Author: Richard Barrow

Trip to Chiang Mai with Trunk Travel

My first trip after the second wave had subsided was by sleeper train to Chiang Mai. Yes, I could have flown there but for me it’s the journey just as much as the destination. I love trains and as there are not many tourists at the moment, I took advantage of being able to book sleeper train tickets at short notice. I was originally planning on doing my own thing in Chiang Mai like last time, but then Trunk Travel kindly offered to show me around. They said that they would take me to places that I’ve never been to before. The following are my live posts on social media during the trip.

DATE OF TRAVEL: 4-7 March 2021

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TBEX Asia 2021 Blogger Preview Trip to Phuket

Today I’m flying down to Phuket for three days. On Thursday I will be attending a press conference about TBEX 2021. This is an international blogger conference which will take place in October next year. It was last in Thailand in 2015 when it was attended by around 600 international bloggers.

I’m looking forward to visiting Phuket. This is my first trip there since COVID. They need all the help they can get as it was mainly a destination for international tourists. Now it needs to reinvent itself for the domestic market and lose the reputation as an expensive destination.

Map list of places that we visited: https://www.google.com/maps/placelists/list/4yFnR0sCE5NxPdXEH7FCxXRT3c6gWg

Date of travel: 6-8 October 2020

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Silver Age Trip to Surat Thani

I’m flying down to Surat Thani in Southern Thailand this weekend to visit the Lee Led community in Phunphin District of Surat Thani Province. This area is apparently called the “Amazon of Thailand” due to the mangrove forest. I’m looking forward to learning more about the local people and how they co-exist with the environment. Hopefully I will also get some good pictures to share with you.

Date of travel: 19-20 September 2020

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Part 5: Surin, Buriram, Roi Et, Maha Sarakham and Kalasin

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. 

DAY NINE

Good morning from Sisaket in Northeastern Thailand. Today we’re heading to Surin and then Buriram. As you can see, I’m wearing my Buriram football shirt and standing in front of TAT Buriram’s pick-up truck. Looks like it’s going to be another hot day. It’s already 30°C.

Elephant World, Tha Dum District, Surin

This morning, we visited Elephant World in Tha Tum District of Surin. This is a new attraction that has recently opened that gives you an inside look into the world of elephants.

There’s also a viewpoint tower, a temple dedicated to deceased elephants and an elephant cemetery. Entrance fee is 50 Baht for Thais and 100 Baht for foreigners.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/BUS2CVHBxQauxnvy9

Chang Arena, Buriram


This afternoon, I visited Chang Arena, which is a 32,600 seat football stadium and the home of Buriram United FC.

We had a tour of the stadium that included the changing lockers, press conference room and the stadium itself.

This is most likely the most impressive football stadium in Thailand. They also sell the most football shirts as hundreds of thousands fly off the shelves every year. I bought two new shirts again like during my last visit.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/wb5RMCJ6USz

Wetlands and Sarus Crane Learning Center, Buriram

This afternoon, we visited the Wetlands and Sarus Crane Learning Center at Huai Chorakhe reservoir in Buri Ram’s Muang district.

The Sarus Crane were believed to have been extinct in the wild until Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo initiated a successful breeding program to release them back into the wild. These wetlands are one place you can see them.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/w6TYAdWVygtFuw5m8

DAY TEN:

Good morning from Buriram in Northeastern Thailand. This is now Day 10 of our mega 11 day #IsaanTour to all twenty provinces in Northeastern Thailand. Today we will visit the remaining three provinces, Roi Et, Mahasarakham and Kalasin. Tomorrow is a travel day back home to Bangkok.

Wat Pa Kung, Si Somdet District, Roi Et

Wat Pa Kung, in Si Somdet District of Roi Et, is a sandstone pagoda modeled after the much larger Borobudur in Indonesia. Although it is smaller in scale, it is just as impressive. Around the base there are many bas-relief and low relief sculptures which show religious scenes.

When Luang Pu Sri Mahaviro went Indonesia in 1988, he went to worship T Borobudor on Java. He experienced its beauty and enormity and was very impressed. When he returned to Thailand, he told the story to his disciples and mentioned that he would construct the same thing in Thailand.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/Wr5x14z7Fuwf4AoGA

Cho Ko Restaurant, Roi Et

Lunch today was at Cho Ko Restaurant in Roi Et City.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/nQ9XQNZzecq2dmzN7

Roi Et Tower, Roi Et

The latest tourist attraction in Roi Et City is this 101 meter observation tower. It is modeled to look like a Wot, which is a circular panpipe used in the traditional music of the Isan region of northeastern Thailand.

The Roi Et Tower took about three years to build and should be open to the public by the end of this year. We were lucky to have a special preview today. The highlight is the glass skywalk right at the top. This will be popular for sure. Though not for people who are scared of heights.

Prices are expected to be 100 Baht for adults with a special 50% promotion for the first month or two. The views and experience was excellent and it should definitely be on your bucket list.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/ynSHMFjM7znfcAFd7

Kae Dam wooden bridge, Maha Sarakham

The Kae Dam wooden bridge (สะพานไม้แกดำ) in Maha Sarakham looks a bit rickety and unsafe, but it was surprisingly strong. The local people continually repair and strengthen it as and when it’s needed.

The present bridge is 600 meters long and is 61 years old. A good time to visit is at sunset. I love this place. They also have homestay and so I might come back to stay a few nights.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/gbERfMUCjj82

Old City Hall, Kalasin

When we arrived in Kalasin, students from a local school put on a traditional musical performance for us. It was good to see so much young talent.

Kalasin Art Gallery

The ground floor of the old city hall in Kakasin has been converted into a new art gallery for the city. There’s some impressive work on display at the moment if you’re in the area. There’s also a section for 3D art.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/rhDUPxrPRoGQwADh6

Kalasin Museum

On the second floor of the old city hall in Kalasin, there’s an interesting display on the local culture and way of life.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/rhDUPxrPRoGQwADh6

DAY ELEVEN

Good morning from Kalasin. We have come to the end of our 11-day mega #IsaanTrip to all twenty provinces in Northeastern Thailand. After traveling 2,817 kilometers, it’s time to head home. The 515km drive back to Bangkok will take over seven hours if we don’t stop. Which we will.

Or Kungphao, Nakhon Ratchasima

A seafood lunch today at Or Kungphao (อ.กุ้งเผา – โคราช) in Nakhon Ratchasima.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/gYycaDdfPSvBGmMA8

Food Souvenirs, Khorat

A brief stop to buy food souvenirs for friends and family back home. If you ever go away for the weekend, it’s expected to bring back some local food for those at home. Though to be honest, a lot of these shops around Thailand sell the same food souvenirs.

Part 4: Mukdahan, Yasothon, Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani and Sisaket

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. 

DAY SEVEN:

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.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/WeqvnXN3RTw

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.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/TbFh5tkXZmu7Nu28A

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.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/71fkXuLrhRKhzDiF9

Ubon Ratchathani

Tonight I’m staying in Ubon Ratchathani in Northeastern Thailand. Do you like my new mask?

DAY EIGHT:

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.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/SmzyxgKBk4uApinR7

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.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/63vd3GRxVauAhax47

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.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/DJ59yRjsS2sLv5j49

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.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/jHRAKAhCzZsp3EzT8

It’s Thursday, which means we are staying in Sisaket tonight. Every evening we have a gala dinner with a different theme.

Part 3: Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom

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.

DAY FIVE:

Good morning from Loei in Northeastern Thailand. This is now Day 5 of 11 days of the mega Isaan Trip. Today we are heading to Udon Thani and then Nong Khai province.

Breakfast with a view of the Mekong River in Kaeng Khut Khu, Chiang Khan District of Loei.

Khiri Wongkot Village, Na Yung district, Udon Thani

This morning, we visited Khiri Wongkot Village in Na Yung district of Udon Thani province. The community, which is surrounded by green mountains of the Na Yung-Nam Som National Park, came together to form an ecotourism village to welcome tourists.

If you visit the community, you can opt between homestays and camping. If you just want to stay a short time, you can also join tours in the village by mountain bicycle or by local style tractor. During our visit, we took a tractor tour along streams, across fields and through woods to Huay Khang Pray Waterfall.

Here we ate a delicious meal surrounded by the jungle and using utensil and a cup made from bamboo. The food included Som Tam which is a spicy papaya salad, grilled chicken, and a curry cooked in bamboo. The tour in total lasted about two hours and was really enjoyable.

For more information, you can contact the village headman on 08 3147 9004.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/hfAT1CuQbYxxT85aA

Ban Wang Nam Mok, Si Chiang Mai District, Nong Khai

This afternoon, we visited Ban Wang Nam Mok community in Si Chiang Mai District of Nong Khai. They have a nice balance between natural attractions and cultural heritage.

At the visitor center in the village you can learn more about their culture including local handicraft. If you want to immerse yourself a bit more, they have at least ten homestay properties. Where you can participate in the wrist-binding ceremony, which is the tradition of Wang Nam Mok villagers to welcome and impress strangers.

Local dishes that you can enjoy include bamboo shoot soup, pineapple salad and fried fish with leaves. The local contact for more information is Tinnaphob Suphantha on 08-3357-7035.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/3r8WrSNvQtrPAdaR9

DAY SIX:

Good morning from Nong Khai in Northeastern Thailand. This is now Day 6 of 11 days of the mega #IsaanTrip. Today we are visiting Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom provinces.

So Phisai District, Bueng Kan

This morning we visited the Life Community Museum in So Phisai District of Bueng Kan province. This small village, there’s only about 50 households, has become a tourist attraction in its own right. They nicely blend contemporary art and local culture to five visitors a unique experience.

Scattered around the village there are many examples of street art with the theme of the Naga Snake. At the cultural center, which is part of an old traditional house, you can visit the museum to learn more about the daily life here. If you want to immerse yourself more, there’s an opportunity to stay a night or two in one of the homestay properties.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/1xgSmf5iMLWSFBYP7

Charoen Sin district, Sakon Nakhon

Lunch today is in Sakon Nakhon in Northeastern Thailand. My favorite is Laab Moo and Som Tam.

Ban Kut Na Kham Arts and Crafts Centre, Charoen Sin district, Sakon Nakhon

This afternoon, we visited Ban Kut Na Kham Arts and Crafts Centre in Ban Kut Na Kham, Charoen Sin district of Sakon Nakhon. This was set up by Her Majesty the Queen Mother in order to both train and preserve the local arts and crafts of the Northeastern region.

The center is open for free to visitors and you can observe the art of ceramics, wood carving and silk weaving in various workshops. In addition there is a showroom where you can buy some of the unique products.

The centre is open between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. everyday. For a group visit, you must contact them in advance on 042-709162.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/NqEK45Cy7TZEbni39

Phaya Si Sattanakharat, Nakhon Phanom

The major landmark in Nakhon Phanom is Phaya Si Sattanakharat, which is a 15-meter high seven-headed naga snake. It’s alongside the Mekong River.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/gmbSBF4JqJG2aeuj7

DAY SEVEN:

Good morning from Nakhon Phanom Province in Northeastern Thailand. Nice cool weather along the Mekong River for some exercise. People of Nakhon Phanom are so lucky to have such a long riverfront walkway. If only there was a way to transport this to my home province!

It is always a good idea to wake up early when you are traveling and do some exploring before breakfast. Today I was lucky to observe the tradition of offering alms to monks along the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom. A very beautiful scene as the sun rises.

Wat Phra That Phanom, That Phanom district, Nakhon Phanom

The most important temple in Nakhon Phanom province is Wat Phra That Phanom in That Phanom district. It contains relics of the Lord Buddha and is particularly important to people born in the Year of the Monkey.

The stupa at Wat Phra That Phanom is 53 meters high and 12 meters wide at the base. In 1977, it collapsed during a big storm and had to be rebuilt.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/jEv27bduXFU2

Part 2: Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Nong Bua Lam Phu and Loei

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.

DAY THREE:

Good morning from Khorat in Nakhon Ratchasima province. This is Day 3 of the 11 day Isaan Trip. Today we have one stop in Chaiyaphum province and one in Khon Kaen province where we will spend the night.

There are eight Tourism Authority of Thailand offices in the Northeastern region and they are all represented in the convoy with their own decorated vehicles. This is the one for the Nakhon Ratchasima office who are also responsible for Chaiyaphum province.

Tat Ton National Park, Chaiyaphum

This morning we visited Tat Ton National Park in Chaiyaphum. The main attraction here is Tat Ton Waterfall that feeds into the Lum Pa Tao River. It’s only 21 kilometers from the city and so it gets very crowded on weekends and holidays.

Tat Ton Waterfall is the most popular attraction in Chaiyaphum province. The water flows here all year round. The waterfall is six meters high and 50 meters wide. There are trees among the rocks on either side which makes for excellent picnic spots.

Tat Ton National Park is 40 Baht/20 Baht for Thais and 200 Baht/100 Baht for foreigners. Cars are 30 Baht for everyone. Bungalows can be rented in advance and cost from 1,000 Baht for up to 4 people.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/cQrn9vJAznRkTV598

Prasat Pueai Noi, Pueai Noi district, Khon Khan

Prasat Pueai Noi, in Pueai Noi district of Khon Khan Province, is a small Khmer ruin in good condition. It was built in the 11-12th century in a mixed style between Baphuon and Angkor Wat as a shrine honouring Hindu Gods.

Its architecture consists of four buildings made of laterite, sandstone and bricks, surrounded by a rectangular wall. Of particular interest are the lintels which have been beautifully carved.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/QxDJqUaMvnHh9emq6

Aerial views of Prasat Pueai Noi, in Pueai Noi district of Khon Khan Province. I always like the symmetry and colors of these Khmer ruins when looking straight down.

DAY FOUR:

Good morning from Khon Kaen in Northeastern Thailand. This is now Day 4 of 11 days of the mega #IsaanTrip. Today we are heading to Nong Bua Lam Phu province and then Loei province. It’s an early start and I’m sure another long day.

Saphan Chueam Hak, Non Sang District of Nong Bua Lam Phu

In Ban Tat Hai, Non Sang District of Nong Bua Lam Phu province, there is a new tourist attraction called Saphan Chueam Hak. This is a 180 meter long bamboo bridge that floats on the water between the mainland and a small island.

This is a popular picnic spot & also a place to observe wildlife in the late afternoon. There are food vendors and huts where you can eat your meal while you enjoy the views. There is also a boat service for tours of the lake.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/UZNEQQRxxPEVNyHeA

Som Tam Bunrot restaurant, Nong Bua Lam Phu

Isaan food for lunch today at Som Tam Bunrot restaurant (ส้มตำบุญรอด) in Nong Bua Lam Phu. As can be expected, it was both spicy and delicious.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/a4tweaxhJqP1PVCU8

Ban Na Pa Nat, Chiang Khan District, Loei

This afternoon we visited Ban Na Pa Nat in Chiang Khan District of Loei. We came to learn about the traditions and culture of the Thai Dum people whose ancestors migrated from Laos over one hundred years ago.

Just outside the village there is a cultural center where you can see traditional houses and observe cultural traditions. If you want to immerse yourself more, you can can experience the Thai Dum lifestyle with the homestay program.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/63pU2XXrEaxDkvP99

Kaeng Khut Khu, Chiang Khan District, Loei

Tonight we’re staying in Kaeng Khut Khu in Chiang Khan District of Loei. This is on the Mekong River. On the other side is Laos. The rapids in the middle of the river are a seasonal attraction. However, they’re only visible during the dry season.

I’ve been to Kaeng Khut Khu several times before but only when passing by. This is the first time I have stayed here. It is quite pleasant with mist on the hills. But it’s very humid.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/CzmaQzwXXv3UgHGP8

Chiang Khan Walking Street, Loei

The Chiang Khan Walking street in Loei is popular this weekend. Quite a few of the hotels along here have “full” signs up. Good to see many tourists here, though by far the majority are Thais of course.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/nbQeK2r6W3PBuPGm6

DAY FIVE:

Good morning from Loei in Northeastern Thailand. This is now Day 5 of 11 days of the mega #IsaanTrip. Today we are heading to Udon Thani and then Nong Khai province.

Breakfast with a view of the Mekong River in Kaeng Khut Khu, Chiang Khan District of Loei.

Phu Khok Ngio Skywalk, Loei

Chiang Khan in Loei province has a new tourist attraction. It is a 100 meter long skywalk about 80 meters above the Mekong River. What makes it extra special is the glass floor so that you can see the views in literally every direction.

Phu Phra Yai is a 19 meter high Standing Buddha that overlooks the skywalk and the river below. When you arrive, you have to put special covers over your shoes before you step on the skywalk. On busy days they will also give you queue numbers in order to reduce the crowds.

The skywalk is not officially open yet. But local people can visit this month. Entrance is free but you have to pay 20 Baht each way for the pick-up ride to the top. It’s open daily from 7am-6pm.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/EBdTmPyLQk58XRt68

Santi Pracha Asa Park, Pak Chom District, Loei

There are many beautiful viewpoints along the road in Loei and other provinces that follow the Mekong River. This is just one at Santi Pracha Asa Park in Pak Chom District of Loei province.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/XwHZm9vSDMjjxqGEA

NEXT: Days 5-6: Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom

Road Trip to Twenty Provinces in Cool Isaan

DAY 1: BANGKOK TO NAKHON RATCHASIMA

This week, I’ve been invited on a mega #IsaanTrip by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. We will be visiting all 20 provinces in the northeast over the next 11 days. Click here for a map of places that we visited during the trip.

Date of travel: 3-13 September 2020

Krua Nan Nam Restaurant, Pak Chong district, Nakhon Ratchasima

Lunch today was at Krua Nan Nam Restaurant in Pak Chong district of Nakhon Ratchasima. It’s the second time here for me. Good food and great locatiotion alongside the Lam Taphong River.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/GPqwLmo2PuwcwfZd6

Sawang Daowadungsatham Foundation, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima

The Chinese shrine at the Sawang Daowadungsatham Foundation in Pak Chong District of Nakhon Ratchasima, has hundreds of deities of all shapes and sizes.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/bzjQi8DYY8PCHbUE6

Luang Phor Thuad, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima

In Pak Chong District of Nakhon Ratchasima, there is a giant statue of Luang Phor Thuad, a revered Buddhist monk who lived 400 years ago. At 69 meters high, this is said to be the highest statue of him in Thailand. The previous biggest statue is in Hua Hin.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/dU1WVenwXnrx1fae8

DAY 2: NAKHON RATCHASIMA

Good morning from Pak Chong in Nakhon Ratchasima. This is Day 2 of a 11 day Isaan Trip.

EGAT Learning Center, Lam Takong, Nakhon Ratchasima

At the EGAT Learning Center at Lam Takong in Nakhon Ratchasima you can learn about the production of electricity at the nearby underground power plant that uses both water & wind. The center is open Tue to Sun, 9am-5pm. Free.

64% of Thailand’s power sources come from natural gas in the Gulf of Thailand, and 23% from coal & lignite in places like Lampang province. None of which is renewable energy.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/KdEpkPtZkk2NW1tf8

Lamtakong Reservoir, Sikhio district, Nakhon Ratchasima

This is the Lamtakong Reservoir in Sikhio district of Nakhon Ratchasima. It’s used to produce electricity by the underground power plant. During off peak hours, water is pumped up here from Lamtakong Lake. It is then released during peak hours to produce electricity

Running alongside the lake, you should be able to see the elevated motorway that will be opening soon.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/G75W7tL3UBDMXizh9

Ban Dan Kwian, Chok Chai district, Nakhon Ratchasima

Ban Dan Kwian, in Chok Chai district of Nakhon Ratchasima, is a village known for its pottery and handicraft. It is believed the art of pottery here goes back several hundred years. Traditionally they made large water jars.

Practically all of Dan Kwian village is either producing or selling pottery. The clay comes from the banks of the Mun River and is both durable and colorful when it comes out of the kiln.

Terminal 21, Nakhon Ratchasima

It’s not every day that a shopping mall gets listed as a tourist attraction, but Terminal 21 in Khorat is worth a look. Apart from the different international themes on each floor, you can take the free lift to the observation tower for a great 360° view.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/XQx9xTqfbXNw64Ho7

During Days 3-5, we visited Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Nong Bua Lam Phu and Loei. Click here for the photo blog.

Two Days in Kanchanaburi with Safarine Tours

Good morning from The Bridge on the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi. I’m here to attend the VJ-Day service at the war cemetery. Also, the guys at Safarine Tours have offered to show me around their province. I’m looking forward to doing something new and sharing it with you.

This is Pat my tour guide from Safarine. She will be showing me around for the next two days. I’m apparently her first customer since the Covid-19 pandemic started. So I’m happy to help promote her and tourism in Kanchanaburi. It’s a difficult year for all tour companies.

MEENA Cafe, Tha Muang District, Kanchanaburi

‪One of the most picturesque places to have lunch or a coffee in Kanchanaburi is at MEENA Cafe in Tha Muang District. It’s built on the edge of a rice field with Wat Tham Suea on a hill in the background. Very beautiful. ‬

‪📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/LGQSSuefP32hUs8X9

For lunch today I had Tom Yum spicy noodle soup with egg. Very delicious. Nice view from MEENA Cafe. A great place to relax and take a few selfies.

Wat Tham Suea, Kanchanaburi

This is Wat Tham Suea, or Tiger Cave Temple, in Tha Muang District of Kanchanaburi. The original temple was in a cave where locals found some tigers. Hence the name. The main temple is now on top of the hill and so can be seen from miles around.

The main temple is now on top of the hill and so can be seen from miles around. The highlight is the 18 meter high Seated Buddha. But don’t forget to also climb to the top of the pagoda for some fantastic views of the countryside.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/nHzfD4HBDPBFpbhW6

Sai Yok National Park, Kanchanaburi

Tonight I’m staying in Sai Yok National Park in Kanchanaburi. This is actually the first time that I’ve visited this national park. It’s also the first time that I’ve stayed the night on a raft on the Kwae Noi River.

It’s been on my bucket list for a while now. So it’s quite exciting for me to experience this. So far so good. Activities include bamboo rafting or boat trips along the river. I would say 99.99% of the people staying here are Thais. There are 3 or 4 resorts on the river here and it looks like every room is fully booked this weekend. For the record, we are staying in Krit Raft House. But other rafts available.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/gwKjaQt7Yb4Pa99H9

DAY TWO

Good morning from Sai Yok in Kanchanaburi province. This is the view from my houseboat on the Kwae Noi River. I slept well last night. It’s great to wake up to such natural surroundings. Certainly it beats living in a city. It would be nice to relax here for a few days.

There are two waterfalls Sai Yok National Park that empty into the Kwae River. Sai Yok Yai Waterfall and Sai Yok Lek Waterfall. King Rama V visited this area in Kanchanaburi twice by boat in 1877 and 1888.

Some photos from this morning from around Sai Yok National Park. Very peaceful as there aren’t that many tourists. You have a choice to either sleep in a tent or bungalows near the park office, or sleep in one of the floating houses belonging to different resorts.

The railway in Kanchanaburi only goes as far as Nam Tok station. Beyond that very little remains. In Sai Yok National Park, there is some evidence of the Death Railway in the form of these sleepers. There is also a bomb crater.

Sai Yok Noi Waterfall, Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi

‪‪Sai Yok Noi Waterfall in Sai Yok District of Kanchanaburi is now open again to the public though you are still not allowed to swim in the waterfall. However kids can splash in the water further down. This waterfall is free to visit.

‬This is another place where you can see evidence of the Death Railway. This is outside of the national park and so is free to visit. The line used to run in front of the waterfall.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/U2JWn3iiSxBCDq7R9

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Elephants’ Home and Nature, Sai Yok district, Kanchanaburi

This morning I visited Elephants’ Home and Nature (บ้านช้าง และธรรมชาติ) in Sai Yok district of Kanchanaburi. This home for elephants was set up by well known tour guide Tong. She was upset with how the elephants were treated at the camps she took her customers to and so she decided to rescue some elephants from zoos and elsewhere and then take care of them in her home by the Kwae Noi River.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/gkCxbYG7jvzUamZ29

Tourists these days don’t want to ride elephants or watch them do unnatural things in shows. They want to interact with them in natural surroundings. This is exactly what Tong does with them here. Tourists are allowed to walk with them to the river and then help bathe them.

This morning I bathed an elephant which was a fantastic experience. I think 15 year old Duk Dik also enjoyed it. It is obvious that they care about the animals here very much as they treat them very well. Like members of their own family.

Wat Metta Thammaphotiyan, Kanchanaburi

Wat Metta Thammaphotiyan in Kanchanaburi is a Chinese temple with many wooden sculptures. Really worth stopping here if you are in the area.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/gjhxGwvMcHvDzPCQ8

Wat Tham Pu Wa, Kanchanaburi

Wat Tham Pu Wa is another unique temple in Kanchanaburi that is worth visiting. The highlight is the cave behind one of the buildings.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/cf85FMsHhVU9wAh86

E-Scooter Tour with Safarine

This afternoon I’m doing an e-scooter tour through the rice fields in Kanchanaburi with Safarine. I have my own e-scooter at home but these ones are very powerful and have a suspension that makes the ride along rough tracks very smooth. I want one of these now!

Rabiangna Cafe, Kanchanaburi

Lunch today was at Rabiangna Cafe in Kanchanaburi. This started life as a coffee shop and is now a successful restaurant with a rice field view. Very scenic and good food too.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/31yEUYCwg2fQAJ5Z7

An automatic rice planter in Kanchanaburi.

I had a really great time on the e-scooter this afternoon with Safarine. We did a mixture of two tours. One off-road down dirt tracks and through the countryside, and the other through Kanchanaburi town. We went to many new places for me, and I’ve been here many times. Good fun.

That’s a wrap on my two day tour of Kanchanaburi with Safarine. I hope you enjoyed my photos & I’ve inspired you to either join one of their tours, visit one of the places we went to, or just explore this province. There’s a lot to see & do here.

More information about the tours: https://www.safarine.com/?lang=en