This post is another of what will be a series of stories about the various places we have visited in Isaan in an attempt to more widely promote the often hidden attractions that do exist here, although not in the numbers that you find in the more popular destinations like the North of Thailand around Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. When you compare the 21 attractions listed on Trip Advisor for Udon Thani, our closest city, with say Chiang Mai with 559 you can understand the challenge I face!
Our visit to Wat Tham Klong Pane was an obvious one to make as it is just off Route 210, which is the main road between us and Udon Thani. With a trip to Udon planned for yet more supplies to keep our house building project happening, which you can read about it HERE, a detour to see the temple was on the agenda to add some culture to our day!
If you are in the area and looking for a temple with a difference then put this one on your to do list.
The Wat is signposted with an entry road on the left coming from Udon just before a large roadside market with a solid line of red traffic cones down the middle. Shortly after this the 210 heads into the hills, which drops down into Nong Bua Lamphu. If you get this far you’ve missed the turning! On a Garmin GPS the coordinates are N 17 13.797 E 102 31.793. The turn looks like this:
This road takes you through a couple of Moo Baans before ending up at the entrance of the Wat, which isn’t signposted in English. The road takes a sharp turn to the left and you will see the Wat entry straight ahead.
This Wat is a collection of buildings and shrines spread over a large area, many of them built around or incorporating the some of the huge rocks that litter this area. It is best to have your own transport to see all the parts of this temple as it is quite a distance between some of them. The main centre is the first developed area you will come to. Make sure you follow the path around the back of the large Buddha temple area to see the smaller places set in trees and rocks. They are more interesting than the main building.
Back in the car take the next turn on the right, which leads you to a small parking area at the back of the paths you have just been wandering. Here you will find a Buddha set into the rock and a Chinese burial area perched on the top of rocks.
The main road leading to the back of the temple site.
Here you will find two buildings or what are termed museums, established in memory to Luang Poo Khao, as described below:
If you walk across the road from this building there are a several other areas to look at and a small lake.
The second museum is the most impressive.
Back in the carpark you will see a useful map of the area showing some of the other sites in the Udon Thani/Nong Bua Lamphu area. It’s a little sparse on attractions but we’ll cover a couple of them in future posts.
If visiting this Wat give yourself a couple of hours to explore it all. I particularly enjoyed the fact that you couldn’t see it all in the one view, as you do with many temples, but had to go and discover the hidden treasures buried away in rocks and trees.
Thanks for reading.