During September, I was invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand on a 11-day trip to all twenty provinces in Northeastern Thailand. This is the third year that they have organised such a trip to promote new destinations and some lesser known attractions.
- Part 1: Nakhon Ratchasima
- Part 2: Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Nong Bua Lam Phu and Loei
- Part 3: Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom
- Part 4: Mukdahan, Yasothon, Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani and Sisaket
- Part 5: Surin, Buriam, Roi Et, Mahasarakham and Kalasin
Just checked out of our sixth hotel and we are on the road again. Today is Day 7 of 11 of this mega #IssanTrip to all twenty provinces in Northeastern Thailand. Today our route is Nakhon Phanom – Mukdahan – Yasothon – Amnat Charoen – Ubon Ratchathani.
Wat Ban Song Khon, Mukdahan
Our Lady of the Seven Martyrs of Thailand Shrine, known locally as Wat Ban Song Khon, is the largest Catholic church in Thailand. The shrine was constructed in honour of the seven Christian martyrs in Mukdahan who sacrificed their lives to protect their religion.
This was at a time when Thailand had expelled foreign missionaries from this area because it wanted the local population to convert to Buddhism. But the local Christians refused. Seven of them were shot dead by Thai officials in December 1940. They have since been recognized by Pope John Paul II as Martyrs.
Hong Saeng, Loeng Nok Tha District, Yasothon
A local lunch today in Hong Saeng, Loeng Nok Tha District, Yasothon.
Today we visited Ban Hong Saeng in Loeng Nok Tha District of Yasothon to learn about their community tourism activities.
Tourists who want a local experience can spend a night or two in one of the homestay projects in the community.
Ban Na Phu Kam homestay, Amnat Charoen
This afternoon, we visited Ban Na Phu Kam homestay (บ้านนาภูคำ) in Amnat Charoen. I last came here about four years ago after the rice had already been harvested and everything was brown. But today everything was very green.
The homestay bungalows/huts in this rice field is only 200 Baht per person which includes breakfast. Which is very cheap. For more information about the homestay, call 087-2391818.
There’s also a restaurant and coffee shop here which cater for people passing by. However, as you can see by my drone photos, it is literally in the middle of nowhere.
Tonight I’m staying in Ubon Ratchathani in Northeastern Thailand. Do you like my new mask?
Good morning from Ubon Ratchathani in the lower half of Northeastern Thailand. This province is famous for the candle festival that marks the start of the Buddhist Lent in July. Today we will also visit Si Sa Ket Province where we will stay tonight. The border to the south of these provinces is Cambodia.
Wat Phra That Nong Bua, Ubon Ratchathani
Wat Phra That Nong Bua (วัดพระธาตุหนองบัว) in Ubon Ratchathani has a 56 meter high Bodhgaya-style pagoda with a square base. It was originally built in 1956 to celebrate 2,500 years of Buddhism but has been enlarged since. The gleaming gold and white chedi resembles the Mahabodhi stupa in Bodhgaya in India. The gold chedi inside the building contains relics of the Lord Buddha.
The temple complex was impressive before, but the colorful giant naga snakes that now stand at the entrance makes this a must-see highlight for anyone visiting Ubon city. I also suggest visiting this temple in the run-up to the Candle Festival in July as you can observe artisans making the giant wax sculptures for the parade.
Ban Sangkan, Phrai Bueng District, Sisaket
Lunch today was in Ban Sangkan in Phrai Bueng District of Si Sa Ket.
The local community had a special ceremony this morning at their local temple and stayed afterwards to give us a warm welcome.
Wat Phrai Phatthana, Phu Sing District, Sisaket
This afternoon, we visited Wat Phrai Phatthana in Phu Sing District of Si Sa Ket to pay homage to the mummified body of Luang Pu Suang.
This is a very revered monk and at the weekends, thousands of people come to pay homage. Although it’s mainly of interest to Thai Buddhists, the building itself is quite beautiful and impressive.
Phu Sing District, Sisaket
In Phu Sing District of Sisaket, close to the Thai-Cambodian border, there is this new viewpoint on the Phanom Dong Rak mountain range of Huai Samran down below. There is also a good coffee shop and restaurant here.
It’s Thursday, which means we are staying in Sisaket tonight. Every evening we have a gala dinner with a different theme.