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Thailand Pages; Attractions For The Vacationer In North Eastern Thailand

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Thailand Pages; Sights for the Tourist in North Eastern Thailand
Up to date on November eight, 2015 Greensleeves Hubs moreAlun is a frequent visitor to Thailand and writes private accounts of the nation’s great attractions in a collection of easy-to-read articles

Contact Creator Introduction
Ask non-Thais what they know of the nation of Thailand, and most will be aware of Bangkok, the capital metropolis, and they may be acquainted with the exotic islands and beaches of the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, and a few will know of town of Chang Mai and the hill tribe cultures of North West Thailand. However not so many will know of North Jap Thailand, the area bordered to the west by the Petchabun Mountain Range and to the north and east by the nation of Laos. Certainly, the entire space in some respects has extra in widespread with Laos than with the rest of Thailand, with a distinctive culture, lifestyle, and dialect.

Comparatively few package deal vacationers will journey to this part of Thailand, and consequently they miss out on the various points of interest to be seen or skilled right here. This quick page is an introduction to a number of the locations of interest in North Jap Thailand, based mostly on a number of quick visits to the area made in the years 2009 and 2010.

All photos on this page had been taken by the creator in Udon Thani Province, Nong Khai Province, and Bueng Kan Province.

The Ancient Archaeology of Ban Chiang
Civilisation in North Eastern Thailand is now identified thus far again not less than to the early Bronze Age of c 2000 BC, but the key proof for this was solely uncovered by accident in comparatively latest instances. In 1966 within the village of Ban Chiang in Udon Thani Province, an American anthropology pupil called Steve Younger, was finishing up interviews for a thesis he was writing. At some point, he was walking along a village path when he stumbled and fell over a tree root. Virtually unbelievably, he found himself mendacity face to face with damaged bits of half buried pigment decorated pottery. He immediately recognised the primitive nature of the pottery, and he additionally appreciated the uniqueness of the designs.

Excavations at the site started during the next year, and in addition to rather more pottery, some human stays were found. Bronze artifacts have been additionally uncovered (although the absence of bronze work from the very deepest, oldest excavations means that the civilisation here spanned the boundary between earlier Neolithic non-steel working tradition and Bronze Age cultures).

At this time, it’s believed this region was really first settled many hundreds of years before the Bronze Age, however that the Ban Chiang discoveries signify the most important finds of their age in South-East Asia. At the location there’s a museum displaying the finds (with English labels), in addition to the unique archaeological dig with discoveries in situ and souvenirs to buy.

Queen Sirikit’s 60th Birthday Arboretum
Only a few miles south of the city of Udon Thani there is a really completely different experience which visitors can take pleasure in. That is Queen Sirikit’s 60th Birthday Anniversary Arboretum at Nong Saeng. These gardens have been named in honour of the Queen’s birthday in 1992, and they’re one of 4 such parks in Thailand.

The gardens are free to enter and the landscaping is absolutely attractively laid out. Sadly (or perhaps gladly) the gardens appear to be so little recognized that they are sometimes bereft of visitors and one can stroll round and enjoy the plants in peace and tranquility.

Udon Thani Museum
While in Udon Thani, it’s worthwhile paying a short visit to the town museum, which affords a helpful approach to assemble together ideas and experiences of time spent in North Eastern Thailand. The museum holds many exhibits which relate to the historical past, the tradition and the natural sciences of this part of Thailand, and notably the prehistoric relics of the Ban Chiang era. Exhibits are labelled in English as effectively because the native language. The museum was in-built red camo stone island jacket 1920 as a college corridor and is not solely laid out attractively on the inside, however the exterior can also be extremely engaging to take a look at.

Phu Phrabat Park
To the north west of Udon Thani on the western edge of the Phu Phan mountains there is a sandstone ridge standing about a thousand ft (300m) excessive. Atop this hill is probably the most remarkable of all the sights of North East Thailand – a site of curious rock formations, prehistoric human tradition and Buddhist religious shrines.

The rock formations are dramatic, bizarre and seemingly gravity defying. However they’re all the work of nature. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, nice ice sheets covered this space and the drive of nature driven via glaciers, broke up large rock boulders and slowly transported them right here. When the temperatures rose and the ice lastly receded, the boulders have been just left, dumped haphazardly, abandoned the place they lay. And right here they’ve lain ever since.

Nature had played its part in creating this scenic marvel, however now human intervention would add to the combination. As prehistoric peoples arrived in the world, they discovered these stones – some of which were perched precariously on high of others – to be natural shelters. And right here they created rock artwork which survives to this day. Greater than 40 of the boulder websites have evidence of human dwelling, or of crimson pigmented drawings of individuals or native animals which they hunted, akin to buffalo.

At some sites the inhabitants of this area gouged small holes within the rocks above and the ground below and wedged in sticks to form a cage like barrier to maintain out wild animals. At the moment trendy canes are placed here to reveal the method.

Whether Stone Age peoples also noticed religious symbolism in these unusual standing stones is just not recognized, however actually for subsequent generations, the stones acquired a sacred appeal which led to Buddhist monks making sanctuaries below – or certainly inside – the rocks, and additionally they carved some Buddha iconography in the world. And legends then grew up around the rock formations in an attempt to make some sense of them.

One such story relates to Hoh Nang Usa – probably the most sculptured of all the boulder edifices. Here a large slab of rock perching on an upright mound, is central to an area legend about a wonderful princess – Nang Usa – who was pressured to stay in the rock room close to the top by her over-protecting father. In actuality the room had been carved many centuries before by a monk who lived here.

Phu Phrabat is a exceptional place on many levels round which one can wander for a number of hours, and it is a great site of pure and human historical past.

Click on thumbnail to view full-measurement Salakeoku Statue Park
A fast drive to the north east of Phu Phrabat, but in a special province of Thailand altogether, is the positioning of one of the crucial extraordinary ‘theme parks’ you can find anyplace on the earth. Within the Province of Nong Khai a short distance from the Laos border, there stand multiple hundred great stone statues, which search for all the world like they could be ancient and venerable religious icons. Not fairly. In actual fact they had been all created lower than 50 years in the past, albeit with a strong spiritual motivation in thoughts.

That is Salakeoku. Unorthodox mystic and shaman Luangpu Bunluea Surirat was a Laotian who fled his country through the Communist takeover of Laos within the 1970s. He chose to settle in North Eastern Thailand the place he decided to put into concrete his perception that the teachings of all religions might be united together in better harmony. He began the development of a park filled with statues which had been impressed by the various faiths of the world, including varied Hindu Gods, Christian icons, assorted demons and miscellaneous characters from mythology, in addition to a number of Buddha figures. Indisputably eccentric, his creation of Salakeoku consists of many devotional statues, the surreal and fantastic, and never just a little humour (observe the picture of a loving couple of skeletons – the strings tied to their wrists jokingly symbolise the Thai customized which expresses a want for good well being and fortune!)

Unfortunately I haven’t but been able to understand the importance of each statue (if certainly all of them have a recognised significance). Any assist can be appreciated.

This extraordinary park is well worth a go to if travelling via this region, as it’s a bizarre and quirky museum and exhibition. It is not treated as a sacred place, so there may be a scarcity of formality connected to these statues. Moderately, it’s a tourist attraction with refreshments, ornamental fish ponds and souvenir retailers. By the way for anybody who wishes to be taught extra about this place, and searches for it on the internet, it has been translated into English beneath many alternative spellings, together with ‘Sala Keow Ku’, ‘Sala Keo Koo’ and ‘Salakaewkoo.’

Click on thumbnail to view full-dimension Phu Thok
Additional east in Bueng Kan Province and a mere 12 miles from the Laos border is a sandstone hill generally known as Phu Thok. At the base of the hill in landscaped grounds is a Buddhist pagoda known as Chetiya Khiri Wihan which was built in 1968. The pagoda is only one a part of a temple complicated which stretches up the side of the hill. Climbing to the highest of Phu Thok to locations of meditation was symbolic of a path to virtue for the monks who lived here. And shortly after red camo stone island jacket the opening of the temple, a steep pathway and steps had been constructed for the monks to allow them to make this climb.

At present vacationers can use this path to climb the hill and go to the temple shrines, but in addition for great panoramic views of the encompassing countryside. As can be seen within the picture which accompanies this part, the wooden planked footpath / bridge to the highest of the 600 ft (200 m) excessive Phu Thok is not for the faint-hearted, held in place as it’s by timber struts over a vertical drop. However it’s been there for about forty years so I suppose it’s safe. The walk just isn’t too tiring if you take it slowly, and there are relaxation stops along the way.

Click on thumbnail to view full-dimension The Waterfall of Seven Colours
Waterfalls are a standard sight in a land the place the upland regions present the necessary hilly landscapes for quite a few cascades, and the rainy season brings torrential downpours. Bueng Kan Province is the setting for what absolutely must be one of the most romantically and beautifully named waterfalls to be found anywhere on the planet – it is called Namtok Chet Si, however in English it known as ‘The Waterfall of Seven Colours’, christened for the seven rainbow colours within the spray when seen towards the sunlight.

Through the dry season this waterfall will be significantly diminished in power, however when rain is plentiful and the move is forceful, day trippers will flock to the site, and bathe in the spray right at the very base of the falls. There are additionally quite a few swimming pools and minor rapids here, and for essentially the most part it is secure even for little kids provided they’re supervised. There have been fatalities here – one within the year once i visited – and the rocks can be very slippery. But with sense and care, the falls will be great enjoyable.

The waterfall is a well-liked attraction for native Thais who enjoy bathing here when the day is scorching (and there’s quite a lot of hot days in Thailand). But it ought to even be on the agenda for any overseas vacationers visiting the area. Situated very near Phu Thok, the Waterfall of Seven Colours makes a fantastic place to chill out and cool off after climbing that hill !

Click on thumbnail to view full-dimension Buddhist Temples
Temporary point out should even be fabricated from another essential buildings and sites which aren’t exclusive to North Eastern Thailand, however which may be found in the cities, towns and villages and the countryside throughout the nation. These are the temples and religious iconography of Buddhism. Many of the villages in Thailand have their very own little temples, and lots of of those are enticing, vivid and ornate, and effectively value a visit. In addition they make nice photographic topics, each in the whole and in the detail.

The temple shown within the pictures right here is just a kind of to be present in North Eastern Thailand. It happened to be the closest temple to the village of Nanokhong in Udon Thani Province the place I lived for several weeks because the visitor of a Thai household, and that’s the reason why it is featured right here. (See A Westerner in a Thai Village)

Buddhist Statues
Statues of Buddha are, as one would count on in a predominantly Buddhist nation, to be found in temples and religious sites throughout Thailand. But they’re also to be discovered on hilltops, presumably as a supply of inspiration or consolation which could be seen for miles and miles round. This giant statue may easily be visited as a winding street results in the highest of the hill where it stands. Up close, it’s an imposing sight.

Sadly, I am not sure of the exact location of this statue, which I got here throughout whilst driving by the land, and i’ve not been capable of finding pictures of this specific Buddha to establish it further, but there are a lot of comparable statues to be seen across Thailand.

Conclusions and suggestions
North Eastern Thailand is a area of the country comparatively little identified to most Westerners. Indeed among the sights shown on this page are even difficult to find on the internet as little has been written about them. Nonetheless, I hope I’ve shown on this web page that for anybody passing by way of this a part of the world, there’s a diverse vary of places to go to and experiences to take pleasure in, from the aesthetic appeals of the Queen’s Arboretum and the hill at Phu Thok, to the historical and intriguing websites of Ban Chiang and Phu Phrabat. The religious splendour of Buddhist temples and statues, the extraordinarily historic-looking, but fashionable statues of Salakeoku and the natural delights of the Waterfall of Seven Colours, are only a few of the many websites and sights of North Jap Thailand which need to be better identified.

Map of North East Thailand and Southern Laos
show route and directionshide route and directionsShow driving directionswalking directionsbicycling instructions with distances in mileskilometers

Ban Chiang – Ban Chiang, Nong Han, Udon Thani, Thailand get instructions
Queen Sirikit’s 60th Anniversary Arboretum – Nong Saeng, Udon Thani, Thailand get instructions

Udon Thani Museum – Muang Udon Thani Museum, Posri Rd, Mak Khaeng, Mueang Udon Thani, Udon Thani 41000, Thailand get directions

Phu Phrabat – Phu Phrabat Bua Bok Forest Park, Mueang Phan, Ban Phue, Udon Thani 41160, Thailand get directions

Salakeoku Statue Park – Sala Kaeo Ku, Wat That, Mueang Nong Khai, Nong Khai 43000, Thailand get instructions

Phu Thok – Phu Thok, Na Saeng, Si Wilai, Bueng Kan 43210, Thailand get instructions
The Waterfall of Seven Colours (Namtok Chet Si) – Ban Tong, Seka, Bueng Kan 43150, Thailand get instructions

Buddhist Temple – Ban Nanokhong, Phibun Rak, Udon Thani, Thailand get instructions
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Greensleeves Hubs on HubPages
Along with web pages about Thailand and other international locations, I additionally write film opinions, science and astronomy articles, items of inventive writing and net pages on many other topics. All might be accessed right here
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A Westerner in a Thai Village
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I might Love to hear Your Comments. Thanks, Alun
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sendingAuthorGreensleeves Hubs 4 years in the past from Essex, UK
Dazzie; thanks a lot on your go to and your comment, which I admire very much. I hope that the page does help travellers to or by means of the north east of Thailand, to take pleasure in their go to with some actually rewarding sights and experiences. Alun.

Dazzie 4 years ago from Pattaya
Glorious information to North-east Thailand, you included some really lovely locations, very useful for tourists.

AuthorGreensleeves Hubs four years in the past from Essex, UK
Alfred thanks very much. Many of the points of interest of North Japanese Thailand aren’t well-known to Europeans as a result of the area isn’t a significant tourist centre, and the places price visiting should not heavily advertised. It is a shame as a result of there may be plenty of curiosity right here, no matter one’s taste. Cheers Alun.

Alfred Hoeld 4 years ago
I dwell in Udon Thani province and did not know a lot of the information you current here, in your Hub pages. Rather well carried out.

Botanic gardens, south of Udon Thani metropolis, = “The Queen’s Arboretum”
did not know that, must stop there next time!

Staying near “Ban Chiang” , I visited that premises, a bit to many stones for me. 😉
-Phu Thok- I can suggest, impressive stroll, I could not end it, but I had my small son to carry, as an excuse. 😉

The waterfall not far, -Namtok Chet Si- I missed!
Ought to have knowledgeable myself higher!

Cheers Alfred
cherriquinn, thanks so much to your lovely comments about this page. I’m very grateful, and particularly happy if the web page brought back joyful memories for you. Though I’ve visited many elements of Thailand, I’ve not but been to the north west, Chang Mai or Chang Rai. Perhaps on my next visit!

cherriquinn 5 years in the past from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne
Unbelievable hub! It brought again so many great reminiscences of my visit to Thailand in 1999!I’ve pictures of myself in a few of the exact spots you have proven.I stayed in Bancok for three nghts and then went onto the north Chang Mai and Chang Rai.We have been fortunate sufficient to get to The Golden Triangle and went onto the border of Burma (and naturally obtained our passports stamped there!)We then visited Phuket and likewise a most exotic island referred to as Coral Island. A implausible expertise and fantastic folks! you have introduced such good reminiscences again. Thankyou.

Thanks so much bethperry in your visit, and appreciative feedback. Glad you just like the images too.
The historic significance of the rock formations at Phu Phrabat have been recognised by UNESCO listing them as a World Heritage Site. Sadly I have never been able to find out exactly how far the stones had been transported during the Ice Age, however no matter the space, it really reveals the ability of a glacier that it might probably push rocks of this measurement around.

Yours, Alun.
Beth Perry 5 years in the past from Tennesee

Greensleeves, whoa! What lovely images, and such fascinating topics. I’m significantly captivated by the large stones. They appear to have traveled a mighty long option to their ultimate resting cease!

I like the attractive temples, too!
Alun, Great! I look ahead to a different conveniently organized, gorgeously illustrated and thoughtfully written hub.

Respectfully, and with finest needs at all times,
Derdriu – thanks so much for these form and generous feedback. There are certainly quite a few unusual and interesting, yet little known, attractions on this a part of Thailand. Possibly if I go back there in the future, I will have the ability to see some more.

I’m glad you liked the pictures of the Buddha. I did too, which is partly why I chose one to function right at the end of the article. The Buddha is actually off-white in colour, but the mix of directional sunlight and reflection of the blue sky from the white platform on which it stands, means that at the right instances of day the statue can current a bluish aspect which subtly blends with the colour of the sky. I appreciate your attractive and thoughtful description of the Buddha photos.

Speaking of the arboretum, I hope to have a hub printed in the next two weeks which will tie in with your individual specialist pursuits.

Thanks once more. Alun.
Derdriu 5 years in the past

Alun, What an entrancing, fascinating, riveting trip by means of northeastern Thailand you offer readers! Your photographs are lovely, colorful, diligent masterpieces of art and culture. In particular, I like the best way that your pictures of the light-colored Buddha each distinction and merge with the clear blue skies: it’s such a buddhistic union of the opposites of air and rock, ethereal and substantial, material and spiritual. You really seize the attraction of the area for residents and to visitors. Especially engaging to me are the arboretum and the waterfall.

Your tour affords itinerary for the clueless, knowledge to the inquisitive, motivation for the traveler, and fervour for these artistic and creative in addition to those that admire art and creativity.

Thank you for sharing your flowing language and glorious pictures, voted up + all,

Thank you kikalina for visiting and commenting.It is a pleasant nation to visit isn’t it Really glad you like my photos. Cheers.

kikalina 5 years ago from Europe
Reminds me of my journey to Thailand. Nice pics!

AuthorGreensleeves Hubs 5 years ago from Essex, UK
I thanks for your comment sabrani44.

I see you have got only recently joined HubPages, so I want you well on the location.
sabrani44 5 years in the past

Good, hub thanks for the info.

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