The Thais love to party and December is the season of festivals- the biggest being New Year. Every local town, worth it's salt will have a cowboy festival to celebrate- and no matter how many, there always seem to be enough cowboys to go around. For anyone visiting the Khao Yai at this time of year, I recommend that you seek one out. They're free to attend- just turn up, find a table or hay bale to sit on, buy a tower of beer and some food and enjoy the show- both on and off the stage. If you are a westerner and appropriately dressed (cowboy shirt at the least), then you are certain to get a lot of attention, all positive, and often in the form of offers to join another table or to accept a glass of beer or two.
A true indication of the lengths Thais in this area will go to, to make you feel welcome came this Christmas. Having gone around to the relatives of Deaw to give them cookies and chocolates for Christmas, I had a complete surprise on Boxing Day when his entire family tuned up at the hut to wish me a Merry Christmas. They were armed with Christmas gifts and handmade cards from the children and it really did make this festival for me.
There are also some great festivals left in the pipeline, the next one being the Muak Lek Cow's Milk (and therefore cowboy) festival in January. So saddle up and come join us :)
Happy New Year to Everyone...and may 2013 be a great one for you.