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  1. #11
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    Re: A few unforgettable days in Isaan: A big celebration in a small village

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    Eventually the procession arrives at the temple. Men symbolically sweep the ground ahead of the truck loaded with donations for the temple. Many people are carrying additional offerings. We circle the temple once before ending the drum parade. Inside the temple the monks receive the cash donations and the other offerings and begin a ceremony with everyone sitting on the old wood floor.

    -=-=-=-

    Between the town of Muang Sam Sip and BanNakam is the peaceful temple of Wat Bawiwektam (Ѵǡ ǧԺ). I had seen some pictures of this place before and I wanted to visit there. Its home to some very beautiful Buddha images, some quite large for such an out-of-the-way location. It is so far from practically anywhere, yet it is quite impressive. I wonder how many of these hidden gems there might be scattered around Thailnd.

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    In the afternoon we traveled north to Amnatcharoen again to visit the hospital where Tuk works. We also stopped by a big Buddha image - Buddha Utthayan (ططҹ, Buddhist Park) and strolled through the Night Market in town.

    Part 5 to come: Khong Chiam and Pha Taem National Park

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  3. #12
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    Re: A few unforgettable days in Isaan: A big celebration in a small village

    Part 5
    Our last day in Ubon was to be a bit different. We set out to explore some of the natural wonders of the province. Khong Chiam (⢧) is the easternmost district in Ubon Ratchathani province. Its about 85 km from the big city. Our first stop was at Wat Tham Khuha Sawan (ѴӤä). It has a great view of the river below and below the bell towner is a cave which contains Buddha images and a chapel which contains the remains of a highly respected monk.

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    Khong Chiam looks like a great place to go on vacation to just relax. There are a lot of fun shops along the river boardwalk and down at the river are a couple of floating restaurants. We had our lunch there, looking across the mighty Mekong.

    Not far from where we had lunch is the confluence of the Mun and Mekong rivers. They call the place Mae Nam Song Si - Two Colored River.

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  5. #13
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    Re: A few unforgettable days in Isaan: A big celebration in a small village

    That afternoon we went into Pha Taem National Park and hiked to Sang Chang Waterfall then later to Soei Sawan Waterfall ӵä.

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    -=-=-=

    After the sun went down, we found a great little restaurant for dinner in Khong Chiam. It was inland from the rivers but a very serene setting amid the trees. The chairs were made of tree stumps; a singer sang restful music and accompanied herself on the guitar. In typical Thai fashion, our hosts ordered the food, which continued to come, and come, and come until it was impossible to eat another bit. What a glorious evening. I was feeling a bit melancholy. This would be out last night together. What was two years in the planning was coming to an end.

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  7. #14
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    Re: A few unforgettable days in Isaan: A big celebration in a small village

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    I got up early Wednesday morning to watch the sun rise over the Mun River. We had breakfast at the hotel then went off again to Pha Taem National Park. In Pha Taem is a place marked as the first sunrise in Thailand, the easternmost point in the country, with another great view over the cliffs to the Mekong. From here is the start of a trail that descends the cliffs then runs along the base. Along the trail are several prehistoric rock painting (dating to 3000 years ago).

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    Our flight back to Bangkok would leave this afternoon. We had just enough time to drive back to Ubon Ratchathani and see Thung Si Mueng, an imitation of a carved candle sculpture representing the wax sculptures of the famous Ubon Candle Festival.

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    Saying goodbye at the airport was hard. It had been a wonderful few days. The entire village of BanNakam had made us part of their community and my good friend Tuk and her family had included us in their significant family ceremony. The Thai people I know are so warm and generous and so willing to share their culture.

    Ive barely touched on a small percentage of what we did that week. I hope you found it interesting.

    10 years ago we hosted an exchange student from Isaan. Our Thai daughter is married now with a two year old baby boy. For the next few days of the trip we would see her and her family in Bangkok. Then its off to Bali Indonesia. That part of the story will have to be left for another report.

    D.K. Hansen
    West Valley City, UT USA

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  9. #15
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    Re: A few unforgettable days in Isaan: A big celebration in a small village

    Very cool, thanks for sharing.

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  11. #16
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    Re: A few unforgettable days in Isaan: A big celebration in a small village

    I enjoyed the picture and story, thank you very much for presenting.

  12. #17
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    Re: A few unforgettable days in Isaan: A big celebration in a small village

    Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. Like you, I have often wondered what 'hidden gems' await off the beaten track.

    Have you begun planning your next trip?

  13. #18
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    Re: A few unforgettable days in Isaan: A big celebration in a small village

    Quote Originally Posted by Susana View Post
    Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. Like you, I have often wondered what 'hidden gems' await off the beaten track.

    Have you begun planning your next trip?
    Planning my next trip? Of course! That’s the only way to “recover” from being back at home.

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  15. #19
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    Re: A few unforgettable days in Isaan: A big celebration in a small village

    Gosh, i miss Isaan. I just hope it won't get all commercial on me by the time i'll get there....

  16. #20
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    Re: A few unforgettable days in Isaan: A big celebration in a small village

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures and story. Enjoyed it a lot

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