A province full of surprises. A 10 hour drive from Bangkok or an hour’s flight – take your pick! We flew and hired a car, spending a 3 day break here last week. There’s a lot to do and see and we felt we only scratched the surface.
First have an Isarn breakfast Kay GaTa aka “Egg in a Wok”. Believe me after this you won’t need any lunch at all.
Then visit Wat Thung Si Muang in Ubon Ratchathani city and particularly the wooden scripture hall (see first photo). It was situated in the centre of a pond to prevent ants or termites getting at the Buddhist scriptures. Unfortunately they can’t seem to keep the pigeons out.
Afterwards to the Ubon Ratchathani National Museum. I think the old town hall built in 1918 is a wonderful building built around two inner courtyards open to the sky. You can see the air vents built in to the foot of the building. It is airy and cool inside just to prove you don’t necessarily have to have modern air conditioning even in Thailand if a building is built properly and with thought.
Then stroll around the town. Buy a newspaper..
….and have a coke (this is not, as I initially thought, a mirror by the way)
Drive a couple of hours eastwards to Pha Taem National Park and see the rock paintings. Walk along the two kilometre cliff top and look over the Mekong and Laos.
Stay by the Mekong at Khong Chiam, the easternmost district of Thailand.
It is here where the Mekong flows out from Thailand and where the Mekong and the Mun rivers converge. Apparently this forms the “two coloured current”, with the Mekong in reddish-clay colour and the Mun in blue. It all looked a bit brown to my eyes.
Visit Wat Tham Khuha Sawan from where you can also get great views of the Mekong.
Drive north to Sam Pan Bok the spectacular red sandstone rock structures across the Mekong. Touted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand as the Grand Canyon of Thailand. It is very interesting and a great place to visit but please do not be expecting the Grand Canyon. It’s much more human in scale!
Stay by the Mekong
Catch the Mekong dawn. Really lots to do in Ubon Ratchathani. I’ve missed a lot so a re-visit is in order.