Temples

 
I had heard about the various temples throughout thailand and my first intention was to visit Surin as I was told about this temple in particular. My main problem I cannot read or write Thai. Therefore to find a temple you really need to be shown the location.

I rode my motorcycle from Pattaya via the Cambodian borders. Passed by Aranphetet until I reached the motorway from Kolat to Ubonratchathani. This took some time and my number one rule is to never drive in Thailand during the hours of darkness. To dangerous.

Therefore I needed somewhere to stop. I looked on the google app for hotels within my area and viewed a few of them. However I did not want to go off the main track too much and decided to stay in a hotel somewhere on the motorway. I spotted a very large green sign with Ryans Hotel written on. Perfect written in english. Called in and booked a room. 

Kicked off my boots motorbike jacket and trousers lay on the bed. Anyone who rides a motorbike for long periods will understand the relief of sitting on a soft bed. Washed and showered then off to eat. As I sat down to eat I noticed quite a few european people were also staying at the resort. After my meal I started to discuss the reason I was heading for Surin and wondered if anyone knew on how I would be able to get to the Wat. Well of course anyone who is living in this area, everyone knew of the temple and it really wasn't that far away and tomorrow someone would take me there.

Buddhist Monks are people who volenteered to be monks. Or the family met hard times and gave the baby to the temple as really not enough money to look after them. The young monks receive a very good education and are taken care of all their lives. However the Buddhist monk must abstain from women to be a monk.

From what Ive seen. People go to the temples to discuss various problems. Also for marriages and blessings. Anyone can go even westerners and a ritual is carried out to bring you good luck and wealth. The ritual is mainly water throwing over you.Its a bambo brush dipped in the water and the water throwing on you as words are spoken.

One time a lady suggested I should do lucky life from a buddhist monk. A box is made from a banana tree stem and divided into 12 seperate boxes. In each box plastersein shapes are made of animals representing each month of the year. The box is made into a basket shape. You sit in a position where your respecting the buddha and words are spoken from his book. What these words are, Ive no idea as they not in thai. This goes on for about an hour then the box is set fire too. This was your lucky life performed.

The type of things people go to see the buddha about. A problem at work. Even to change they name to make them more lucky. Make you favourable at work to make more money or get a promotion. Some people donate money, gold or flowers and the buddha will perform a ritual for you. In most cases the more you give the better off you are.

Various made-up sizes of plastic buckets are available for sale at the temples, filled with medicines or gifts for you to donate to the buddha. How it works, You buy the bucket of your choice to give to the Buddhist Monk. The Monk performs the ritual for you. The bucket goes back to the seller who hands over the money to the Monk. The money is handed to the temple. All in good will.

One time it was my birthday. I was awoken at 4am told to get washed and ready we are going to the temple. The air filled with the aroma of food. It made me so hungry. At the temple they were handing the food over to the buddhas for them to eat. A ritual was carried out as it was my birthday and from this I would receive good luck in the coming days. I then went home and had my breakfast. (Cold).

When my father died. I asked the Monk what they could do for him. I was given a list of clothes to buy. Shoes, winter jacket, trousers, socks, shirts and tie. I bought the items then gave them to the buddha, Thinking the clothes must be for his journey to the next life. He asked if I would write my fathers name on a piece of paper. I did. He then set fire to the paper. Spoke some words from a book. I assumed this is to give him luck on his journey to paradise.

Its a strange sight for us westerners when you visit a Buddhist Temple. Not only people are there, also many dogs. If dogs are found abandoned or a mother dog has had puppies on a roadside. The dogs are left at the temple. They get well fed and become lazy with so much good food. Its not unusual to be met by many dogs as you enter the temple gates not be frightened by them.

A thai dog is very different from a western dog. Its as if the dog understands how to behave. They are so placid and friendly. All the thai dogs are wild, none have a particular owner. Their born on this world same as we are. The Soi dogs in the cities are particular friendly as it's their way of survival.

Dogs are everywhere in Thailand. The wild dogs in the countryside are so clean and healthy. The soi dogs are not so much as they natural habitat is not available in the cities. Some get the minge quickly as they eat out of the rubbish bins. No such thing as enoculations for them as they were born wild and unfortunately their countryside has been turned into a housing estate.

Whatever your reason you go to see the Buddhist Monk in his Temple. You always leave with a good feeling.

I have provided an online store. Where you can buy your own statue of the Buddha for your birth date. The Buddha statue should be position to face the sunrise in the morning or thereabouts. It should be noted. The buddha statue can take care of you only if the eyes of the statue are opened first. This will be performed by the Buddhist Monk prior to shipment.

When ordering please state In the comments box, your birth date the day of the week you were born on.

The Buddha statue suited to your Birthday will then be shipped.

The Buddha statues are made in many forms. Cast steel. plastic, plaster, china, and are normally coated in a gold colour/bronze. In some cases the Buddha statues are green colour (Jade). The sizes vary from 1 inch to 24 inch or bigger in some styles.

Necklace type buddhas are available also. Selecting a necklace type buddha is really a personal choice. However some help can be given on your selection in the online store. Necklace type buddhas can vary in price. The materials used can be 23.995% Karot gold, silver,china or a plastic mould encased in a gold plated houlder.

I have stated 5000 GBP however custom buddhas are available at your choice. Custom Buddhas can be 23.995% gold with a variety of precious stones embedded. Diamonds, Emeralds, saphhires, Jade.

Therefore please email your requirement from the online store pictures. Send an email of your choice and of materials to use.  A return email will be provided showing cost as per item.

The statue or Necklace Pendant which suits you, will be shipped once the eyes of the buddha statue/Necklace are opened by a Buddhist monk, a ritual for your well being, wealth and good health.

Necklace chains are around 22 inches long. However they can be purchased in all sizes. All 24 Karot gold. Please note more intricate designs can sometimes cause weak links depending on use. 24 Karot gold is a softer than 18 karot gold. The gold itself is not stamped with a ingot mark as all gold mined is 24 Karot. In some cases they is a stamp only for gold equivelent to thai standards. Not european standards.

Gold can be used instead of a bank account. The Thai people buy the gold and store or wear for a period of time. Once the prices go up, the gold is cashed in for profit.  Gold it is always a very good investment in this country. 

The cost of your Buddha statue/Necklace Pendant will include, Ritual performed by the Buddhist monk and the item of your selection. One pack of Toub sticks.

Packing/shipping paid by the purchaser.

Toub sticks are burned, They are used for the buddha who will take care of you and the people around you. The Toub sticks are used in many ways. Normally 3 is burned, One for you, one for the buddha and one for the people around you to give good luck. In some cases 5 or 9 or even more are burned. In most cases Thai people burn 5 or 9 which is a figure representing past kings of Thailand.

Please ensure when you burn your Toub sticks you do this in a safe manner. The Toub sticks give off smoke and a smell. You normally do this outside of your dwelling and either placed in a pot of sand or just stuck into the ground.

For further information. Please contact. edwardrobson@hotmail.com

I had heard about the various temples throughout thailand and my first intention was to visit Surin as I was told about this temple in particular. My main problem I cannot read or write Thai. Therefore to find a temple you really need to be shown the location.

I rode my motorcycle from Pattaya via the Cambodian borders. Passed by Aranphetet until I reached the motorway from Kolat to Ubonratchathani. This took some time and my number one rule is to never drive in Thailand during the hours of darkness. To dangerous.

Therefore I needed somewhere to stop. I looked on the google app for hotels within my area and viewed a few of them. However I did not want to go off the main track too much and decided to stay in a hotel somewhere on the motorway. I spotted a very large green sign with Ryans Hotel written on. Perfect written in english. Called in and booked a room. 

Kicked off my boots motorbike jacket and trousers lay on the bed. Anyone who rides a motorbike for long periods will understand the relief of sitting on a soft bed. Washed and showered then off to eat. As I sat down to eat I noticed quite a few european people were also staying at the resort. After my meal I started to discuss the reason I was heading for Surin and wondered if anyone knew on how I would be able to get to the Wat. Well of course anyone who is living in this area, everyone knew of the temple and it really wasn't that far away and tomorrow someone would take me there.

Buddhist Monks are people who volenteered to be monks. Or the family met hard times and gave the baby to the temple as really not enough money to look after them. The young monks receive a very good education and are taken care of all their lives. However the Buddhist monk must abstain from women to be a monk.

From what Ive seen. People go to the temples to discuss various problems. Also for marriages and blessings. Anyone can go even westerners and a ritual is carried out to bring you good luck and wealth. The ritual is mainly water throwing over you.Its a bambo brush dipped in the water and the water throwing on you as words are spoken.

One time a lady suggested I should do lucky life from a buddhist monk. A box is made from a banana tree stem and divided into 12 seperate boxes. In each box plastersein shapes are made of animals representing each month of the year. The box is made into a basket shape. You sit in a position where your respecting the buddha and words are spoken from his book. What these words are, Ive no idea as they not in thai. This goes on for about an hour then the box is set fire too. This was your lucky life performed.

The type of things people go to see the buddha about. A problem at work. Even to change they name to make them more lucky. Make you favourable at work to make more money or get a promotion. Some people donate money, gold or flowers and the buddha will perform a ritual for you. In most cases the more you give the better off you are.

Various made-up sizes of plastic buckets are available for sale at the temples, filled with medicines or gifts for you to donate to the buddha. How it works, You buy the bucket of your choice to give to the Buddha Monk. The Monk performs the ritual for you. The bucket goes back to the seller who hands over the money to the Monk. The money is handed to the temple. All in good will.

One time it was my birthday. I was awoken at 4am told to get washed and ready we are going to the temple. The air filled with the aroma of food. It made me so hungry. At the temple they were handing the food over to the buddhas for them to eat. A ritual was carried out as it was my birthday and from this I would receive good luck in the coming days. I then went home and had my breakfast. (Cold).

When my father died. I asked the Monk what they could do for him. I was given a list of clothes to buy. Shoes, winter jacket, trousers, socks, shirts and tie. I bought the items then gave them to the buddha, Thinking the clothes must be for his journey to the next life. He asked if I would write my fathers name on a piece of paper. I did. He then set fire to the paper. Spoke some words from a book. I assumed this is to give him luck on his journey to paradise.

Its a strange sight for us westerners when you visit a Buddhist Temple. Not only people are there, also many dogs. If dogs are found abandoned or a mother dog has had puppies on a roadside. The dogs are left at the temple. They get well fed and become lazy with so much good food. Its not unusual to be met by many dogs as you enter the temple gates not be frightened by them.

A thai dog is very different from a western dog. Its as if the dog understands how to behave. They are so placid and friendly. All the thai dogs are wild, none have a particular owner. Their born on this world same as we are. The Soi dogs in the cities are particular friendly as it's their way of survival.

Dogs are everywhere in Thailand. The wild dogs in the countryside are so clean and healthy. The soi dogs are not so much as they natural habitat is not available in the cities. Some get the minge quickly as they eat out of the rubbish bins. No such thing as enoculations for them as they were born wild and unfortunately their countryside has been turned into a housing estate.

Whatever your reason you go to see the Buddhist Monk in his Temple. You always leave with a good feeling.

I have provided an online store. Where you can buy your own statue of the Buddha for your birth date. The Buddha statue should be position to face the sunrise in the morning or thereabouts. It should be noted. The buddha statue can take care of you only if the eyes of the statue are opened first. This will be performed by the Buddhist Monk prior to shipment.

When ordering please state In the comments box, your birth date the day of the week you were born on.

The Buddha statue suited to your Birthday will then be shipped.

The Buddha statues are made in many forms. Cast steel. plastic, plaster, china, and are normally coated in a gold colour/bronze. In some cases the Buddha statues are green colour (Jade). The sizes vary from 1 inch to 24 inch or bigger in some styles.

Necklace type buddhas are available also. Selecting a necklace type buddha is really a personal choice. However some help can be given on your selection in the online store. Necklace type buddhas can vary in price. The materials used can be 23.995% Karot gold, silver,china or a plastic mould encased in a gold plated houlder.

I have stated 5000 GBP however custom buddhas are available at your choice. Custom Buddhas can be 23.995% gold with a variety of precious stones embedded. Diamonds, Emeralds, saphhires, Jade.

Therefore please email your requirement from the online store pictures. Send an email of your choice and of materials to use.  A return email will be provided showing cost as per item.

The statue or Necklace Pendant which suits you, will be shipped once the eyes of the buddha statue/Necklace are opened by a Buddhist monk, a ritual for your well being, wealth and good health.

Necklace chains are around 22 inches long. However they can be purchased in all sizes. All 24 Karot gold. Please note more intricate designs can sometimes cause weak links depending on use. 24 Karot gold is a softer than 18 karot gold. The gold itself is not stamped with a ingot mark as all gold mined is 24 Karot. In some cases they is a stamp only for gold equivelent to thai standards. Not european standards.

Gold can be used instead of a bank account. The Thai people buy the gold and store or wear for a period of time. Once the prices go up, the gold is cashed in for profit.  Gold it is always a very good investment in this country. 

The cost of your Buddha statue/Necklace Pendant will include, Ritual performed by the Buddhist monk and the item of your selection. One pack of Toub sticks.

Packing/shipping paid by the purchaser.

Toub sticks are burned, They are used for the buddha who will take care of you and the people around you. The Toub sticks are used in many ways. Normally 3 is burned, One for you, one for the buddha and one for the people around you to give good luck. In some cases 5 or 9 or even more are burned. In most cases Thai people burn 5 or 9 which is a figure representing past kings of Thailand.

Please ensure when you burn your Toub sticks you do this in a safe manner. The Toub sticks give off smoke and a smell. You normally do this outside of your dwelling and either placed in a pot of sand or just stuck into the ground.

For further information. Please contact. edwardrobson@hotmail.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Surin Temple

 

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The following day I ate breakfast at the resort restaurant. As I was eating I spotted a pickup truck coming in the entrance of the resort. The open back of the pickup was full of people. I wondered to myself what was going on. The pickup pulled up right opposite the restaurant and everyone in the pickup was glaring at me. The driver of the pickup came over and spoke in broken english, 'you want go Temple'. I looked at everyone and I was offered a space in the back of the pickup. I jumped in and off we went to the temple.

Here in Thailand, everyone wants to go to the temples. The problem is transport, cost availability. When word gets around someone is going and its free, everyone goes who is able to go. I expect in the local village the village head would of informed who could go and who cannot. As the people in the back of the pickup were elderly and some with missing limbs.

As we were heading to the temple the pickup stopped. I was informed of two possible ways to the temple one quicker than the other. However the road may be flooded. Not knowing which road was which. I just agreed. After about 30 minutes of driving the pickup stopped again and I was informed the road is closed. So off we went in the other direction to find the other road. 

Eventually we reached the temple and everyone got off the pickup and we all entered the temple. I waited for everyone who was there speak to the buddha until it was my turn. Before you speak to the Buddha a small jar of water is poured into another jar as he speaks words. Flowers are presented an envelope of money as a donation.

I was suprised when the Buddha spoke in English. He asked if I had come to see him for anything special. I informed I was passing by and just decided to come for a look. He introduced himself as Mr.Dapow. He then performed the ritual for me and we all left the temple. We all were lucky that day as Mr.Dapow was a big buddist monk and he is only there every now and then.

On the way back to the resort we stopped at Prasat market. There we walked around the market buying food for everyone to eat back at the resort. And a few cases of beer. When we arrived back at the resort everyone started eating and drinking as if it was a celebration. I suppose it was in a way to them, going to see the buddha. 

The following day I ate breakfast at the resort restaurant. As I was eating I spotted a pickup truck coming into the entrance of the resort. The open back of the pickup was full of people. I wondered to myself what was going on. The pickup pulled up right opposite the restaurant and everyone in the pickup was glaring at me. The driver of the pickup came over and spoke in broken english, 'you want go Temple'. I looked at everyone and I was offered a space in the back of the pickup. I jumped in and off we went to the temple.

Here in Thailand, everyone wants to go to the temples. The problem is transport, cost availability. When word gets around someone is going and its free, everyone goes who is able to go. I expect in the local village the village head would of informed who could go and who cannot. As the people in the back of the pickup were elderly and some with missing limbs.

As we were heading to the temple the pickup stopped. I was informed of two possible ways to the temple one quicker than the other. However the road may be flooded. Not knowing which road was which. I just agreed. After about 30 minutes of driving the pickup stopped again and I was informed the road is closed. So off we went in the other direction to find the other road. 

Eventually we reached the temple and everyone got off the pickup and we all entered the temple. I waited for everyone who was there speak to the buddha until it was my turn. Before you speak to the Buddha a small jar of water is poured into another jar as he speaks words. Flowers are presented an envelope of money as a donation.

I was suprised when the Buddha spoke in English. He asked if I had come to see him for anything special. I informed I was passing by and just decided to come for a look. He introduced himself as Mr.Dapow. He then performed the ritual for me and we all left the temple. We all were lucky that day as Mr.Dapow was a big buddist monk and he is only there every now and then.

On the way back to the resort we stopped at Prasat market. There we walked around the market buying food for everyone to eat back at the resort. And a few cases of beer. When we arrived back at the resort everyone started eating and drinking as if it was a celebration. I suppose it was in a way to them, going to see the buddha. 

The following day I ate breakfast at the resort restaurant. As I was eating I spotted a pickup truck coming in the entrance of the resort. The open back of the pickup was full of people. I wondered to myself what was going on. The pickup pulled up right opposite the restaurant and everyone in the pickup was glaring at me. The driver of the pickup came over and spoke in broken english, 'you want go Temple'. I looked at everyone and I was offered a space in the back of the pickup. I jumped in and off we went to the temple.

Here in Thailand, everyone wants to go to the temples. The problem is transport, cost availability. When word gets around someone is going and its free, everyone goes who is able to go. I expect in the local village the village head would of informed who could go and who cannot. As the people in the back of the pickup were elderly and some with missing limbs.

As we were heading to the temple the pickup stopped. I was informed of two possible ways to the temple one quicker than the other. However the road may be flooded. Not knowing which road was which. I just agreed. After about 30 minutes of driving the pickup stopped again and I was informed the road is closed. So off we went in the other direction to find the other road. 

Eventually we reached the temple and everyone got off the pickup and we all entered the temple. I waited for everyone who was there speak to the buddha until it was my turn. Before you speak to the Buddha a small jar of water is poured into another jar as he speaks words. Flowers are presented an envelope of money as a donation.

I was suprised when the Buddha spoke in English. He asked if I had come to see him for anything special. I informed I was passing by and just decided to come for a look. He introduced himself as Mr.Dapow. He then performed the ritual for me and we all left the temple. We all were lucky that day as Mr.Dapow was a big buddist monk and he is only there every now and then.

On the way back to the resort we stopped at Prasat market. There we walked around the market buying food for everyone to eat back at the resort. And a few cases of beer. When we arrived back at the resort everyone started eating and drinking as if it was a celebration. I suppose it was in a way to them, going to see the buddha. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Incorrect file format. Please upload an image file.

 
 
 
 
  •                
                   
                   
 

The next day packed up the motorbike and started on my journey. After looking at the map. I decided I would go off the motorway and go onto one of the B roads as the B roads are generally quiet compared to the motorways.I had three choices.  Go to Ubonratchathani or Roi-et or Mukdahan. Roi-et meant I was heading through the middle of Thailand, Ubon was motorway so Mukdahan was the best choice as the road would bring me back onto the eastern side of Thailand. Looking at the map I estimated about 5 hours of riding to Mukdahan.

The road was empty of other traffic with the odd farm vehicle passing by. After about 2 hours of driving I decided to stop by the roadside take my gear off and have a sit down at one of the many wooden shelters which are used as bus stops. (Not that I seen a Bus). I stopped the motorbike put the stand down and walked with my back to the motorbike to the shelter. Just as I was sitting down I heard this noise. I looked back at the motorbike and the bike was on soft sand. The motorbike stand had slowly sank into the sand until the motorbike toppled over.

I tried many times to get the motorbike back on its stand without success. Here I am in the middle of know-where not a passing vehicle going by cannot get the bike back on the stand as everytime I tried the motorbike just got stuck more in the sand. I had previously bought a small compressor for tyre punctures. Spare parts. tools just in case, who would of been prepared for soft sand.

I sat there for about two hours. Wondering if I should look for somewhere to sleep for the night or maybe try and make a bed in the bus shelter. Whatever, my thoughts of sleeping out here in the wilds were a bit spooky. Just as the hours of darkness were approaching I spotted a farm vehicle heading my way. I was just hoping the driver would stop and he did. We got the bike back up and moved onto a solid ground. I thanked him and off I went on my journey. Looking at the time it was 5 hours since I left the resort and I was not even half way.

Driving in the darkness here is definately a No No as the farm vehicles sometimes continue working. Not that head lights are an important part of the equipment or people walking around at night or even motorbikes without lights. I had to stop somewhere.

I used my google app and somewhere in my vicinity was a resort type hotel. Not much of a place as it was very cheap but it was somewhere where I could have a room. Eventually found the place and was met with an astonished look on the cashiers face. Very little words were spoken, paid the money received the key and she pointed in a direction. The room number was on the key. Opened the door to the room and the first thing I noticed no windows. No air conditioning or TV, a small fan and a toilet. Just have to do. I can leave the door open until I sleep just for fresh air.

Here in Thailand temperatures have a major effect on the flowers birds and insects at certain times of the year. I had left the door open and unfortunately for me it was the time of year when these flying ant like insects hatch. Millions of them fly around any light source and its impossible to breathe never mind see. Its just an accepted thing here by the local people. It happens. After spending the night under a blanket in 30 degrees C I was so glad morning came. The ants were all over the ground. They have to hatch, fly, mate, lay eggs then they die.

You may think that after my visit to the Temple in Surin, I have not had much luck. However the buddhist monk would say its luck in another form as your plight may have been alot worse than it was for you. So thank your lucky stars it was this that only happened. 

Didn't bother with breakfast just headed north. Im sure I,ll find a little road side restaurant and have kapow moo for my breakfast. (Fried minced pork, oyster sauce with kapow leaves and rice).No such thing as coffee only water. As time went by the road was getting busy which means Im apporoaching a town.

Mukdahan 30 klms to go. Not bad really as it was nearly midday plently day time light left for driving. Reached Mukdahan stopped for food. Mukdahan is quite famous for its noodles, vietnamese style. The noodles were lovely and headed for That Panom as I had been informed of another temple there. On arriving at That Panom the accomodation was upgrade from my previous resort and it was good to get somewhere with hot water.

The next day packed up the motorbike and started on my journey. After looking at the map. I decided I would go off the motorway and go onto one of the B roads as the B roads are generally quiet compared to the motorways.I had three choices.  Go to Ubonratchathani or Roi-et or Mukdahan. Roi-et meant I was heading through the middle of Thailand, Ubon was motorway so Mukdahan was the best choice as the road would bring me back onto the eastern side of Thailand. Looking at the map I estimated about 5 hours of riding to Mukdahan.

The road was empty of other traffic with the odd farm vehicle passing by. After about 2 hours of driving I decided to stop by the roadside take my gear off and have a sit down at one of the many wooden shelters which are used as bus stops. (Not that I seen a Bus). I stopped the motorbike put the stand down and walked with my back to the motorbike to the shelter. Just as I was sitting down I heard this noise. I looked back at the motorbike and the bike was on soft sand. The motorbike stand had slowly sank into the sand until the motorbike toppled over.

I tried many times to get the motorbike back on its stand without success. Here I am in the middle of know-where not a passing vehicle going by cannot get the bike back on the stand as everytime I tried the motorbike just got stuck more in the sand. I had previously bought a small compressor for tyre punctures. Spare parts. tools just in case, who would of been prepared for soft sand.

I sat there for about two hours. Wondering if I should look for somewhere to sleep for the night or maybe try and make a bed in the bus shelter. Whatever, my thoughts of sleeping out here in the wilds were a bit spooky. Just as the hours of darkness were approaching I spotted a farm vehicle heading my way. I was just hoping the driver would stop and he did. We got the bike back up and moved onto a solid ground. I thanked him and off I went on my journey. Looking at the time it was 5 hours since I left the resort and I was not even half way.

Driving in the darkness here is definately a No No as the farm vehicles sometimes continue working. Not that head lights are an important part of the equipment or people walking around at night or even motorbikes without lights. I had to stop somewhere.

I used my google app and somewhere in my vicinity was a resort type hotel. Not much of a place as it was very cheap but it was somewhere where I could have a room. Eventually found the place and was met with an astonished look on the cashiers face. Very little words were spoken, paid the money received the key and she pointed in a direction. The room number was on the key. Opened the door to the room and the first thing I noticed no windows. No air conditioning or TV, a small fan and a toilet. Just have to do. I can leave the door open until I sleep just for fresh air.

Here in Thailand temperatures have a major effect on the flowers birds and insects at certain times of the year. I had left the door open and unfortunately for me it was the time of year when these flying ant like insects hatch. Millions of them fly around any light source and its impossible to breathe never mind see. Its just an accepted thing here by the local people. It happens. After spending the night under a blanket in 30 degrees C I was so glad morning came. The ants were all over the ground. They have to hatch, fly, mate, lay eggs then they die.

You may think that after my visit to the Temple in Surin, I have not had much luck. However the buddhist monk would say its luck in another form as your plight may have been alot worse than it was for you. So thank your lucky stars it was this that only happened. 

Didn't bother with breakfast just headed north. Im sure I,ll find a little road side restaurant and have kapow moo for my breakfast. (Fried minced pork, oyster sauce with kapow leaves and rice).No such thing as coffee only water. As time went by the road was getting busy which means Im apporoaching a town.

Mukdahan 30 klms to go. Not bad really as it was nearly midday plently day time light left for driving. Reached Mukdahan stopped for food. Mukdahan is quite famous for its noodles, vietnamese style. The noodles were lovely and headed for That Panom as I had been informed of another temple there. On arriving at That Panom the accomodation was upgrade from my previous resort and it was good to get somewhere with hot water.

 

That Panom Temple

 

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  •                
                   
                   
 

Tat Panom is located around 60 klms south of Nakon Panom city. The area is well known for Buddha temples, in fact many are located in this area. Once a year on the Mekong river a boat show is performed. The boats are scaffolded with bambo and flowers are arranged on the boats. The boats are lit up and it is a fantastic view to see and many Thai people from all over the country arrive to see this.

Tat Panom is located around 60 klms south of Nakon Panom city. The area is well known for Buddha temples, in fact many are located in this area. Once a year on the Mekong river a boat show is performed. The boats are scaffolded with bambo and flowers are arranged on the boats. The boats are lit up and it is a fantastic view to see and many Thai people from all over the country arrive to see this.

Tat Panom is located around 60 klms south of Nakon Panom city. The area is well known for Buddha temples, in fact many are located in this area. Once a year on the Mekong river a boat show is performed. The boats are scaffolded with bambo and flowers are arranged on the boats. The boats are lit up and it is a fantastic view to see and many Thai people from all over the country arrive to see this.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nakon Panom boat festival

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Tat Panom Temple

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That Panom is quite a thriving little town. Some of the hotels are located right on the Mekong river. It has the usual markets for food and clothes and since it is quite close to Lao its easy to buy the French bread which is baked daily. Ive always wondered how these people can make such a lovely bread without having an oven. Ive looked around and tried to find out. In fact it has taken years for me to find out. I was thinking maybe some kind of pizza oven or a homemade oven. Now that I know how its done makes me laugh. 

All the oven is, is a big clay water pot. Of course no water in it. Holes are punched through the bottom of the clay pot. Barbeque coal is burning in the bottom of the pot. They place the tins of bread dough on a grill in the pot and put a steel dust bin type lid on. 10 mins later you have French bread. Baked quick at a high temperature.

Ive also tried the cooked chicken. They just hang a chicken on a hook, hooked on the side of the clay pot. The length of the hook determines how close the chicken is to the burning coals. As the clay pots are about 1 metre in height, the chicken is slowly cooked. Im not kidding you, the fat from the chicken drips down the pot walls and the smell is fantastic. The taste of the chicken is out of this world. A chicken sandwich in French bread is the best thing you can eat in an Issan village.

I stayed the night and worked out where next I would be heading. From That Panom I have two choices. Head towards Nakon Panom and then onto Nong Khai or head west towards Udonthani. Going to Udonthani is really taking me off my course. I remembered a friend living up this area and then thought about giving him a call. As he lives half way between Udonthani and That Panom and from my map, I could see a road from his village Bang Dung to Nong Khai. I called and he aswered. I was given directions on where to turn off and head for Bang Dung. One thing I must say. All the road signs in Thailand are in english aswell as Thai. Ive no idea why just that its alot easier finding your way around than having them in Thai only.

I turned down the turning heading for Bang Dung. Riding along expecting a sign to read turn left or right into Bang Dung as I was on a B road. I did see a sign stating Bang Dung but nowhere to turn off. I rode for a further few klicks and decided to turn back thinking Id missed the turning. Strange I had no idea where it was. I phoned again only to find out the village is on the B road. Therfore the sign stating Bang Dung was actually Bang Dung there and then.I found a small guest house and got slackened off there. I used to work with Tony in Yemen on a large scale LNG plant we both worked in the same Engineeering dept.

You will find most of the european people living permanent in the land of smiles are married to a thai lady. Thai ladys are the best business women you will ever find especially it its not they money. However some of them just have the knack to make more money. Tony's wife was involved in mushrooms.(Het) Growing them to sell.

As we know mushrooms come in many types and some or favourites for thai people. Thai people would eat mushrooms every meal if they had them .Therefore selling mushrooms in thailand is a very good business to have. I do not know much about them and I dont like to eat them. However we met up and I was taken around the mushroom farm and I was astonished to see the amount of mushrooms they were growing. I do not know what the overheads would be for such a business as this. Apparently they sell kilo's of mushrooms on a daily basis.

After the tour we went for a few beers in a local beer bar. I was suprised to see so many europeans in the bar. The bar owner was from the UK, Manchester. As the afternoon went on alot more people joined the group and it soon became a big party. I found out then that at least 40 people from europe lived in this area. Bang Dung. Such a small town and so many british/european people living there made me wonder what was so special about Bang Dung. Nothing really just everyone had a wife who was born in the area. As us westerners who originally come over to live in Thailand get fed up living in the holiday resorts, its great news when a lady suggests to go stay where she was born. And this is the very reason these people were there and all had some form of business.

As the evening wore on, it was apparent no one was going home until every bottle of beer was drunk in the bar. Most of the thai wifes were there also. This continued into the early hours of the morning until you either ran out of beer or just couldn't drink anymore. Which was my case. Lucky for me my guest house was right across the road from the bar. Getting back was a bit wobbley but got there eventually.

Number 2 rule. Never drive my motorbike with the influence of beer in me. I always give two days of no beer before I ride a motorbike as its really just to dangerous to do so. You have to have eyes in the back of your head on some roads here as you can be met by heavy traffic at anytime especially if its market day in some of these villages. This meant 2 more days of no beer. When in fact it turned out to be two more weeks as living in a small town their is very little to do apart from go for a beer. As I had not seen my friend for some years appeared to be the right thing to do at the time. It was good to talk to people similar to myself who also had motorbikes. For two weeks everday someone had a story to tell about travelling in Thailand.

Thai people call europeans a Ferang because of a tropical fruit which grows here. The fruit is white inside. Our skin colour is the same as the white fruit.

I had noticed a guy sitting in the bar with crutches and his legs all plastered up. I eventually got round to asking what happened to you. He told his story.

At the time of telling his story everyone found it so funny however he took this in good spirit. He explained in his younger days his job was a brick layer. Someone who builds walls. As he lives in Pattaya. He comes up to Bang Dung every month for his wife to see her family. When he is in Bang Dung, just for something to do he would build a wall or do some brick work for her family. He explained sometimes he would go back to Pattaya alone then come back up to Bang Dung to collect his wife. He drove a 4x4 Toyota pickup. The last time when he was going back to Pattaya he always drives through Burriram. He has done this route many times and knew the roads well. He always wondered about a road which he seen and never any traffic. Signs were up for road works but he didnt take much notice of them.

He decided this time he would go down the road and see where he would come out. As he was driving down the road, he spotted a large lake in the corner of his eye to the right hand side of the road. With the sun shining down on the lake it looked so lovely. He kept glancing over at the lake as he was driving. He said, all of a sudden as he was driving, the pickup was in mid air and he felt the pickup starting to roll over in the air.

The road had suddenly stopped at the top of a hill. As the next part of the road was a bridge to cross a ravine, which they were building at the time. The pickup was flying through the air. His pickup hit the bank on the other side of the ravine and rolled over upside down on its roof. The construction workers building the bridge quiclky came over and pulled him out and called an ambulance and sent him to hospital. This is why he had two broken legs.

Eventually I got myself pulled together and had no more beer for a few days as I wanted to go to Nong Khai which was only about 60 klms away. The following day I arrived in Nong Khai. I was very suprised to see how white the people were. Really different from the Thai people yet still part of thailand. Well in fact right next door to Laos. The only thing separating Laos from Thailand was the Mekong river.You could stand on the banks of the Mekong river and see the Laos people on the other side of the river. It was then I realised it was Christmas eve and wondered what would be going on if anything here in Nong Khai for Christmas day. My hotel was situated right next to the border crossing to Laos and many western people were waiting to go over to Laos on one of the boats. After a few discussions I was told where to go tomorrow the 25th December and where I would find more westerners who lived in Nong Khai.

The next day the temperature dropped to - 6 degrees C. I was freezing even thou I had my motorbike jacket on. It was a cold wind all day. Walking around the town everyone was covered up in winter jackets. Hot drinks were impossible to find or even hot food. I did find a coffee stand however the temperature of the water wasn't anywhere near what I was needing. Who would of thought this would happen. I did find other westerners who were covered up sitting freezing and miserable, its then I decided it is time to move on and travel south again. Udonthani was 80 klms away so I promptly headed off there.

That Panom is quite a thriving little town. Some of the hotels are located right on the Mekong river. It has the usual markets for food and clothes and since it is quite close to Lao its easy to buy the French bread which is baked daily. Ive always wondered how these people can make such a lovely bread without having an oven. Ive looked around and tried to find out. In fact it has taken years for me to find out. I was thinking maybe some kind of pizza oven or a homemade oven. Now that I know how its done makes me laugh. 

All the oven is, is a big clay water pot. Of course no water in it. Holes are punched through the bottom of the clay pot. Barbeque coal is burning in the bottom of the pot. They place the tins of bread dough on a grill in the pot and put a steel dust bin type lid on. 10 mins later you have French bread. Baked quick at a high temperature.

Ive also tried the cooked chicken. They just hang a chicken on a hook, hooked on the side of the clay pot. The length of the hook determines how close the chicken is to the burning coals. As the clay pots are about 1 metre in height, the chicken is slowly cooked. Im not kidding you, the fat from the chicken drips down the pot walls and the smell is fantastic. The taste of the chicken is out of this world. A chicken sandwich in French bread is the best thing you can eat in an Issan village.