One of the odd things about Thailand is that they have a love of miniature garden windmills. Our resort has installed a couple of them and I had to stop to take a couple of photos for a Dutch friend of mine, who had recently visited us in Chiang Mai.

Just what you'd expect next to ricefields in Isaan.

Just what you’d expect next to rice fields in Isaan.

Day two of the Bun Bang Fai festival in Si Bun Ruang found us on the edge of town after I was told by the family that we were going to watch fireworks. This seemed slightly strange to me because it was 10.00 am but this is Thailand so I have found it is best just to go along with whatever is happening. Whatever was happening was obviously popular because we had to park the car in someone’s garden and were charged 50 THB by the entrepreneur owner. Their one chance of the year to make some easy money.

A hot day again and, as I got burnt the previous day – silly Aussie should know better, I equipped myself with some fashion accessories; sunnies, hat and large umbrella:

Stylish. Orders being taken.

Stylish. Orders being taken.

The Thais were already sensibly set-up. Peng being young has a hat more for fashion than protection.

The Thais were already sensibly set-up. Peng being young has a hat more for fashion than protection.

The market stalls were geared towards hats, umbrellas and food of course.

The road leading to the festival lined with stalls.

The road leading to the festival lined with stalls.

Some businesses had set up like this low key example:

Subtle sound system but then after yesterday this looked pretty tame.

Now that’s a sound system but then after yesterday this looked pretty tame.

This part of the festival was located around this shallow lake, it is still the dry season here.

This part of the festival was located around this lake.

Mostly markets on the left and where I am taking the photo, fireworks on the right. We decided to walk round to the actual firework launch site and be close to the action. I was expecting that video was going to be the way to best capture the pretty light show, even in daytime.

A taste of things to come. Small fireworks for sale.

A taste of things to come. Small fireworks for sale.

Animal welfare required?

We passed this contribution to the day. Animal welfare required? It’s one way of making a few baht. Jenny if you are reading don’t show Rosie or she will want the same outfit.

I weakened and put 10 THB into the bucket and became the blokes best friend.

I weakened and put 10 THB into the bucket and became the blokes best friend.

Coming closer to our destination there was a massive blast followed by this:

Not what I was expecting.

Not what I was expecting.

My suspicions that this was going to be nothing like I thought were confirmed when we got to the launch area. Here I found a long row of small marquees each with their own rocket and support crew. Now these rockets were of the type you saw in the photo above, a stick base and explosive head, only they were a little bit larger.

This photo taken from the end of the stick.

This photo taken from the end of the stick, which is actually a good sized bamboo pole.

The team working on the head.

The team working on the head.

Looming from one marquee to the next.

The head attached to the pole with gunpowder ramrod still sticking out of the head.It is all very technical as you can see.

This entry had monk support.

This entry had monk support.

On its way to be launched.

On its way to be launched.

Cape Canaveral.

Cape Canaveral.

I am thinking that this is going to travel some distance, if it gets off the ground.

If it gets off the ground this is going to travel some distance.

The following video is the best I could do in capturing the launch of one of these rockets. The first video I tried to take close to the rocket was going well until they lit the fuse! The noise is overwhelming and I found that having both hands over my ears didn’t help with capturing the event on “film”. This second video was taken from across the lake, which helped but the thing travels so fast that it is almost impossible to follow. Still you get the idea. If you are watching this on an iPad the player button may not work. Tap a few times to the far right of the video photo to get it started.

My more comfortable vantage point from across the lake.

My more comfortable vantage point from across the lake. A rocket being prepared by a large colour coordinated team.

They get up there.

They get up there. I hope there aren’t any Malaysia Air flights in the area.

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The rockets were part of a competition which I presume revolved around the one that went the highest or longest. Anyway money was changing hands in man’s usual ability to make anything into a betting opportunity. Gaun tells me that these rockets are rated at 100.000. For New Year another festival has them rated at 1,000,000, which would reach the moon or beyond! Gaun also tells me that sometimes they explode or just return and people have died as a result. Across the lake was looking better all the time. I did wonder about that bamboo pole returning to earth from several thousand meters but best not to worry about these things.

Too hot to walk around the lake to the other side. This was the alternative.

Too hot to walk around the lake to the other side? This was the alternative.

A story in that face.

A story in that face.

The other main event of the festival was a series of motocross races held in a purpose built paddock on the road leading into this area. I normally wouldn’t bother but my brother-in-law, Lud, is a very keen follower. The track was closer to home at one time and Lud would evidently disappear on some errand and not be seen for some time. So we left the girls to watch more launches and us boys were on the loose.

A different type of take-off.

A different type of take-off.

Happy landing.

Happy landing.

Flying high. I am running out of things to say.

Flying high. I am running out of things to say.

Not always a happy ending.

Not always a happy ending.

A dirty, dusty business. Time for a Chang, a Thai beer.

A dirty, dusty business. Time for a Chang, a Thai beer.

The gallery in full concentration.

The gallery in full concentration.

There are only so many rockets one can watch in a day so we called it quits to head home for a shower and cold drink or two.

The other side of any big day out. Same everywhere.

The other side of any big day out. Same everywhere except Thai whisky is probably the culprit here.

Another great day out full of new sights and SOUNDS.

If you want to get the official details about Bun Bang Fai, which I wish I had before going, you can find an entry HERE courtesy of Wikipedia.

Thanks for reading.