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A Few Days in Isan with Friends

There’s more to see than you might think

We enjoyed the company of two friends from America for a few days early in 2019 and as always with newbies to Thailand, tried to give them a real-life taste of what life looks like in our part of the country. The photo above shows a local hidden timber wat with a new structure being added since we were here last. A single monk organising all of this and doing a lot of work on it himself.

Inside the completed main Buddha hall.

Yes please. Load it up.

This will end up a utility area for storage and cooking.

The main hall from the outside.

Another of these timber temples 10 minutes away. Also in the middle of nowhere.

My favourite washing up sink.

Stunning timber and craftsmanship.

The shrine for King Naresuan in the city of Nong Bua Lamphu. For locals make sure you check out the big festival for him starting 18 Jan (edit – too late!!!)

Massed chickens at the King’s shrine. The trend was started by a popular Thai movie depicting an event when a teenage Naresuan’s (held hostage at the time) fighting rooster beat one owned by a Burmese prince in the 1600’s. When he became an adult he beat the Burmese for real to retake parts of what is now modern Thailand.

The lake at Nong Bua.

One of our friends Marie with the mother of an abbot of a temple we were visiting and Gaun. — with Marie Commisso.

Her son’s wat.The best of this style I have ever seen.

A huge wat. Lots of variety.

My best mate!

Showing the Thais how an Aussie chops wood.

Just one of many structures in this temple complex.

The next wat we visited for a change of style.

Sunset on Buddha.

At the farm where Yuan was preparing Tamarind for sale at the Monday markets.

Marie getting a massage at the farm from Nit Noy. — with Marie Commisso.

Our other friend David hanging out in the farm rice hut.

The smoke is starting to make an impact on views like this but still spectacular.

The monkey wat (Wat Tham Pha Nam Thiang
วัดถ้ำผาน้ำเที่ยง)

Feeding monkeys. They are NOT cute and cuddly.

Oh well – a little bit cute.

Driving into those hills I showed earlier.

Three times for good luck.

Looking back at the monkey wat at the base of that rock outcrop from another wat Tham Saeng Tham.

Sugar, the burning of which prior to harvest contributes to the smoky skies.

Work in progress on this wat but this is a completed bit halfway up the side of a cliff.

One of my favourite Buddhas in Thailand. This photo was taken as we heading to Udon airport this morning to drop Marie and David off for their flight to Bangkok and then onto Bali. Happy travels guys.

The Ubosot, monk ordination hall.

The locals are weaving sticky rice baskets in the temple grounds getting ready for a festival here on 9 Feb (Wat Bunyanusorn)

Inside a newly built Buddha hall at this temple. Magnificent.

The chedi. If in the area this wat is well worth spending time. Huge grounds, large lake and a variety of structures, in a treed environment.

Although we can’t compete with more popular tourist places, and have no wish to do so, local Isan can provide enough interesting attractions and small happenings to fill in a holiday. Plenty of time to enjoy our beautiful gardens and the new oasis at the farm too of course.