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Northern Isaan
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Thread: Northern Isaan

  1. #1
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    Northern Isaan

    I'm leaving for my second visa run this weekend, this time having to travel to Vientiane, Laos. I'm taking the night bus from Chiang Mai to Udon and then I'm going on to Laos, but on the way back I'm planning to take some time out to look around a little bit as I've never seen any of Isaan before and now I don't have a job to rush back to, just a couple of days depending on how I can handle the heat. I have read the guidebook chapters on Loei, Udon and Nong Khai, but I would also be interested in what others have found interesting in this area, I always like personal and subjective recommendations. in general, I enjoy renting a motorcycle and then riding along little-travelled roads just to get a feel of local lifestyles, I'm interested in temples and nice landscapes, but I don't care much about museums or uphill climbs. I'd also be interested in a nice relaxed quiet town somewhere along the Mae Khong. any recommendations or suggestions are much appreciated.

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    I wish i could join you for this trip...

    While in Udon, I'd recommend you visit some of the surrounding villages. Personally, I love Baan Kham Klinng (in ต. บ้านจัน), just along the main road from Udon to Khon Kaen. Actually this is where I used to work. If you rent a motorcycle you can drive around there, though I guess the landscape might be quite dry and dusty at the moment. But some of the small lakes might still have a bit of water. However, from there you can drive to many small villages further away from the main street. They are very rural and charming. Try to get in touch with the farmers, they are very kind (of course ) and from them you could learn a lot about the Isaan way of life - if you want. They are always very fascinated by thai speaking farangs
    In the same region you will find วัดป่าบ้านตาด, which is very nice to visit, though I don't remember the directions to this temple. It's quite famous, and I think most of the people around could show you the way.
    The small markets in the villages are always nice to see, too.

    A bit further down south the main road you'd find บ้านโนนสูง (in ต.โนนสูง), which I also enjoyed visiting. There is a small temple and the landscape around the village is as beautiful as rural Issaan areas are. There is a small lake (bigger than the others though) which is very beautiful also in dry periods. Though maybe this area is too far away from where you'd stay, and I guess you'd be able to see similar villages and landscapes without having to drive so far. It's just my sentimental thoughts that tell you to go there

    If you like orchids, visit the Sunshine Orchid Farm in Udon http://www.udorn-sunshine.com. They have a "dancing tea", which actually moves it's leaves on response to sounds. (it's no trick, I've seen it myself )

    Up north from Udon you can visit บ้านนาข่า, a "Thai silk village", as labelled in many tourist maps. I recommend you go there if you want to buy silk products, but not for sightseeing. And as you live in Chiang Mai I believe it's not much interesting to you.
    You will find buses from Udon to Vientiane and back, some of them for the only purpose of visa runs. If you have time, I recommend you visit Nong Khai too, especially the market along the river.

    Have you heard of "Bang fai" around the area of Nong Khai? Check this:
    http://www.thaifolk.com/doc/literate.../payanak_e.htm
    Though I think it's near the end of the year, so you'd have to come on an extra trip.

    If someone tells my how to attach pictures, I'll post some here... otherwise I can send some by email to you, Betti. If you are interested. Though you probably have seen plenty in the internet and books, right?

    And if you have any questions feel free to ask!
    life is wonderful!

  3. #3
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    Hi maipenrai99
    I am looking for that plant for along while but did not know location, next time I go to Thaland and I'll visit that Sun Shine Orchid farm.

    Please provide Phone, address or direction their website did not work.

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    strange... the link doesn't seem to work. Try typing the address for the homepage by hand (it works with me this way).

    This is the address I found on their homepage:
    127 ถนนอุดร-หนองสำโรง
    อุดรธานี 41000
    โทรศัพท์/โทรสาร: 0-4224-2475

    I hope this link works (for directions): http://www.udorn-sunshine.com/maps.html
    life is wonderful!

  5. #5
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    Follow ถ.ธรรมเจดีย์ (street 2024) up north, you will find the orchid farm about 1km north of Nong Prajak park. Look out for a sign (in thai and english) to turn left.

    Oh and be sure to visit the farm in the morning - the orchid's fragrance is strongest at about 10 in the morning.
    life is wonderful!

  6. #6
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    wow thank you Maipenrai! especially for the personal favourites and the details and Thai script. (I actually hate that most guidebooks or websites don't take the trouble to write anything in Thai, so you cannot just copy the address of the orchid farm or anything from them and give it to the taxi driver or bus driver.)

    I love orchids and I'll definitely visit this place!
    as for the fireballs, I was around in 2003, the problem is it's the same time as Lao Loy Krathong in Luang Prabang (shame on me but I forgot the Lao name, samesame as in Thailand but more traditional and relaxed, and a month earlier), so that's where I was staying instead. never met anyone who has actually been there and seen the fireballs.

    no, actually most guidebooks and websites come without good-quality photos, and Isaan is only briefly discussed anyway, so I haven't seen many really good pix so far. as for attaching them, I know for sure you can do remote linking if you have a storage place somewhere online for your stuff, otherwise I'm not sure. I'd be happy to see some of your photos, it's not just the photos, it's also more interesting if they are by someone you "know".

    by the way, I asked one of the Isaan boys I know here in Chiang Mai, he is from Loei and he said there is nothing interesting there at all, it's hot and dusty and I should come back to Chiang Mai instead as quickly as possible. it was really upsetting for me that although he loves Isaan and Loei, he doesn't think it's any interesting for farangs. probably it's nothing dramatic or outstanding or spectacular, just everyday rural life, which is absolutely boring for him and he cannot take an outsider's point of view when thinking about his home province.
    Last edited by Betti; 23-03-06 at 10:11 PM.

  7. #7
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    it seems the link to the orchid website you inserted doesn't work because it interprets the ) at the end of your link as part of the URL. so, I'll give it a try here:
    http://www.udorn-sunshine.com

  8. #8
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    Yes, you're right, Betti. Thanks!

    I didn't yet find out how to post pictures. How does the "Manage Attachments" button work? I tried to upload some pictures, but it doesn't show them when I preview the post. (I wanted to preview the pics to see if they're too big)
    life is wonderful!

  9. #9
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    Its certainly an interesting website. Hope you can visit, Betti, and tell us all about the scented orchid and dancing tea.

  10. #10
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    this is what I figured out:
    click on the paper clip icon and upload. when finished, click on the name of the file under the title "current attachments", this will open the photo from its new url on the server. you can then copy this url from the browser into the message editor by clicking on the Insert image icon somewhere under the paper clip icon, and that's it. hope it's clear. maybe there is an easier way but I just haven't figured out now for the first try :-)



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