Having arrived back in Bangkok with three days before my flight to Dubai and onwards to Blighty I decided I did not want to use the time only in the ‘big city’ so have moved on to the most Eastern part of Thailand – Kong Chiam, which nicely complements where I started as Kanchanaburi (river Kwai fame for those who have forgotten already) is the most westerly part of Thailand…… Khong Chiam is a rural town in Ubon Ratchathani province, part of what is known locally as Isaan. Khong Chiam is well known in Thailand as the place where the mighty Maekong river meets one of Thailand’s other largest rivers, the Mun and at the point of confluence of the two major water sources there is often a torrent of brown (Mekong) water meeting the deep blue of the Mun, hence it is known as the point of Bi- coloured waters. Additionally it is also the point where eastern Thailand meets Laos, the two being separated only by the river. I had hoped to be able to cross into Laos (just to say I’d been there) but the quick boat crossing was no longer an option so I made do with seeing it across 100m of water. Being the most eastern part of the country it is also the point of Thailand’s earliest sunset…
Historically the area has a lot going for it with National parks, waterfalls and cliff paintings from 3,000 yrs ago! Strange rock formations, huge lakes (formed with the help of two large dams) and, of course, several impressive temples.. I spent some time early morning trekking through the Pha Taem National Park, or rather a small portion of it… Some strange mushroom shaped rock formations led onto a cliff edge viewpoint and a forest path and 5km walk alongside large sandstone escarpments dotted with ancient paintings. All the time with the Maekong/Mun for company alongside. The visitor centre and constant information signs provided useful info along the way. A few national tourists around but no bus loads of follow me types thank god!
The temples of Wat Tham Kuha Saman and Wat Sirindhorm Wararam perfectly rounded of the trip, both very different but both extremely impressive. In the former I also received a monks blessing and given the traditional good luck wrist band. Great trip, long remembered, lovely people!
3 thoughts on “Final chapters…”
What a wonderful holiday you have had lots of memories.Hope you have a good journey home.
Enjoy your time now planning your next adventure…..
Fantastic photos Ian, all places I have never had the opportunity to visit, a wee bit envious here. I will buy you a beer next time you choose to visit this part of the world.