Friday, 19 December 2014

A trip to Dan Sai (Thailand)

While traveling to Dan Sai we passed Nam Nao National Park and we stopped at the view-point & jungle market. From here you have a great view over the green mountain range of Nam Nao.

Dan Sai is a village surrounded by mountains and famous for its yearly PhiTakon festival.

We did visit the "Wat Neramit Wipattasana" meditation temple and after that the oldest chedi from Dan Sai.

The modern part of the chedi

The symbol of Dan Sai is the chedi at Phra That Si Song Rak, which was built in 1560 by King Maha Chakrapat of Ayutthaya and King Chai Chetha of Lan Xang as a symbol of friendship between the Siamese and Lao kingdoms.

We did stay in a brand new small resort in town. Very nice place with very friendly owners. Too bad for my back that the beds are a bit very hard.

Old inscription on stone

The chedi itself

Entrance to the chedi

Sunset over Dan Sai

Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary (Phu Luang, 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 arranged trips see Beyond Highlights Travel
For more information see Wiki Phu Luang

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

English News about Thailand on Internet

There are a few news web-sites about Thailand in English ....

Thai PBS
Bangkok Post
The Nation

Politically do not take them to serious as all of them (like in many countries worldwide) are controlled by one side of the political arena.

Monday, 15 December 2014

A sea of red lotus flowers (Udon Thani, Thailand)

At Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake (20 km South-East of Udon Thani) from December until February / March the lake is filled with Red Lotus Flowers. It is an amazing thing to see. Best is to visit early in the day, actually arriving just before sunrise. There are small and a bit bigger boats to make a trip over the lake. You can choose for a short or long trip. The long trip is about 1 hour and costs 500 Thai baht. The boat can hold about 6 - 8 people (they say 10 but I would not do that). There are life-jackets on every boat.

Now they say Red Lotus Flowers .... but actually they are pink. It is easy to find as along every main road nearby are signs in English (Talee Bua Deang) and Thai. You can park your car (there is no public transport) nearby a temple along the lake. There are a few simple restaurants and there is food & drink for sale. Well This Is Thailand so it would be weird if there would be not food. Another spectacular thing to watch on the lake are the small birds that fly in big groups above the lake. And some dive down like they MIG's in pursue of a F16 (actually they are eating flies).

Of course there are more lakes with lotus flowers. One other famous one is west of Nong Khai. And another lake is at Sakhon Nakhon. See A-boat-trip Between-lotus-flowers

Buddha's everywhere (Khon Kaen, Thailand)

Temples & Buddha's everywhere .... like here along the Chi River nearby Khon Kaen city. From a distance (Mittraphap road) it did look like it was huge but it was difficult to find as it is actually not so big.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

International Flower Festival Khon Kaen 2014 (Thailand)

From 17 December 2014 until 4 January 2015 at Bung Thung Sang Health Garden. We were there last year and it is a huge (mainly) Thai tourist attraction with flower from all over the world (but also many from Thailand).

Of course there is also a food-court ....

Life of a traveller .... having breakfast

Breakfast at Amari Tower Pattaya
As I travel a lot I also stay in a lot of hotels where normally breakfast is served. And I like a breakfast ... and I like a good continental breakfast. But if no (good) breakfast available I just as well have a sandwich at the 7/11. And in the most "better" hotels a reasonable to good breakfast is served.

But ........

Friday, 12 December 2014

Hunting for sunrises in Loei (Thailand)

So for the first time since my motorbike accident about 7 months ago I did make a 2 days / 1 night motorbike trip from Khon Kaen first to Phu Thap Boek via route 12 to Chumpae. Actually that is where for the traveling begins  .... until the PTT gasoline station just after Chumpae it is a busy not nice road to ride (or drive). So I "had" to go up Phu Thap Boek, just to have a lunch at about 1800m high. It was busy there on the parking & market. But Phu Thap Boek is on the road to full destruction of the once green mountain.... building, building and building of new resorts & restaurants. Just 3 years ago there were only 3 small resorts and 1 restaurant! Now everywhere where you look are shops, restaurants & resorts. Luckily Phu Hin Rong Khla National Park stays like it is.

For the lovers of sunsets & sunrises I introduced a label "Sunsets And Sunrises" showing all postings with photos from sunsets or sunrises.

So I went down again an went via route 203 to Loei city where I stayed at the King Hotel. Not the best hotel, but cheap, right in town near restaurants and they have private parking.

Before entering Loei city I made a quick stop at the view point of my favorite lake of Loei. The next morning I did wake-up very early and did ride bit back to Phu Rua to take the short-cut to Wang Sapung along the mountain range of Phu Luang.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Visiting Wat Luang Pho To (Sikhio, Thailand)

Well to call it a temple (wat) goes a bit far. I think it is more a theme-park and the theme is a temple where people go for good-luck to win the lottery. But it is a great place to visit with a nice Japanese garden with fountain, a small lake, food court, coffee shop and ... a temple in very modern design. At 5 December (the birthday of the King of Thailand and fathers-day) it was very busy. You will need your own transport to get here. It is a few km east of Sikhio city (and that is already totally of the tourist map). But once with your own transport it is easy as it is right along the highway to Khorat.