A travel blog as inspiration for Traveling, Living & Motorbike riding in Thailand with Destination Travel Guides about North & North-East Thailand.
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Visiting the Chulabhorn dam at Chaiyaphum
The Chulabhorn Dam (build in 1970) diverts the Phrong river into the Choen river and with that created the water-reservoir for hydro-electric power. The lake is in the south-east of the beautiful kartsen mountains of the National Park Nam Nao and surrounded by another National Park "Phu Khiao Wilflife Reserve".
Along route 101 at the entrance of Pua town and at the park in Pua town you will see this 2 fighting mountain beetles (Kwang or Xylotrupes gideon) as symbol for Pua district. As once a year at end September there is the famous Hercules Beetle Festival where local people do fighting games between the best & strongest beetles. The festival is aimed at conserving the local tradition, particularly Hercules’s Beetle fighting. During the festival are also shown other local community traditions like silverware production and local woven textile from nearby mountain villages.
Remark : I mention this festival because it is part of all festivals in Nan province. But personally I have never visited this festival as I think it is a kind of animal cruelty.
Stunning location! I did stay here 1 night in November 2019 and I loved it! And as usual I always write a short review of all places I stay, now 259 Hotels, Homestay's and Guesthouses in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Have a look at Accommodation where I did stay. I have been a few times at Doi Pha Tang but did never stay overnight there. And I always passed this hotel of what I thought should have a stunning sunset view. So this time I did stay here. OK the rooms are a bit old but nicely & recently renovated. All rooms have private balcony with stunning sunset view. And all rooms have a private bathroom with toilet, shower with hot water. In the room is a fridge and free drinking water. The hotel has a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But breakfast is served at 8:00am, what is a bit late for me so I left before breakfast. The room is a bit overpriced but it is all about location and as said the location is stunning. Staff speaks a little bit English and is …
It has become winter in North Thailand and this morning at 6:00am it was 8℃ at our garden and at 7:30am we were on the motorbike to buy some food at a local market. It was bloody cold! I was wearing a warm shirt with long sleeves and a jumper. And a warm cap and gloves! After 20 years living in a tropical country I think under the 20℃ is cold. So we sleep under a winter blanket and wearing a pyjama. And windows are closed. Following are some photos my wife made while I was riding our Honda CUB scooter.
Sunset from my room on the flanks of Doi Pha Tang at the Thai-Lao border in Chiang Rai province, North Thailand. This viewpoint is also called "Pratu Sayam" or "Door to Siam", as on the top are to big rocks with an opening (door) from where you overlook Laos. This was my last night of a 3 days/2nights motorbike trip from Pua (Nan province, North Thailand) to Huay Xai (Laos). In the next days a full trip-report (with maps) will follow but one thing is sure ... it was a stunning trip!
For the merit of the future of our new homestay (and for the family of my wife) we did visit a local so called jungle temple. It is a small forrest where a groups of Buddhist monks are managing a simple temple. And one of the monks ever had the idea of building from a scooter a TukTuk. So the right rear wheel is actually the rear-half of a scooter, incl. the engine & chain. Extended building created something that looks like a TukTuk but with 4 wheels and a bit weird steering construction. Not sure if it is still in working order but the kids loved to play in it.
The first posting of 2020, in Thailand 2563, is about a temple party at Wat Don Keao in Pua district, Nan province, North Thailand. At 31 December 2019 the village Ban Don Keao and a some nearby villages celebrated the renovation of the temple grounds of Wat Don Keao. It is just a small temple in a small village, but the celebrations did begin with a procession of a representation of each village. And as most villages are from origin hill-tribe villages (like Tai Lue and Hmong) people are dressed up in traditional hill-tribe cloths. Besides traditional dancing there was also loud music and some local folkore (like a man dressed like a baby). Following are in random order more photos I did shoot the last day of 2019.
In Pua district there are many small villages, mostly village of descents of Tai Lue or Hmong people. And some of these villages have a little shop, what are called OTOP shops. OTOP stand for One Tambon, One product. And this shop, called Big Rock, is selling local made Tai Lue cloths. Yes really local made, if you go thru the village you will see people weaving cloths at home. So when ever you are in Pua take a bicycle, go around and visit one of these shops. Experience the slow life of Pua. Following are a few more photos.
At the sound of the temple I did wake-up, took a shower and hit the road with my motorbike for a short ride to Nanthaburi National Park in Nan province, North Thailand. Easy as I am living nearby, so even with an extension to the hill-tribe village Ban Sop Sai it is only 60km one-way. But the last 3 km to Nanthaburi National Park is a kind of dirt road. The HQ of Nanthaburi National Park is at 1279m high and has a nice camping ground and viewpoint. If you want to go higher you have to take a very shitty dirt road for another 1500m with some steep parts. So I skipped that. I had breakfast with a Thai couple camping here. Following are more photos. For route info see the map all the way down or click Route from Pua to Nanthaburi National Park.
While living in Thailand I was already many years thinking about starting a small guesthouse. But living in Bangkok, Pattaya or Khon Kaen that seemed not the right location for the kind of guesthouse that I wanted to start. But when we found our new home in Pua, Nan province I knew this would become the place to start our guesthouse or homestay. So when we finished building our own house between the rice fields of Pua we started at the next project "our bungalow". And the creation of our bungalow is almost finished, just the finishing touch have to be done. We are calling it "Non Nan Pua", what in Thai means “Sleeping / relaxing between the rice fields”. A place where guests can relax in comfort and enjoy the view over the rice fields & the mountains of Doi Phu Kha. And as our bungalow is between the Tai Lue villages Ban Ket and Ban Hia it is also the perfect location to experience the real local way of slow life in Pua.