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 more information see Wiki Phu Luang

If you want to travel in the North-East of Thailand have a look at Beyond Highlights Travel

On the motorbike and 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. If you want to travel in the North-East of Thailand have a look at Beyond Highlights Travel

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.

Wat Phasorn Kaew (Lomsak, Thailand)

Along route 12, about 20-km after Lomsak (coming from Khon Kaen) is on your right hand a beautiful temple build in Gaudi style. It is a medication center that is was partly still under construction. The temple itself is beautiful decorated with colorful mosaic stones. And it is located on a magnificent location on a small mountain with in the background a huge mountain range (Phu Hin Rong Khla). For more information see Wat Phasornkaew

Huge Buddha image under construction

If you want to travel in the North-East of Thailand have a look at Beyond Highlights Travel

With a wheelchair or crutches in Thailand

Blocked side-walks
A few months ago I did tear off a muscle of my left leg. After a surgery a few weeks of staying in house did follow. And after that a few months of walking with crutches.

And people living here know that Thailand is not really famous for it's access for disabled people (you hardly see them on the streets). And I would learn in the next few months why. Another thing I learned ... a big respect for the disabled people living here. It is not easy!

Yesterday I came back from a one day trip to Bangkok by airplane At the end of this posting you can read my experience as "crutcher" traveling to Bangkok.

First of all you are lucky if there are side-walks along the road where you could walk with your crutches or go with your wheelchair. And if there are side-walks most of the time they are blocked by shops, poles, telephone booths, police booths, parked cars, etc. And if they are not blocked they are in such a bad shape that walking there is actually dangerous. Or the steps on/off are so high it is almost impossible to use them.

Then then at shopping-malls are parking places for people who are disabled. Unfortunately the most Thai people do not have much consideration for other people so the designated parking place are many times in use by people who are just too lazy to walk. Unfortunately also the most security people working at the parking do not stop lazy people from using this designated parking places.
Parking for lazy people

But slowly there is something done in Thailand to help disabled people to access the normal world of shops and restaurants. Many shopping malls have designated parkings, wheelchairs, etc.

Following is my personal experience in the few months walking with crutches. Until now mostly only in my home-town Khon Kaen. I will update this in the coming weeks.

A selfie at Bung Kaen Nakhorn (Khon Kean, Thailand)

A group of students sitting along Bung Kaen Nakhorn in Khon Kaen city and making selfies with the city skyline and sunset as background.

Sweet Mania Cafe & Restaurant (Khon Kaen, Thailand)

A trendy kind of coffee shop but also a restaurant for lunch and diner. Modern decorated like a Tea House. They have a good selection of Thai food but their speciality are Cakes, Desserts and yummy shakes. So we had it all!

We had lunch here with 4 people. Well I skipped the Som Tam (Papaya Salad) but I was told it was very good. So I enjoyed a friend fish, soft and delicious. Served with a friend rice (a bit dry) and as starter we had "Shrimp in a roll of herbs & salad".  As dessert we shared a "Chocolate Lava" and a "Melon ice-coup". Both were very good with delicious ice-cream. But the latter was really a piece-of-art ... with scoopes of melon as a tower with on top ice-cream. The "Chocolate Lava" was served with delicious malt-cream. We did drink water and 2 nice soda-shakes. Total costs was about 1.000 THB (4 people). Highly recommended! A place to come back.

Staff was friendly but it was very busy (people were waiting for a table) so the kitchen had a bit of trouble making all the food & drinks.

Facebook : Sweet-Mania-Cafe-Milk
Wongnai   : Sweet Mania

Sunset along Bung Kaen Nakorn (Khon Kaen, Thailand)

My favourite shot of the day at 17:16'31
One of the best attraction of Khon Kaen city is "Bung Kaen Nakhorn", a lake in the city with a park around it. In the early morning and in the late afternoon people come here to sport and to be seen. And as you see it is also a great place for a stunning sunset!

For the sunset lovers, click on MORE INFORMATION to see 9 more photos of this sunset.

One Tambon One Product production at the village

We were at a wedding in a very small village near Buriram. I call it "Little Cambodia" as all people here speak "khmer". No, not not really Cambodian but a local "khmer".

Most people in the village are older people, left behind with the young children and babies from their kids that moved out of the village.

Here is a lady working on making a small carpet made of a kind of dried grass. It will take her a few hours to make one.

A state of shock

Yesterday we were at a wedding in a very small village near Buriram. I call it "Little Cambodia" as all people here speak "khmer" (no not really Cambodian).

Most people in the village are older people, left behind with the young children and babies from the kids that moved out of the village.

This young girl was playing around between the party people until "mother" decided that it would be nice to make a photo of the girl and me ... the only Westerner in the village.

Khon Kaen National Museum (Khon Kaen, Thailand)

Although it is called "Khon Kaen National Museum" a name like "National Museum of North-East Thailand" would be more suitable. It is located in the city of Khon Kaen at the area of the Government buildings. Although the museum opened in 1972 (rebuild in 1993) it is in a modern and well taken care museum with explanation also in English.  The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 16:00. It is closed on Monday, Tuesday and public holidays. Entrance fee is 20 Thai baht for Thai people but Tourists / Foreigners  have the privilege to pay 5 times as much (100 Thai baht). Unfortunately I was not allowed to make photos inside (but I managed one shot).

In short you could say that the museum is an exhibition of North-East Thailand following the Prehistorical period (Settlement & Tools), the Historical period (Dvaravati Culture & Khmer Culture), Art Evolution and the City of Khon Kaen (Traces of the past, History & Folk Culture).

To begin with I not have a high admiration for museums in Thailand, most times it is Thai language only, old and not taken care of. But this museum is a very good exception of that. Actually it is full of beautiful masterpieces of ancient art & images. Highly recommended!

On show are some maps with the places of importance for  Historical & Prehistorical Period. And it is amazingly to see that almost the all North-East of Thailand is littered with places of interest with archaeologically sites and Khmer ruins. Must be said that the majority are in the lower part of the Isaan. This museum is very well worth to visit when you are in Khon Kaen and makes a good starting point to explorer Prehistorical & Historical Isaan.

Wat Pa Phu Kon (Na Yung, Thailand)

The "Wat Pa Phu Kon" temple is located in the mountains (Phu Kon) along the Thai-Lao border in the north-west of Udon Thani province. In the middle of nowhere! It is a kind of meditation temple that is also visited by many Thai & Lao people. I would call it a tourist attraction. Beautiful build on a beautiful location. If you are travelling with your own car, be aware that the last part of the road leading to the parking place is steep, very steep.

See Wat-pa-phu-kon

A day to Nam Nao National Park (Thailand)

Endless green
North-East Thailand is tourism-wise a bit forgotten part of Thailand, but there are beautiful National Parks like "Nam Nao National Park" between Phetchabun province and Chaiyaphum province.

If you want to travel in the North-East of Thailand have a look at Beyond Highlights Travel
Incoming rain with sunshine

Travelling along the Thai-Lao border (Thailand)

Travelling along the Thai-Lao border to Nan we are passing "Phu Soi Dao" National Park and a bit  further a waterfall from where you can make a short hike of 6 km thru the jungle of huge bamboo & pine trees.

The Samakki Tham Religious Centre (Nakhon Thai, Thailand)

The Gaudi style front building of the "Sammakki Tham" Religious Centre
The first time passing the meditation temple I thought "What the heck is that?" and I made a quick stop for some photos. Later I returned and took some more time to talk to the people building this. It is really amazing! This is why I love travelling in Thailand ... you find such a special and sometimes weird things along your journey.

If you want to travel in the North-East of Thailand have a look at Beyond Highlights Travel

On the motorbike travelling from Chiang Khan to Petchabun (Thailand)

View at Phu Rua
We had breakfast in a very nice restaurant behind the PTT Gasoline station at Phu Rua.. Nice weather and great views! From here we did travel via some side-trips to Petchabun.