Visiting the Wat Sraket in Nam Kham

A bit out of the ordinary style of temple buildings in the North-East (Isaan). Actually almost a Lao style of temple. The 2 small buildings are part of a temple in a small village (Nam Kham), about 10 km from Suwwanphum (about 60 km south of Roi Et). The main temple is a modern building but these 2 are said to be more as 100 years old and decorated with beautiful wood-carvings and paintings.

The temple island at Kwan Phayao

Due to the low water-level (due to lack of rain in 2016) it is not possible anymore to take the longtail boat to the island with the old temple. But the Thai can be very inventive and thought of a great solution. They did build a bamboo bridge! So now you can walk to the island. And the nice thing is that the bridge and island are lighted at night. That looks beautiful and now you can visit the island temple also in the evening (much cooler).

Changing skyline of Pattaya

I am a bit of historicus sometimes so last week I took a photo from Pattaya Bay from a point where I have taken the same photo in the past 10 years. The photo above (top ) was made in 2016. The photo under this text was taken in 2010 and the first photo (down) was taken in 2004. At the oldest photo (2004) you can still see the old pier and the new pier being build. On the second photo (2010) the old pier is gone (demolished in 2006) and the new one starts to be used. On the third photo (2016) you can seen the new pier is in full use and that there has been build a huge parking in front of it.

Visiting the Wat Wang Wiwekaram in Sangkhlaburi

Sangkhlaburi is a small town about along one of Thailands biggest lakes and it is famous for the longest wooden bridge of Thailand. But also for Wat Wang Wiwekaram, that is located at the so called mon-side of the lake. It is not an old temple and the pagoda you see on the photo is part of the temple complex. 

Tour of duty in China part 1

People ask me sometimes "How did you get in Thailand?" and I answer "By airplane". But in reality it was a bit more complex, so I did write some postings about that. I did write a few stories with photos about it and I call that Blast from the past. Here are two photos made in Xiahe (China) while on tour in China in 1999. This place was one of the most impressive place to visit during my all 3 weeks tour in China.

Food, Food and more ..... Mu Ka Ta

Mu Ka Ta is what it is called in Thailand ... or Korean BBQ. Also written as Moo Kata. It means something like "Pork Wok".  It is a  DIY dinner. This photo was taken at a Mu Ka Ta restaurant in a small village just outside Khon Kean city. But there are restaurants like this everywhere in Thailand. And also a bit in Laos and Cambodia.

The idea is that a small BBQ is placed on (or in) the table and on top is a kind of plate in the form of a hat. On top of the "hat" is placed a piece of fat that will grease the all hat. You will have a dish with fresh vegetable and noodle and a dish with pork meat. Some restaurants will also be able to serve seafood, beef, liver, etc. You will also get a kettle with water (or better bullion) and the water is then put in the "ring" of the "hat". Then the DIY fun starts! Put the vegetables etc. in the water and the meat on the top. It is All-You-Can-Eat for a fixed price, ranging from 99 to 199 Thai baht. Of course …

The Rice Field Project Part 28 : The erecting of the first pole ceremony

As part of Living in Thailand, the Rice Field Project follows our journey of buying land, preparing it for building our house and finally building our house. This is part 28, to read the other parts click The Rice Field Project.

Finally some action again. So what is this ceremony? Briefly said it is an blessing ceremony for your to be building house. But erecting first pole? Yes, erecting. Here in Northern Thailand a house is not build on poles that are put into the ground. Here they dig a hole and in the hole will be made a footing with a pole to the top of the wall of the to be build house. So they will start with a steel frame for the foot and pole. This steel frame of the pole will be later build into a wooden cast in what cement is poured.

And this has to be done at an auspicious day and auspicious time. In our case the month after the 3 months Buddhist lent, so at the 12th lunar month. And then at a good day to build a house. For us that became 8 November. This was all in discu…

On the motorbike doing a Bo Klua and Huai Kon loop in Nan

It is motorbike riding season, so I extended my carbon footprint again. During my last ride I noticed that my chain had some almost frozen links and was stretched a lot. So I ordered a new chain and sprockets at AP Shop in Bangkok and that was delivered by Kerry Express within 25 hours after paying for the order. Good service from AP Shop and Kerry Express! Then I had to find a motorbike shop to install it as there is no Kawasaki dealer in Nan province (and the one in Phrae was overcharging the parts). Got the installation done and left at 6:30am in the early & cold morning taking again route 1256 to Bo Klua and then route 1081 in direction of Huai Kon. But just 10km north of Bo Klua I made a 2km side trip to Ban Saphan where I had a lovely breakfast right along the Wa River. After that continued route 1081 to Huai Kon and then route 101 to Thung Chang where I had a delicious Italian lunch. Then another 30km back home. It was a great day trip of 200 km and the bike is riding agai…

The finals of the Nan Long Boat Races 2018

Last weekend (2, 3 and 4 November) were the finals of the famous Nan Long Boat Racing 2018, held of course in Nan, North Thailand. It was a 3 days event where many villages with their own long boat competed for the fist prize. The races are held with sets of every time 2 boats. And each 2 boats will have to race 2 times to each-other. The race is held on only a short distance. All done near the main bridge in Nan town. Along the banks of the Nan River are many villagers supporting their team. The boats can hold between 30 and 60 people. Following are some more photos I took yesterday. If you are thinking of watching it next year, be aware that the races are held accordingly the lunar calendar so the dates change a little bit every year. For more information about the beautiful Nan province see Traveling 2 Nan - Thailand.

On the motorbike for another Bo Klua loop in Nan

Nice cool weather is here again, so it was time for a Bo Klua loop on the motorbike. Living in Pua that is not such a big loop, only 120 km. From Pua to Bo Klua via the beautiful route 1256, only 47 km. Although a sign in Pua makes you think it is 78 km, but that is via Santisuk. Rout 1256 is mostly in good conditioning, although there are a few bad sections and big bumps in the road. Almost in Bo Klua I noticed that my chain was making a weird noice and I had a look : Totally dry! So I stopped at a small motorbike workshop in Bo Klua and the guy did lube my chain free of charge. And with real good chain lube! From Bo Klua I took route 1081 in direction of Santisuk and back to Pua again. I thought to make a pit-stop at Atlas Coffee Shop or Base 29 Coffee Shop but both were closed so I arrived a bit hungry in Pua. It was a great riding again after a few months not riding. Following are a a few photos and a map of the route I took. For more information about Nan province in North Thail…

On the motorbike from Nan to Chiang Mai

With a flat distance of 366 km and a max. altitude of 633 meter I did it again. I did leave very early in the morning. Actually so early that it was too early for breakfast at Hot Bread (along the way leaving Nan to Phrae). I left Nan together with a friend but he decided that he would take the scenic route back again to Loei while I decided to take the main route back to Khon Kaen. So we left Nan in southern direction to Phrae via route 101 but at Wang Sia we split up and I continued along route 101 in direction of Phrae. The route is a highway going thru beautiful mountains. It was cool, well actually almost cold & chilly. And it was a bit dark for my sun-visor. But what the heck. Although not much traffic, the Thai driving style still irritates me on the bike. You are still considered a minor user of the road and totally ignored by bigger users of the road. For more motorbike trip reports in Thailand see MOTORBIKE TRIP REPORTS

So somewhere between Huai Rong and Phai Thon I too…

Visiting Doi Samer Dao at Sri Nan National Park in Nan

In December 2017 we made a day trip, or should I say night trip, to Doi Samer Dao at Sri Nan National Park. The National Park is just 16km from Na Noi or 66km from Nan townSri Nan National Park is famous for 2 things, Doi Samer Dao and Pha Chu (lovers rock). We did go to Doi Samer Dao what is in the cool season a famous place to visit to watch a sunset over Na Noi, watch the stars (dao) at night and in the very early morning see a stunning sunrise over a sea of clouds above the Nan River. For more information about National Parks in Nan - Thailand have a look HERE. For more information about the beautiful Nan province see Traveling 2 Nan - Thailand.

As Doi Samer Dao is a major attraction point (for Thai tourists) the National Park enforces a entrance fee of 20 Thai baht per person for Thai people and non-Thai are privileged to pay 5 times more (100 Thai baht). Not that the latter was enforced when I did visit Sri Nan National Park. And you pay 20 Thai baht for your motorbike or car…

The Rice Field Project Part 27 : Location and digging

As part of Living in Thailand, the Rice Field Project follows our journey of buying land, preparing it for building our house and finally building our house. This is part 27, to read the other parts click The Rice Field Project.
First the location This is finally the first step of the real building of our house. It is all about location as you know, so we start with the exact location of where the house has to be build. And the exact location where all the foundation poles have to go into the ground. How does that work?

Well very simple, the architect did copy the chanot papers (land ownership papers) and she request some information from the Land Department. At the chanot is a drawing of the land. She copies the drawing and add's the size's from chanot pole to chanot pole. Now these were not really correct but who cares. Within that drawing she did draw the floor plan of the house with the exact location of the poles. Then she did calculate the distances from each corner of …