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Road trip to the north-east


CampariO
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Please buckle up, because this journey takes a little longer. If you don't like pictures: quickly click away, there will be over 150!

We made the trip in January 2022: it went from Pattaya via Chaiyaphum to Udon Thani, Nongkhai, east to Bueng Kan, then west to the Skywalk Wat Pha Tak Suea, along the Mekhong (Phu Pha Dak, but without ascent), Chiang Khan and the Skywalk there. The end was Nong Bua Lamphu with the Erwawan cave.

It looks like this on the map:

 

 

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As always when heading north, a stopover at Mrs. CO's family in Chaiyaphum. I was able to keep the kids away from the sausages with a few candies, but not for very long.

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Then it was on to the first leg of the journey: Udon Thani. There we met a colleague who showed us something of the city.

At a temple, Mrs. CO had her fate interpreted.

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Somebody say that would be nonsense. But who may be this sponsor?

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Edited by CampariO
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The next morning, the highlight of an alcoholic's trip: the Issan Rum Distillery a few km south of Nong Khai. The nice owner shows us the production site and we tasted a sample set. The rum with the syrup made from natural sugar together with lime juice was so delicious that we took 3 bottles with us as provisions.

 

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There isn't that much to see east of Nong Khai, but there are two places worth visiting. The first is Bueng Kan, the second are the Naga Caves. However, these require prior notification, which we did not know. The waiting time for this was over 2 weeks! Therefore no pictures.

In Bueng Kan is the Phu Thok WatC hetiya Khiri Wihan, a meditation place on two sandstone hills. Hill means climbing stairs, and not a few.

 

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Now we went west. One night in Nong Khai and then along the Mehkong to Chiang Khan. The first stop on this section was the Skywalk Wat Pha Tak Suea. The overcoats are ineffective or they were prescribed too late because the glass was already quite scratched.

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Edited by CampariO
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Not a particularly high skywalk where the girls are screaming and slide on all fours across the glass floor. But there was a nice little temple just around the corner that was still being worked on. It's wonderful how cool it can be in these buildings despite the heat.

 

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Chiang Khan. I had never heard of this little place on the Mekong, and yet it is said to be very well known. A kitschy, typical tourist place with lots of old wooden houses, and yet we really liked it there and hopefully we will visit there again soon. But only not on a weekend, because the place is totally overcrowded.

To get the right experience, you should stay in one of the wooden houses, of course with a view of the river. Small rooms and a bit expensive, but you can hear and feel the other house guests coming and going.

 

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The sidewalks are folded up quite early. At least there are a few bars. In the Miss U Bar we were served with the best cocktails I had drunk in a long time. It turned out that the owner used to work as a bartender at the Oriental in Bangkok. At our request, he gave a few recipes and gave general tips on what to keep in mind when mixing. Within seconds, Mrs. CO stood behind the bar and shook the shaker. Training on the job!

If you show up there, you should definitely go to the Miss U Bar Soi 19 and try the cocktails!

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The next day we cycled along the Mekong and cooled down with a few cold drinks.

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Nice view but couldn't really enjoy it because we were gasping for air for a while. To get into the cave, you had to go down a few steps. Inside, lights were installed but not turned on. So get out your phone and shine. On the other side you saw daylight again and had a different view. However, one had to walk the way back through the cave. That means: down the stairs and then up again. 😝

 

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The penultimate stop on our journey was a simple temple with a small cave: Thum Pho Ti Sat.

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The cave wasn't worth seeing, but there was a small path that led to another world. At least that's how it felt. You followed a circuit and were surrounded by high cliffs, trees and roots entwined everywhere on the rock and in small caves. It was as if no one had ever been here, and I kept looking over my shoulder to see if a T-Rex was approaching from behind.

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Nice pics. A bit much to take in all at one time.

I have done the car trip into the Khon Kean area from Pattaya a couple of times. That is a 9 hour trip. We skirt Korat and then Chaiyaphum and the then head North on 201. Our main destination is the GF's family's house about mid-way between Khon Kaen and Chum Phae. I enjoy making the trip a couple of times a year, but one month is about my limit for a stay.

We have built a small house in the area. My intention for that is that the GF will be covered after I am no longer around.  The security guard in the pic is her 5 year old nephew. He works for free showers and TV game access.

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The lesser visited temples up North are great.

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The journey is nearing its end. I don't remember the name of this rock, but it was just more of a tourist selfie spot. You could explore the area further by four-wheel drive, but we wanted to go to the Hotel SR Residence in Petchaboon that same evening, where we had stayed before and had a nice view over the fields and hills.

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I hope you enjoyed the trip.

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Edited by CampariO
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12 minutes ago, ChiFlyer said:

We have built a small house in the area. My intention for that is that the GF will be covered after I am no longer around.  The security guard in the pic is her 5 year old nephew. He works for free showers and TV game access.

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Have something similar in mind, but much cheaper. More a small knock-down house or something that can be extended in future. Something I can stay for a night or 2 without having to stay in some colorful rooms in even more colorful resorts. Should not cost more than the 7 rai farmland we purchased 30 km south of Chaiyaphum.

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