070513 Thaikarl - ROAR! Swooooooooooooosh! Yippie! ROCKETS!!!


what a cool fun day!  we got up early and took a sam lowe to the park.  all the vendors were getting set up.  under awnings, the rocket teams were preparing the rockets.  these things are BiG!  the rocket body is 10 feet long, made from PVC pipe.  it is attached to a long tapering tail, made from numerous layers of bamboo.  they stuff 120 kg of rocket fuel in there, pack it in and 10 guys carry it out to the gantries.  they also have much smaller rockets, with 10 foot tails and engines that are 2 feet long - but the little ones go like mad!

the main crowds of people are dispersed a few hundred meters away for the launch area, but it didn't take me long to find the path out to the "danger zone" - there was a sign in thai and english that said just that.  when the big rockets fire off, there is a deafening roar, lots of smoke and fire, and then the thing takes off and roars into the sky.  early in the day there was 100 percent cloud cover, so the big ones would disappear into the grey cotton sky.  going into the clouds was a big thing - the launch team who's rocket did this whooped and hollered and jumped around all happy. 

meanwhile, over at the small gantry, they would launch the smaller rockets as fast as people got get them rigged up.   these rockets had parachutes deploy, hopefully somewhere after apogee.  not necessarily to recover the rocket, but to mark a successful flight.  some never got off the pad, and spewed smoke and fire, going nowhere.  those teams went into the mud.  a few others kind of went crazy after launch, heading off in some random direction, not exactly any where near straight up.  you have to keep your head up and eyes open.  none of the rocket's fell into anywhere there were people that i witnessed.

we stayed until after 3 in the afternoon.  there were tens of big rockets, and many more small rockets launched.  and of course, a "veritable plethora" (as my friend ross used to say) of 'consumer' rockets being launched constantly.  vendors were all over the park, selling food, umbrella's, shoes, sunglasses - the works.  and more normal sized bottle rockets.  and of course, there were the usual stacks of loudspeakers blasting out music and announcements and i don't know what.  loud.  bring earplugs.  and tolerance.

i shot and hour and a half of video, and took a bunch of photo's.  bandwidth is low at this shop, so i had to downsize the photos.

Link to a few Bang Fai photos

Tomorrow we bus back to Lom Sak.
amazing thailand!

Nu and Tok
I am in southeast asia April 19 - July 20 2007 ::: http://thaikarl.blogspot.com/

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