The Grand old lady of Phayao in North Thailand

Photo taken in May 2016
It seems that indeed the grand old lady of Phayao is granted a second chance in her life. Or probably a 9th of 10th new life. The roof has been totally renewed and it looks like her all skin is face-lifted. That all must costs many MB (million Thai baht). No idea what it is every going to be.

Photo taken in 2012

Photo I found on internet

Photo must be taken between 2012 and 2015

Meditation in Nan province, North Thailand

Photo made at the entrance of a small temple just north of Nan city.

Early morning ride to nowhere in Nan province, North Thailand

A small valley along the Nan River

Roads leading to nowhere ... wait ... good for transporting all the corn!
On top!

Meaningless borders ... in Loei province, North-East Thailand

This is the border between Laos and Thailand at Na Heao (Loei province). The border follows here the Hueang River. On the other side of the border is Muang Pheir (Laos). But as there is no temple or school the Lao people come daily to Na Heao. At the day we were there it was Wan Phra (once a week it is Buddha day). So many Lao people were crossing the border to go to the temple together with Lao children to go to school.

From Thailand to Laos were also brought new construction materials like roof parts. And it seems that in Laos there is no recycling opportunity as old steel (old motorbike parts) was brought from Laos to Thailand. Sometimes there is a market at the Thai side. Although there is a immigration office this border is (officially) of course only for locals  (Thai and Lao).

A flower a day keeps the doctor away in Nan province, North Thailand

Rotan furniture production in Nan province, North Thailand

In a small village along the Nan River is one of those small home shops that truly produces One Tambon One Product (OTOP). On the side of the house is the small workplace where 4 people are working to make chairs, tables and small souvenirs.

And besides that they sell to other shops to also sell right in front of the workplace.

Everything you always wanted to know about Nan, North Thailand

Nan is a small provincial town in the eastern side of Northern Thailand, in the area bordering Laos. It is a small town, with a historic centre full of beautiful temples. I love Nan because it (still) so easy going, it is a perfect place to take your bicycle and explore the town. It is like Chiang Mai must have been 20 or 30 years ago. And Nan is also the prefect place to use as base to travel to Laos via the international border crossing at Huay Kon (soon there will even be a bus to Luang Prabang!).

For tours in Nan province see Discovering Nan by Beyond Highlights Travel  

Hidden under a tree, offering for the spirits in Nan province, North Thailand

A dragon with money in Nan province, North Thailand

Photos taken at Wat Nong Bua in Ban Nong Bua, about 45km north of Nan city in North Thailand.

Visiting Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary, Loei province, North-East Thailand

Small creek between the trees
Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary is at the Phu Luang mountain area in Loei province and is part of the Luang Prabang mountain range Eco-system.

Although the Phu Luang mountain is accessible from different places, the wildlife sanctuary entrance is at the north side. Access to here is a road from route 21 (203) between Phu Rua and Loei city. It takes you about 14 km to the entrance of the National Park. Entrance fee for Thai is 20 Thai baht while non-Thai have the privilege of paying 10 times as much 200 Thai baht.

After the entrance it is another 14 km driving to the HQ at 1400 meter high. Be aware that the last 7 km of this road has some very steep parts. I would not recommend to drive this with a mini-van. Actually a 4WD car would be best.

Be also aware that in the raining season access to the park is closed. At the HQ op top are some simple rooms in bungalows and tents for rent. The tents look good and well taken care of. You even have your own toilet! From the HQ you can make walking tours with a park-ranger as guide. There are 2 walking treks to be made, one of 5 km (one-way) and another of 2 km (a looping). Both trails are about nature, flowers and if your lucky wildlife like monkeys, birds and elephants.

We were here for a 1 day visit, but it would be best to arrive in the afternoon. Then first make a short walking trip and stay overnight. Then the next day wake-up early and make the longer walking trip. There is no public transport to the park or nearby so you will need your own transport or arranged trip.

For more information see Wiki Phu Luang. If you want to travel in the North-East of Thailand have a look at Beyond Highlights Travel

Visiting Wat Nong Bua in Nan province, North Thailand

Wat Nong Bua located at Ban Nong Bua a few km from Tha Wang Pha in Nan province, North Thailand. Located between the beautiful rice fields with mountains nearby, the temple was build around 1860 during the reign of King Rama V by Tai Lue people (who came to Nan from Southern China around 1800).

Inside the temple are wall murals that are probably made about 100 years ago. Because it is a bit off the beaten track there are almost no tourists coming here.

You are allowed to make photos inside but without flash .... unfortunately the lens of my camera is not good enough for this limited light (and I had no stand with me).

Phi Ta Kon Festival 2016 in Dan Sai, North-East Thailand

To start with it .... the Phi Ta Kon Festival in Dan Sai, Loei province is probably from Friday 10 June 2016 until Sunday 12 June 2016. I say probably because this festival is based on the lunar calendar and for that reason it is not every year on the same date. And the official announcement about when exactly it will be is always a bit late.

Phi Ta Kon Festival? It is a kind of ghost festival that takes 3 full days. It is the most colourful festival of North-East Thailand. It consists of various parades and community events to celebrate and respect the spirits (ghosts) of the community.

At the first day people pay respect to the river spirit, the second day small rockets are fired to the skies to ask for rain. And the last day people are listing to Buddhist sermons from monks. The highlight of this festival is the parade that goes thru the small city of Dan Sai.

If you want to go there you should make hotel reservations far in advance as it is a very popular festival in Thailand and all hotels in the all province will be fully booked.

Connecting the ropes in Nan province, North Thailand

Nan Morning Market in Nan, North Thailand

Nan morning morning .... best visited in the middle of the night. Well we were there at 5:15 AM. The rear section is meat, on the side cloths and in the middle vegetables. While the front side is ready made food. It is a colourful market where it seems you can buy almost everything.
The market is mostly visited by people from hotels, restaurants or who have a resell shop upcountry. 
Not today, but some days there are hill-tribe people selling jungle food.
And at about 5:30 AM monks from the nearby temple walk along during their rounds for alms. And many people "Tak Bat" (giving food to monks).

Following are more photos of Nan Morning Market. Be warned that there are also photo from the fresh meat & fish section.

Road Condition Update : Nan province

Date : May 2016

* Route 101, the 12 km south of Tha Wang Pha
They are still working on expanding the road and removing some hills. This will probably take another few months to finish. This includes 2 small bridges and a bridge over the Nan River. But they are working about 20hr a day. I would not recommend to drive / ride here at night as there are some dangerous and unclear parts in it.

* Route 1169, a 10 km stretch about 5 km north of Nan city
Here they are also still working on expanding the road. No dangerous situation, just gravel.