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Sight-seeing at Ubul Ratana Dam in Khon Kaen

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By building the Ubul Ratana Dam in 1966 the Ubul Ratana Lake was created and nowadays it is surrounded by a beautiful country side with small mountains and of course a National Park (Phu Kao & Phu Phan Kham National Park) with a beautiful viewpoint from the Wat Phra Bat Phu Phan Kham.

So when friends of mine did visit me in 2011 while I was living in Khon Kaen I took them out for a tour along the west-side of Ubolrat Lake (as it is called locally) to visit Wat Phra Bat Phu Phan Kham and have lunch at Bang Sean 2. We first followed route 12 in direction of Chumpae (going from KK to the west) and after about 27km you make an U-turn (that is the first u-turn after that lovely "Coffee shop" with a huge windmill and you drive a km back to take a left-turn to Ubolrat lake. You follow the road until a T-junction and take a left turn and after 100m you enter an next T-junction and you take a right turn. After that you just follow the main road thru a village and you will end up …

Insurance in regards to scooter or motorbike riding in Thailand

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Thailand is a great country to be traveling on your own, there is good public transport and most roads are good. So renting a scooter or motorbike (by law the same in Thailand) becomes popular. Not only on beach locations as Koh Samui, Pattaya or Phuket but also in North Thailand to make trips in the mountains.

But when renting a scooter or motorbike in Thailand there are a few things you should realise :
All scooters or big motorbikes are by law both a motorbike.For a riding a motorbike you need a motorbike driver licence.If you do not have a motorbike driver license your travel insurance might not cover any costs when you have an accident. If you do not have a motorbike driver license also your healthcare insurance or accident insurance from your home-country might not cover any medial costs.By Thai law scooter and motorbikes need to have an compulsory insurance (third party insurance). But this insurance is very limited in cover for medical costs for yourself and none for damage to…

Going to ride motorbike or scooter?

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This is a photo of my full-face helmet that I was using when I had a small motorbike accident a few years back. As you can see I was lucky to be using a helmet and to be more precisely to be using a full-face helmet. Because using not a full-face helmet would have had a dramatic impact on my face.

Since then it became a personal thing to tell people about using a helmet. If you are going to ride a motorbike or scooter (by law the same in Thailand) then ALWAYS use a helmet and if you are riding regularly use a full-face helmet. Mind you I also say this to friends who are happily riding around without helmet. And I will say it again and again.

It does not matter fast or slow, short or long .... an accident can happen any time. So I ALWAYS use a full-face helmet, leather cloves, a long trouser, good shoes and at least a jeans-jacket. For longer rides I will ALWAYS be wearing motor-boots, leather jacket, motor-gloves and my full-face helmet of course. For multiple-day tours I will also b…

Upcountry bicycling in Pua

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I like to go bicycling in the early morning, just small trips between the rice fields and small village in Pua, Nan province, North Thailand. And I love to make photos of sunrise, rivers, cows and other animals along the way. In the early morning the light is so beautiful. Unfortunately I am not a good photographer like my uncle was, but following are some photos of my latest bicycling trip. If you would like to join me, come to Pua! For more information about the beautiful Nan province in North Thailand see Destination Travel Guide Nan, North Thailand.



Farm life in Pua

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A cow happily living at a small farm with 1 other cow, 5 chickens and a dog. The farmer comes for food, water and to make a small fire in the evening to get ride of the flies. I love the simple slow life in Nan province, North Thailand. Many people have a few cows and after the rice harvest they take their cows to the rice fields and have the cows eat the remains of the rice. Much better as burning it. For more information about the beautiful Nan province in North Thailand see Destination Travel Guide Nan, North Thailand.

Chatting monks in Pua

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During my early morning bicycle trips I always somewhere see some monks going for their alms in the small villages near the Wat Phuket. Most times they are joined by dogs who are hoping for some food. For more information about the beautiful Nan province in North Thailand see Destination Travel Guide Nan, North Thailand.

The morning after

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Thailand is a land of Buddhists, where people are cremated after their death. The cremation is a 3 days Buddhist ritual. But what happens with the remains of ash & bones? You might have seen a cremation in Thailand, or at least photos of it. While living in Thailand I have been to a few cremations. While I was bicycling this morning I passed a temple with a crematorium where the day before a cremation did happen. In the early morning family of the person who passed away together with monks will collect the ash & bone remains to bless it. After that 1/3 of the ashes is kept at the temple at a (very) small pagoda, 1/3 of the ashes is taken home in a urn and 1/3 of the ashes is spread over the land.

Safety first on the highways in Thailand

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Well at least 2 out of the 6 people in the last pickup truck are wearing a helmet. Not sure if they are really using it for safety or just protect against the cold wind, as it was about 14℃ the morning I took this photo on route 101 near Phrae. If look good you see that also some people in the first truck are wearing a helmet. The people are probably being transported to their workplace. Mind you to sit in the back of the truck is illegal by law, but as with many things This Is Thailand and there is totally no police enforcement. A year back the police had suddenly the idea to start the law enforcement on this illegal way of transporting people, as there are many deadly accidents with this kind of transport. But there was a loud outcry of people who said "How else are we going somewhere?". So back to the old days of "up to you". For more of This Is Thailand moments click HERE.

Enjoying a late afternoon in Pua

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In the cool season (in December) also the late afternoon is a great time of the day to make a small bicycle trip following the small roads between the rice fields in Pua, North Thailand. The rice has been all cut and harvested and the cows are now enjoying their job to eat the remains of the rice and produce natural fertiliser. What a wonderful way to experience the real way of life in North Thailand. For more information about the beautiful Nan province in North Thailand see Destination Travel Guide Nan - Thailand.

Another old photo of the Wat Phra That Chae Haeng in Nan

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Thanks to one of my Facebook friends (yes there are some good things about Facebook) I did find an old photo made at the hill of the Wat Phra That Chae Heang just about 1 km outside of nowadays Nan town. The old town of Nan was originally said to be founded here. I am not sure if this photo should actually not be mirrored. And I will try to find out when the photo was taken. I love history and it is a great way to find destinations for traveling nowadays. For more information about the beautiful Nan province in North Thailand see Destination Travel Guide Nan, North Thailand.

Sunset in Ban Sakad

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As I love sunsets here one more sunset photo when we were staying at Sakad Farm & Homestay in Ban Sakad, Nan province (North Thailand). For more information about the beautiful Nan province in North Thailand see Destination Travel Guide Nan - Thailand.

About the little town Phrao in North Thailand

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Phrao is a little town on the intersection of route 1150 and 1001, about 90km north of Chiang Mai town. A bit on the border of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai province and Phrao is surrounded by rice fields and mountains. In town is not much to do and typically is just for a one night stop-over. East of town are a few hotels and south of town are also a few hotels like Phrao Boutique Hotel. And about 7 km north of town are a few other hotels like Doi Farang Resort. In town are of course a hospital, police station and a PTT Gasoline station with a 7-11. In town also are a few small restaurants and of course coffee shops.



A night at a homestay & farm in Ban Sakad

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A few years ago while motorbike riding in the mountains of Doi Phu Kha in Nan province (North Thailand) I stumbled upon a mountain village Ban Sakad near Pua. This village is build on the slopes of the mountains, with small narrow walking paths between the houses. About a year ago we did stay once at the house of a friend of us in this village and a few months ago we did stay at Sakad Dee Homestay. And last week we were the first customers of a new Farm & Homestay, that is located about 5 km before Ban Sakad. It is located in the middle of nowhere and you will need to make a short but steep walk thru forest to reach this little paradise created by a lovely local lady and her husband. It is not yet fully operational and at the moment only has 2 small bamboo rooms with shared toilet. Diner and breakfast is served by the always smiling host. It is not only a homestay but also a organic farm, so depending on the season you can eat salad, strawberry or whatever is growing at the farm.…

Sakad Coffee in Ban Sakad

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The little village Ban Sakad at 950m high in the mountains of Doi Phu Kha has unfortunately been found by Thai tourists. And for good reasons because it is a lovely village. So besides a few home-stays there is now also a kind of coffee shop with the original name Sakad Coffee. As you can see at the photos you will have great view at this coffee shop. For more information about the beautiful Nan province in North Thailand see Destination Travel Guide Nan - Thailand.

Traveling with the red bus in Nan

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The red (or orange) bus goes from Nan town to a small village just a few km north of Thung Chang, following route 101 in direction of the Thai-Laos border. It looks like a retro-style bus but it is not. It is a really old, non-airconditioned bus that takes about 3 hours to for its journey. It goes slow but it is a wonderful way of experiencing locale slow life of Nan province. The bus starts at the bus-station in Nan, then makes a sight-seeing tour thru Nan town. Then following more or less route 101 it goes to Tha Wang Pha, Pua, Chiang Klang, Thung Chang and its end destination. The bus will stop many times and passes all the small villages to pickup people.  For more information about the beautiful Nan province in North Thailand see Destination Travel Guide Nan - Thailand.