Category: Northeastern Thailand

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.

Trip to Yasothon for Christmas Star Parade

TRAVEL DATE: 22-25 December 2016
DESTINATION: Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon and Amnat Charoen Provinces
ACCOMMODATION: JP Emerald Hotel and Plai Far Resort

Some of Thailand’s biggest Catholic communities are situated in Isaan, the northeastern provinces of Thailand. In the days leading up to 25th December, a famous Christmas Star Parade takes place in Sakon Nakhon province. It proved to be so popular, that the Christian community in Ban Songyae in Yasothon province decided to organise their own Christmas Star parade. This was their second year. This community was the main destination and highlight of my four day trip to Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon and Amnat Charoen provinces. During the trip, I tweeted live on @RichardBarrow. Click to see the embedded tweets for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4. The last day was mainly a travel day back to Bangkok.

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Khao Phansa Festival Trip to Isaan

Ubon Candle Festival Parade

TRAVEL DATE: 29 July – 2 August 2015
DESTINATION: Buriram, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon, Amnat Charoen, Sisaket and Nakhon Ratchasima Provinces
ACCOMMODATION: Thongtarin Hotel (Surin), De’ Proud Hotel (Ubon Ratchasima), Srimlamduan Resort (Sisaket) and The Piano Resort Khao Yai (Nakhon Ratchasima)

Last week I was in Ubon Ratchathani to see them preparing the giant wax sculptures that will be taking part in the Candle Festival Parade on 31st July 2015. Processions like this are happening all around Thailand at this time of year to mark the start of the three month long Buddhist Rains Retreat. Last year I was in Suphanburi and Ayutthaya for their processions. This year, TAT Isaan invited me to go with them on a five day trip around Northeastern Thailand. The highlights of the trip were the alms giving to monks on elephant back in Surin and the Candle Festival parade in Ubon Ratchathani. During the trip, I tweeted live on @RichardBarrow. Click to see the embedded tweets for Day 1, Day 2Day 3 and Day 4. The last day was a travel day back to Bangkok.

The following map shows the places that I visited during the trip:

….

LIST OF PLACES I VISITED:

[table]
DESTINATION,สถานที่ท่องเที่ยว,GPS
Play La Ploen (Buriram),เพลาเพลินรีสอร์ท,15.285656 103.002982
Monument (Surin),อนุสาวรีย์,14.878425 103.489546
Surin Pochana restaurant (Surin),สุรินทร์โภชณา,14.889628103.493085
Thong Tarin Hotel (Surin),โรงแรม ทองธารินทร์,14.886564 103.499608
Ban Taklang Elephant Village (Surin),หมู่บ้านช้างบ้านตากลาง,15.265657 103.496994
Ban Khampun,คำปุน,15.195201 104.827261
Thung Si Muang (Ubon),ทุ่งศรีเมือง,15.229813 104.857298
De’ Proud Hotel (Ubon),โรงแรม เดอ พราวด์,15.271350 104.846671
Phra Mongkhon Ming Mueang (Amnat Charoen),พระมงคลมิ่งเมือง,15.891566 104.621968
Wat Ban Chiang Pheng (Yasothon),วัดบ้านเชียงเพ็ง,15.827639 104.441170
Vimarn Phaya Thaen (Yasothon),วิมานพญาแถน,15.791149 104.154979
Heng Heng Khao Tom (Sisaket),เฮงเฮงข้าวต้ม,15.113491104.344725
Srilamduan Hotel (Sisaket),โรงแรมศรีลำดวน,15.112935 104.352783
Wat Nong Takhian (Sisaket),วัดหนองตะเคียน,14.985901 104.417491
Wat Sa Kamphaeng Yai (Sisaket),วัดสระกำแพงใหญ่,15.101659 104.127817
Prasat Sikhoraphum (Surin),ปราสาทศีขรภูมิ,14.944575 103.798387
Lam Yai Kitchen (Nakhon Ratchasima),ครัวลำใย,14.706321 101.405911
The Piano Resort Khao Yai (Nakhon Ratchasima),เดอะ เปียโน รีสอร์ท เขาใหญ่,14.596584 101.370951
[/table]

Click on the above links to find out more information on the Thailand Guidebook website

Merit Making on Elephant Back

PHOTO ALBUM FOR DAY 1: On the first day of our Isaan trip, we stopped for lunch at Play La Ploen in Buriam. This is a boutique hotel and adventure camp. They also have a Flora Park which we visited after lunch. We then drove straight to Surin where we were just in time for the Candle Festival Procession. We then stayed the night in Surin.

PHOTO ALBUM FOR DAY 2: The highlight of the second day was the merit making ceremony where monks rode on elephant back to collect alms from local people and tourists. This day is Asarnha Bucha which is on the full moon in July every year. 88 elephants took part in the ceremony. We next went to Ban Taklang Elephant Village to attend their Buddhist Lent ceremony. Surin is the home to Thai elephants and they have many festivals that involve elephants in this province. On the way to Ubon Ratchathani, we stopped briefly at Ban Khampun. This is a private residence and also a weaving center. They only open to the public for three days every year during the Khao Phansa festival. We spent the night in Ubon Ratchathani.

PHOTO ALBUM FOR DAY 3: The third day of our trip coincided with Khao Phansa which is the official start of the three month long Buddhist Lent. On this day, there are many candle processions around Thailand. Probably the biggest and best Candle Festival Parade takes place in Ubon Ratchathani. The wax sculptures in the parade can take up to two months to complete. On this day, we also visited the 20 meter high Buddha image Phra Mongkhon Ming Mueang in Amnat Charoen province. In Yasothon province, we met people who were hunting for lucky numbers at Wat Ban Chiang Pheng. Here there is a 200 year old boat and people rubbed the wood to try and see auspicious numbers so that they would have a good chance of winning the lottery. Our final stop was to see the giant toad at Vimarn Phaya Thaen.

PHOTO ALBUM FOR DAY 4: Last night we stayed at Srilamduan in Sisaket. Our first stop in the morning was to Wat Nong Takhian. The highlight here are the 28 Buddha images. Our next stop was to Wat Sa Kamphaeng Yai which has the largest & most well-preserved Khmer ruins in Sisaket. Our final stop before lunch was Prasat Sikhoraphum in Surin. This sandstone temple, built on a laterite base, was originally a Hindu place of worship in the 12th Century. It was later converted to Buddhism. The afternoon was spent driving to Pakchong in Nakhon Ratchasima where we spent the night. We then returned to Bangkok in the morning.

Candle Festival Temple Tour of Ubon

Pha Taem National Park in Ubon Ratchathani

TRAVEL DATE: 23-25 July 2015
DESTINATION: Ubon Ratchathani Province
ACCOMMODATION: Lai Thong Hotel

Some of the biggest and most beautiful festivals in Thailand take place at the start and finish of the three month long Buddhist Rains Retreat. The start is called Khao Phansa and it is usually celebrated by donating beautifully carved candles to temples. One of the best places to see this is in Ubon Ratchathani in Northeastern Thailand. Towards the end of July, I teamed up with the guys from iTravel Channel to see some of the preparations for this festival at temples in Ubon. During the trip, I tweeted live on @RichardBarrow. Click to see the embedded tweets for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

The following map shows the places that I visited during the trip:

LIST OF PLACES I VISITED:

[table]
DESTINATION,สถานที่ท่องเที่ยว,GPS
Ubon Ratchathani Airport,ท่าอากาศยานนานาชาติอุบลราชธานี,15.247056 104.871169
Sam Chai Coffee,สามชัยกาแฟ,15.232393 104.864833
Lai Thong Hotel,โรงแรมลายทอง,15.233686 104.868002
Pha Taem National Park,อุทยานแห่งชาติผาแต้ม,15.449649 105.581175
Two Colour River,แม่น้ำสองสี,15.315817 105.503698
Pae Araya Restaurant,xxx,15.319079 105.500214
Wat Phra That Nong Bua,วัดพระธาตุหนองบัว,15.263392 104.839517
Feeling Club & Restaurant,ฟิลลิ่งคลับ แอนด์ เรสเตอรองค์,15.261992 104.838392
Wat Sri Pradoo,วัดศรีประดู่,15.235999 104.874956
Som Tam Jinda,ส้มตำจินดา,15.233362 104.868179
Wat Sri Ubon Rattanaram,วัดศรีอุบลรัตนาราม,15.227850 104.855839
Thung Si Muang,ทุ่งศรีเมือง,15.229813 104.857298
City Pillar Shrine,ศาลหลักเมือง,115.228335 104.857776
Wat That Suan Tan,วัดธาตุสวนตาล,15.286292 104.663401
Rice Field Bridge,สะพานข้ามทุ่งนา,15.288734 104.659637
Walking Street,ถนนคนเดินอุบลราชธานี,15.229402 104.859666
Wat Thung Si Muang,วัดทุ่งศรีเมือง,15.230270 104.861061
Ubon Ratchathani National Museum,พิพิธภัณฑ์สถานแห่งชาติอุบลราชธานี,15.227698 104.857738
Wat Klang Noodle Shop,ก๋วยเตี๋ยวหมูอบ วัดกลาง,15.225824 104.864190
[/table]

IMG_8434

Located on the banks of the Mun River, Ubon Ratchathani is a large, provincial capital city whose history dates back around two centuries. Located in the lower region of Northeastern Thailand, Ubon Ratchathani province features plateaus and mountain ranges with the Mun River running through the middle. Sandstone cliffs along the Mekong River serve as a natural border between Thailand and Laos. This region, where Ubon Ratchathani borders both Cambodia and Laos and the Mekong flows into Cambodia has been coined “the Emerald Triangle” in recognition of its magnificent green landscapes.

PHOTO ALBUM:

GETTING THERE: Ubon Ratchathani is 629 kilometers from Bangkok and is located in the lower region of Northeastern Thailand. As a major provincial capital and transportation hub for the region, Ubon Ratchathani can easily be reached via private car, bus, train, or plane. Once there, it may be easier to get around with your own car, but there are standard forms of local transport available for visitors: i.e. songtaew, motorbike taxi, and tuk tuk.

Siam Tulips and Phi Ta Khon Festival Trip

Sai Thong National Park in Chaiyaphum

TRAVEL DATE: 24-28 June 2015
DESTINATION: Chaiyaphum Province and Loei Province
ACCOMMODATION: Thep Sathit View Resort and Phudara Resort

Towards the end of June 2015, I was invited by TAT Isaan (Northeast) to join them on a Thai media trip to take photographs at two major festivals. The first destination was “Dok Krachiao Blooming Festival” in Chaiyaphum. These are known in English as Siam Tulips and they bloom towards the start of the rainy season from about June to August. We next drove further north to Loei where we took photographs at the colourful Phi Ta Khon festival in Dan Sai district. During the trip I tweeted live on @RichardBarrow. Click for embedded tweets for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4.

The following map shows the places that we visited during the trip:

LIST OF PLACES WE VISITED:

[table]
Chaiyaphum Province,สถานที่ท่องเที่ยว, GPS
Sai Thong National Park,อุทยานแห่งชาติไทรทอง,15.871042 101.514994
Thep Sathit View Resort,เทพสถิตวิวล์ รีสอร์ท,15.387368 101.445027
Pa Hin Ngam National Park,อุทยานแห่งชาติป่าหินงาม,15.632157 101.389733
[/table]

[table]
Loei Province,สถานที่ท่องเที่ยว, GPS
Phi Ta Khon Museum,พิพิธภัณฑ์บ้านผีตาโขน,17.274388 101.14942
Wat Phon Chai,วัดโพนชัย,17.274388 101.14942
Wat Somdet Phu Rua Ming Mueang,วัดสมเด็จภูเรือมิ่งเมือง,17.454999 101.350166
Phra That Sri Song Rak,พระธาตุศรีสองรัก,17.270085 101.141127
Phudara Resort,ภูดารา รีสอร์ท,17.401667 101.296111
Chao Pho Kuan’s House,บ้านเจ้าพ่อกวน,17.272814 101.150938
Dan Sai Morning Market,ตลาดเช้า,17.279348 101.146291
Wat Neramit Wipatsana,วัดเนรมิตวิปัสสนา,17.263800 101.141936
[/table]

PHOTO ALBUM:

Tour of I-san Loei Classic

IMG_9694

TRAVEL DATE: 6-8 June 2015
DESTINATION: Loei Province
ACCOMMODATION: Loei Pavilion Hotel & Chic Chiang Khan Hotel

In early June 2015, I flew Nok Air to Loei province in Northeastern Thailand. The purpose of the trip was to take photos of the “Tour of Isan Loei Classic”. About 300 cyclists took part in the 70km long bicycle race. The starting point was the city hall in Loei. They finished at Phu Pa Po, which is a hill 900 meters above sea level. Nearby is the stunning Suan Hin Pha Ngam, which is known as the Kunming of Loei. We spent the last part of our three day trip in Chiang Khan alongside the Mekong River. During the trip, I tweeted live on @RichardBarrow. Click for the embedded tweets for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

The following map shows the places that we visited during the trip:

Sharing a Mekong River border with Laos, Loei province has in many ways more in common with the north of Thailand than to the rest of Isan, even earning the nickname “the Mae Hong Son of the northeast.” Loei is an ecotourism region surrounded by undulating mountain ranges, abundant with various kinds of flora and capped with fog enshrouded summits. The most majestic mountains are Phu Kradueng, Phu Luang and Phu Ruea. Loei has unique cultures and traditions in addition to beautiful geographical surroundings, such as the colorful Phi Ta Khon Festival.

DJI_0565

LIST OF PLACES WE VISITED:

[table]
DESTINATION,สถานที่ท่องเที่ยว, GPS
Loei Airport,สนามบิน จังหวัดเลย,17.445764 101.726713
Loei Pavilion Hotel,โรงแรม เลย พาวิลเลี่ยน,17.494276 101.715512
Chao Pho Kut Pong Shrine,ศาลเจ้าพ่อกุดป่อง,17.494623 101.725542
Krua Madua Restaurant,ร้านครัวมะเดื่อ,17.496120 101.717957
Loei City Hall,ศาลากลางเลย,17.486628 101.720234
Suan Hin Pha Ngam,สวนหินผางาม,17.050620 101.743453
Phu Pa Poh,ภูป่าเปาะ,17.038620 101.711527
Loi Da Nang Restaurant,ร้านเลยดานัง,17.526054 101.723657
Chiang Khan,เชียงคาน,17.896273 101.657264
Chic Chiang Khan Hotel,โรงแรมชิค เชียงคาน,17.897197 101.660124
Wat Si Khun Mueang,วัดศรีคุณเมือง,17.893563 101.652364
Udon Thani Airport,สนามบินอุดรธานี,17.386494 102.775131
[/table]

PHOTO ALBUM

GETTING THERE: Loei is 520 kilometers from Bangkok. There are no train services, though you can catch a train to Udon Thani in the neighbouring province and then change to bus. The trip from Bangkok by car and bus takes about 7-8 hours. Loei airport now has regular flights by Nok Air and Air Asia.

Dan Sai, Phu Ruea National Park and Chiang Khan

loei

TRAVEL DATE: 15-17 January 2015
DESTINATION: Dan Sai, Phu Rue National Park and Chiang Khan in Loei Province
ACCOMMODATION: Phunacome Resort

In January 2015, I flew Nok Air to Loei in Northern Thailand. The slogan for this province is “City of the Sea of Mountains, Coldest Place in Siam, and Beautiful Flowers of Three Seasons”. If you do decide to travel here during December or January, make sure you bring some warm clothing for the chilly nights. Highlights of the three day trip include visiting Dan Sai, home of Phi Ta Khon Festival, Phu Rue National Park, and the riverside border town of Chiang Khan. During the trip, I tweeted live on @RichardBarrow. Click for the embedded tweets for Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

The following map shows the places that I visited during the trip:

Sharing a Mekong River border with Laos, Loei province is in many ways has more in common with the north of Thailand than to the rest of Isan, even earning the nickname “the Mae Hong Son of the northeast.” Loei is an ecotourism region surrounded by undulating mountain ranges, abundant with various kinds of flora and capped with fog enshrouded summits. The most majestic mountains are Phu Kradueng, Phu Luang and Phu Ruea. Loei has unique cultures and traditions in addition to beautiful geographical surroundings, such as the colorful Phi Ta Khon Festival.

IMG_7555

LIST OF PLACES WE VISITED:

[table]DESTINATION, สถานที่ท่องเที่ยว, PHOTO ALBUMS
Chiang Khan,เชียงคาน,17.896181 101.656782
City Pillar Shrine,หลักเมือง,17.486704 101.728972
Kang Pla Weaving Village,กลุ่มทอผ้าบ้านก้างปลา,17.528221 101.736681
Kitty Resort,คิตตี้รีสอร์ท,17.456088 101.394024
Lan Chang Restaurant,ล้านช้าง ร้านอาหาร,17.467933 101.726212
Loei Airport,สนามบิน จังหวัดเลย,17.4458462 101.7267606
Phi Ta Khon Museum,พิพิธภัณฑ์บ้านผีตาโขน,17.274388 101.14942
Phra That Sri Song Rak,พระธาตุศรีสองรัก,17.270085 101.141127
Phunacome Resort,ภูนาคำรีสอร์ท,17.281391 101.162038
Phu Ruea National Park,อุทยานแห่งชาติภูเรือ,17.4944925029 101.336435254
Phu Tok Mountain,ภูทอก,17.868866 101.682213
Poinsettia Garden Phurua,ลานคริสต์มาส อ.ภูเรือ,17.457074 101.361607
Thai Dam Cultural Village,หมู่บ้านวัฒนธรรมไทยดำ,17.799993 101.733865
Wat Neramit Wipatsana,วัดเนรมิตวิปัสสนา,17.263731 101.141943[/table]

PHOTO ALBUM

GETTING THERE: Loei is 520 kilometers from Bangkok. There are no train services, though you can catch a train to Udon Thani in the neighbouring province and then change to bus. The trip from Bangkok by car and bus takes about 7-8 hours. Loei airport now has regular flights by Nok Air and Air Asia.