offer to the Buddhist monks at the temple, because tomorrow is a Buddhist Holiday. I don’t know where this Farang came from, but I asked him to climb the coconut tree and pick coconuts for me." Ai Ma told us.
After collecting 10 coconuts. Ai Ma shouted and made a signal to the Farang to come down. Then he started opening the coconuts and poured coconut juice
into a glass and gave it to the Farang to drink. He drank it deliciously and raised his thumb saying “ Good ! Good ! “ All the kids imitated his gesture and his voice, saying “ Good ! Good! “in unison. Ai Ma brought a Maew Koot Maprao , ( In the North a coconut scraper is called a Maew Kut Maprao, that is cat to scrape the coconut. The Central Thai calls it a rabbit.
The scraped coconut meat is used to make coconut cream ( Kathi ) for cooking )and sat down on it to scrape the coconuts. The Farang told him that he wanted to try. But he was clumsy, because his body was very big and the scraper is very small. he fell off onto the ground and we all started laughing until we cried.
Ai Ma brought the Khan Toke ( a small round table made of teak or bamboo wood used for putting food on. ) with some food to show appreciation for his friendliness.The food consisted boiled bamboo shoots, Nam Pu ( It is a black source popular in Northern Thailand. People catch crabs in the paddy fields and cook them with garlic, chili and salt to make sauce . ) and sticky rice. The Farang made a ball of rice and dipped it into the Nam Pu. Then he put it into his mouth and chewed it. Suddenly his ears and eyes turned red and tears flowed from his eyes. He asked for a glass of water waving his hand and pointing to his mouth. “ Hot ! Hot! Hot! Oh Gosh “ We all started laughing again..
John ! John “ A Thai man dressed like a city man appeared in front of Ai Ma’ house calling, He was Thai tour guide. We learned that this Farang man was named “ John” The guide explained. “ I am taking 20 tourists on a trip to the north and we passed by this village. We saw teak trees along the roads , so we decided to stop the car. I told them to take a picture and pick up the teak leaves for souvenirs. But John walked too far and lost his way. We drove off and forgot all about him. We only remembered him until we were about to reach the town. We had to come back and pick him up. But we want to thank Ai Ma and all the villagers for your kind and warm welcome for John. He told me that that I shouldn’t have come to pick him up so soon, because he was really enjoying being here. We all went to see John off at the main road. He got on the bus where many other Farang were waiting for him. They waved and said “Bye , Bye “ to us.We couldn’t recognize John’s face, because to us Farangs’ faces are the same. They have blue eyes, prominent noses blond hair. But I remember the sparkle in John’s eyes, and his happy expressions.
Years and years have passed by, and I have always wondered what it was that made that tourist came into my village and enjoyed himself like that. Teak leaves, climbing the coconut tree, the scraping the coconut and eating sticky rice with Nam Pu.
When I had a chance to continue my studies at Chiang Mai university. I chose Tourism as my minor. It made me realize that our common way of living simply in our local community is a new thing for tourists. They are exciting and happy to seeing and touch, feel our way of life. I realize that there are still many places in the Northern part of my country that should be publicized.
We have many things that will make tourists happy, such as our natures beauty, traditional, rites and arts, the beliefs of our religion and the cultures of tribal people.
While I was still only a sophomore at the university, I decided to form a tour company named “Destiny Travel Service, “ on July 1, 1999. Destiny made a tourist lose his way and come into my village. It also motivated me to introduce and spread the goodness of my local community as a way to make tourists happy.
The Destiny Travel Service under the control of Department of Tourism License no.21/00363, founded in 1999 in the name of Khun Yupin Numcharern and later transferred to Khun Watinee Namcharern. After her graduation from Chiang Mai University, she became a fully professional executive worker. We offer the opportunity to demonstrate our excellent service. We always welcome you at our office.
Pictures of our staffs.
Watinee Namcharern (Tea)