Writing about Traveling & Living in the tropical holiday destination Thailand
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Blast from the past .... The Beginning (part 1)
Photo taken by my grand-father
I am now living in Thailand for more as 15 years. How that I get there? Well that story starts around 1940 in my home country. When my grand-father took a job at the "Bataafse Petroleum Maatchappij" (part of what we now call Shell) he was send to Miri, British Borneo (now a part of Malaysia). And he took his wife with him. While living and working at many different places in Indonesia my mother and her 2 brothers were born. Just before the start of WW2 my and the children moved back to Europe. But my grand-father did stay in Indonesia and came back after the war ... as a different man. But his spirit and love for Indonesia was not broken and when the call was made he did return to Indonesia. Of course by that time Shell-Asia was nationalised and all was taken over by oil companies from the USA (clever boys). And my mother, born in Indonesia, had somehow gained "Asian" roots that she did give to me. Not that I was aware of that, but I would find out when I traveled to South East Asia for the first time in 1985. But that is the next story.
Prasat Hin Phanom Rung is a 10th to 13th century Khmer temple build during "The Great Khmer Kingdom" that stretched over a big part of what we call now Thailand, southern Laos and Vietnam. It is build on top of a old volcano at a height of 1392 feet above sea-level in the Buriram province. I have been here now about 7 times and I still find it one of the most impressive Khmer temples in Thailand. Standing up there you have a stunning view over the high plateau of Khorat. And then you trying to imagine how they did build this huge temple complex high on the mountain. And no the stones do not come from the mountain it is build on.
It is about 2 hour drive over route 24 from Khorat city or 1 hour drive from Buriram city. There are not much hotels nearby so the most people visit it from Khorat or Buriram. As far as I know there is no public transport going to the site.
Along route 1081 between Bo Klua and Santisuk is an new coffee shop "Base 47" with a stunning view over the mountains. Now you should not be in a hurry .... the shop does not have electricity so every cup of coffee is freshly made on the stove. The old fashioned way. All made and served by this lovely couple.
While we had to wait for someone in Pua we enjoyed a drink and cake at Cocoa valley Coffee Shop in Pua. From their roof-top terrace you have a great view over Pua town with Doi Phu Kha in the background with an incoming rain.
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. For building they used cement (no sand or stones) mixed with foam. And it is amazing but this little houses do not have airco and are still cool inside ... while outside 34 Celsius.
Also the main building is going to be (is) something special. With a library in the basement and a meditation room in top (heaven) while the ground floor will be lighted by a sky of LED lights in bamboo.
I love to start walking in a city and just follow my nose .... I call it "Getting Lost". Are we not all lost in life? So while in Chiang Mai I am walking from my hotel near the Night Bazar into the small streets of Chiang Mai and found many beautiful old temples.
Yes I have seen many temples, but here in Chiang Mai you will find some different style of temples. Like the one of the photos here with a "little dangerous looking snake" and the beautiful wooden decorated temple building. I love to walk around and make photos of the buildings, people and normal life on the street.