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Northeast Thailand
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  1. #1
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    Northeast Thailand

    Hi,

    I am considering doing a project on north east thailand, specifically on legends related to Buddha images/temples and interesting stories behind them.
    The project is inspired by the delightfull story of the Doi Suthep temple in Chiang Mai (the white elephant etc...)
    I will be visiting thailand this summer and would like some information...

    Will many places in the region have interesting tales, is the project worth doing!?
    How easy would it be to find out about local stories once in the region?
    Any resources on the net?

    Any comments would be great.
    Thanks
    trik

  2. #2
    Ferret Guest
    Hi trik you mentioned Chaing Mai, that is in the north and you want to do a project on the north east, which is places like Khonkaen, Udon thani etc. Are you planning on coming to Thailand to do it or just want to get some ideas from the web?
    If you are planning a trip then let us know, length of stay, budget etc and can give you some tips.

  3. #3
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    Hey Ferret, yes i will be in thailand for about 3 months this summer - on a very tight budget!
    I am just wondering whether this is a feasable project. Is it easy to travel around the issan? Do many regions have local legend?
    I will be hopefully be travelling with a thai friend, so language might not be a problem.

  4. #4
    Ferret Guest
    I would pick a base in Issarn and suggest KhonKaen, it's fairly central with cheap accomodation and food. You would be able to get a feel for the region and work out exactly where you want to go and see. Transport is good and most areas are accesable, it's also cheap. Khonkaen has a railway service and 2 bus depots.
    There are some local legends and ghosts will ask my wife.
    Try this Link

  5. #5
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    I would suggest Udon Thani as another good base to do research. Wat Pa Ban Tat, home to the famous buddist monk 'Lungta Ma Ha Bua' is 5 minutes outside the city. Nong Khai has one of the most unusual collection of Buddist images very similar to Indian budda images. The temple is called Sala Kaeo Ku and was designed by a Thai monk and built by 2,000 laoation people in under 2 weeks, the owner died about 10 years ago and is entombed inside a glass dome on the top floor of the temple along with thousands of budda images. Well worth a visit and further research. Phu Pra Bat historical Park is close by to Udon which has an ineresting collection of prehistoric caves and cave paintings and a temple with the famous budda golden foot print. I think the north east is well worth a visit and good place to do research. For info about Udon Thani and province visit here
    Good luck with your trip and let us know how you get on.

  6. #6
    Ferret Guest
    Good suggestion sunflower, I have been to that place in Nong Khai many times but have never been upstairs, will do that for sure. I like to wander around then to get out of the sun for a while I feed the fish, they are huge.

  7. #7
    Ferret Guest
    Good suggestion sunflower, I have been to that place in Nong Khai many times but have never been upstairs, will do that for sure. I like to wander around then to get out of the sun for a while I feed the fish, they are huge.

  8. #8
    Guest
    If you would stay in Khon Kaen, maybe you can contact the university (biggest in this region) and talk with some students about your research. Maybe you will find some students helping you ?

    http://www.kku.ac.th/eng1/

    Etienne

  9. #9
    Ferret Guest
    Maybe stay at the europe guest house in KK?

  10. #10
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    Hi Trik,

    NE Thailand is full of myths and tales, it has a long and rich history that is usually ignored. Each province will definitely have it's own famous legend. You have to look for them in the festivals that are celebrated and in the stories of its people.

    Here are some suggestions:

    Rocket festival (Bun Bangk Fai) in May at Yasothon. Check out this website. When you're at this festival, ask the locals about how they use the cat as part of the ceremony to call rain.

    Loei Phi Ta Khon festival, held in July, a must go! Here's some information.

    Sakhon Nakhon, my birth place has a legend about its lake, Nong Ham. I heard the story many times and sadly never paid attention, so sorry I can't recount the legend for you.

    The Mekhong itself is full of legends, see Nation Web Special: Naga Fireballs There are many locations from which you can see and cruise the river from in the NE. Eye Witness Travel Guide suggests a Mekhong Village Tour from Chiang Khan-Pha Baen-Phak Chom-Ban Muang-Than Thip Fall-Sangkhom-Wat Hin Mak Beng-Si Chiangmai. I promise a trip on the Mekhong is a memory for life. If you have the time and money to spare, take a one day trip to Vientianne across the river from Nong Khai.

    Prasart Hin Pimai and Khao Panom Rung will give you a hint of the splendors of Angkor Wat. There are prehistoric cave paintings (Pha Taem, Ubon) and dinosaur bones (in Kalasin) to see if you want to.

    To get a feeling on the origin of the Thais, visit Ban Chiang and see its ancient bronze age pots.

    Try to see household hand-made silk making in action (from raising the worms to dying to weaving).

    If you stick to guest houses and use public transport, you'll be able to keep your budget low. What is crucial because you will be covering large distances is to plan the sequence of your visits to accomodate the festivals you want to see so that you're not going back and forth. I don't think you need to stay in one place, stick to the road. Good luck and have fun!

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