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Visiting the Wat Tham Phrathat Khao Prang in Chai Badan

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The parents of my wife are old and life has not been kind to their health, although they themselves are also not kind for their own health. So this week it was time to visit the family of wife, a bare 600 km drive from Nan province in North Thailand. So we left in the very early morning and arrived in the afternoon. And every time driving over route 21 at Chai Badan we can see in a distance a huge Buddha image built on the flanks of a small mountain range. And on the way back we finally made a short stop. Short as we still had to drive another 500 km to home sweet home. Of course the name suggest already that there is some kind of cave at the temple. And the stairs going up suggest that there is a magnificent viewpoint. But as we were a bit in a hurry we skipped all that. Later I saw that you can actually also drive up to the viewpoint. Well never mind, must be said that once close by the Buddha image is less impressive as you think it would be. There are temple related shops, donation

Visiting the Phu Phrabat Historical Park in Udon Thani

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Phu Phrabat Historical Park in Udon Thani, Thailand Reposting from 2017. Phu Phrabat Historical Park distinguishing feature is its unusual rock formations around which religious shrines have been constructed. Some formations also feature alleged prehistoric rock paintings. The unusual rock formations in the park include spires, massive boulders and balanced rocks and form the backdrop for the prehistoric art and religious shrines created there. The geological origins of these rocks are thought to be from under-sea erosion that occurred fifteen million years ago. Prehistoric art paintings on the rocks can best be seen where some rocks have formed a natural shelter. Others have faded considerably. The formations named Tham Wua and Tham Khon are particularly good examples; in the former oxen are depicted, the latter has human figures. The park's rock paintings are believed to date from 6,000 years ago. Phu Phrabat's rock formations are the setting for a local legend about a k

Train stations in Thailand, next station Khon Kaen

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Khon Kaen train station, North-East Thailand (2016) Reposting from 2016. Khon Kaen train station is located in the middle of what is nowadays the center of the city. Originally of course it was on the outside of the city. But nowadays the train-line goes straight thru the all city, with at 5 points major roads crossing the railroad. Although it is still a small train station it is not anymore the romantic looking wooden train stations like you see upcountry. At the train station are 2 platforms and basically two tracks. Although there are more tracks for the oil transport to/from the oil warehouse next to the train station (right in the city center!). But directly after and before the train station it is all the way single track. At least now in 2016, but big changes are coming soon. All photos were made in 2016 . Update April 2018 : Currently there are huge constructions going on for an elevated double rail rail-road, so the small nice train station of Khon Kaen might soon be

Review of my Shark Spartan Carbon helmet

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  In October 2014 I bought a Shark SpeedR Carbon and it served me well in the years, so when it was time to be replaced I wanted to buy just the same helmet again. But the SpeedR model is discontinued by Shark (although you still see them for sale). So I looked at other helmets from Shark and that are for sale in Thailand. And I found the Shark Spartan Carbon. Buying a good helmet in Nan province is impossible so I contacted Shark Thailand and they came up with 2 dealers in Chiang Mai : Chang Moto and Helmet2Home . So I contacted both of them to ask if they had the helmet in stock in size M and L. Both said yes. But knowing TIT I had my doubts already. Riding into Chiang Mai I went straight to Chang Moto, I like this shop and bought here before Rivit gloves. Unfortunately they did not had the helmet I wanted in stock. So I did ride to Helmet2Home. I had been recommended this shop by other people, but on the outside it looks like a shop selling cheap shit helmets. But they have a huge

Staying at Mae Salong Vintage Hotel in Mae Salong

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In November 2020 I made a motorbike trip in North Thailand and stay 1 night at Mae Salong Vintage Hotel. This hotel is sometimes also called OYO 1020 Vintage Home. Mae Salong Vintage Hotel is located in the village, not far from the one and only 7-11. It is reasonable new and modern style hotel. The rooms are in modern & basic fashion. I had a huge room, with huge bathroom and a big balcony with view almost all around. Although the room price was good (without breakfast) and I had a good night sleep, this kind of hotel is not really my cup of tea. I was missing a chair in the room, the lock of the balcony door was not working, the shower-rail was broken, window in the bathroom was dirty. But the location is good and there is private parking for car & motorbike. Photos are not mine but borrowed from internet and they reflect more or less reality. I tried to find a website or facebook page but I could not find it. But this hotel can be booked via Agoda, Booking and the website of

Staying at Riverside House Hotel in Chiang Mai

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  November 2020 I made a motorbike trip to Chiang Mai and did stay 1 night at Riverside House Hotel in Chiang Mai, right along the Ping River near the famous Iron Bridge. Actually just because I was riding there out of town and saw the hotel price outside the hotel, only 699 baht (without breakfast). The hotel has private parking for cars & motorbikes and there is even a swimming pool! I like the location near the Iron Bridge, nearby are some restaurants, pubs and Rimping Market.  Riverside House Hotel has 2 buildings, first a front (street) building from where the front rooms have view over the Ping River. The backside rooms of this building have view over the garden and swimming pool. Then behind the garden is a second building where again the front rooms have view over the garden and swimming pool. The photos are not mine, but from their website and they do represent the reality of the hotel. The bedroom looks like the room I had in the front building but facing the garden &

Staying at Rai Boonsom Farmstay in Phrao

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  In November 2020 I did made a motorbike trip in North Thailand and did stay at Rai Boonsom Farmstay for 1 night, located in a 18 rai rural garden on the outskirts of Phrao town. The owner is a super friendly lady who serves fruit & juice. Rai Boonsom Farmstay has a main building with 2 rooms and huge balcony. And a garden bungalow with 2 rooms (1 with air-con the other fan-only). I did stay in the wooden garden bungalow, the room on the ground floor (with air-con). The room has private bathroom with shower but is not accessible from the bedroom. You will have to walk outside to get in your bathroom. In front of the room is a small verandah to sit & relax. I loved this place, relax sitting outside enjoying the view over the garden. Highly recommended! You can book Rai Boonsom Farmstay via Agoda or Booking but of course best to book directly. For more information see  Facebook page of Rai Boonsom Farmstay . For location have a look at Google Maps .

On the motorbike from Pua to Chiang Mai and back via Doi Mae Salong

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Following is a Motorbike Trip Report from November 2020. For more motorbike trip reports see my  MOTORBIKE TRIP REPORTS . A multiple days motorbike ride was long overdue. So with a good excuse of buying a new helmet in Chiang Mai my first destination was set. The only question left was "What route to ride to Chiang Mai?". From Pua there are many routes to ride to Chiang Mai, but as I dislike main roads & highways I did choose as usual taking the "long way home". Photo above was taken in the early morning along route 1097. Enjoy! Incidentally, as you might have noticed we are living in the valley of Pua in Nan province, between the rice fields and with stunning view over the mountains of Doi Phu Kha. And we did build a bungalow in our 1 rai garden, that we rent out as holiday bungalow. If you are riding in Nan province, Pua is a great place to stay overnight as base to explore the northern part of Nan province. Have a look at our website   Non Na Pua Homestay  or