Thailand: Up Country

Udon Thani, Chaiyaphum, Ban Phai, Ban Chiang: "Ancient Swirls"

Udon Thani

Thailand

March 8, 2005

Dear Family and Friends,

I got tired of just sitting around at The Honey Inn so after a few days of R&R I hit the road again, this time heading to northeast Thailand.

It was a short but "monumental" ten day trip. Even a little bizarre.

Chaiyaphun. I thought was going to see a silk-weaving village outside of town but in the searing heat and under the penetrating and debilitating sun I lost my patience. (Another couple I met later in the day had the same problem. On the way out of town, on the bus, we saw the sign, facing the "wrong" direction.)

Ban Phue, Tham Erawan: Bolders Bizarre

March 9, 2005

Udon.

 

Another day trip. This one began at 07:30. After staggering and swirling around town looking for the right bus station, on my third try, three motor bikes later, I found the 09:00 mini-bus to Ban Phue where I hop yet another motorbike to Bhu Prabat. (I may be an experienced traveler but my Thai is just good enough to get me into trouble on occasion.)

Bhu Prabat Historical Park. A peculiar mix of pre-historic cave paintings, bizarre geological formations and Buddhist shrines.

"The formations are a collection of balanced rocks, spires and whale-sized boulders with several shrines and three wat built in and around them."

Nong Khai: Sala Kaew Ku: "Buddhas Bizarre"

March 10, 2005

 

Nong Khai. "More than 620km from Bangkok and 55km from Udon Thani, Nong Khai is where Highway 2 ends, at the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge over the Mekong River. Across the river is the Lao People's Democratic Republic."

Some people love it here. I hated it. Typical border-town phlegmatic attitude and apathetic behavior. So un-typical Thai. But to follow my own travel philosophy, "Be happy where you are," I decided to see the sights.

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