|The Wat Phra Bat Phu Phan Kham in Khon Kaen province, Thailand|
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 at the road going right along the west-side of the lake. Noticed that the water-level is still very high and at some points almost on the road. Also saw that many rice-fields and some small houses are still flooded. The road is in good condition and the scenery view is really beautiful with mountains on your right hand and rice-fields around you, while on the left the huge Ubolrat lake rises in your view.
We followed the road all the way to the village "Ubolrattana", you are leaving the lake-side and take a short steep road up and take a left turn and follow the road until you are at a T-section where you take a left in direction of "Ubolrat Dam". But just 500m before the entrance gate to "Ubolrat dam" you take a left to "Wat Phra Bat Phu Phan Kham". Just follow the road passing a school and a bit further up the road passing a temple. Just 200m after that temple you are standing on the foot of a small hill where a stairway of 1049 steps goes up to a huge 14meters high white Buddha overlooking the valley of Khon Kaen.
Well we did not walk but drove 50m further where a road leads left to the top where is parking for cars. On top of the hill under the huge Buddha is a temple and from the hill you have beautiful view over the lake. After our visit to the temple & Buddha statue we did ride back again to the lake-side to have lunch at one of the restaurant right at the lake-side, just before "Bang Sean 2" . And on the east-side of the lake is "Pattaya 2". See Ubol_Ratana_Dam and WatPhraPhuPhanKham