Phang-Nga Vacation

Similan

My wife and I met and married in Phang-Nga so we go back there about every year. How can we not when it’s so ridiculously cheap to travel in this country? This time we also had visiting family from America to entertain so it was a blast. There are a couple places in this region that I’ll never blog about to keep it secret. One is a hidden lake but I’ll never disclose that one till I’m on my death bed. :)

We started off with just a relaxing week in the Khao Lak to Takuapa beach area. It’s like Phuket minus the tourists and crime. It’s growing quick but it’s still far behind Phuket and it’s a great family vacation spot.

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We spent most days just eating and swimming but we did take one day trip out to the Similan Islands to snorkel. I actually proposed to my wife on this spot back in 2006 and this was our first time back. Unfortunately she refused to let me kiss her because of the hundreds of other tourists gawking around us. Yuck. The tourists. In 2005 and 2006 I made quite a few trips out here and it felt like you had the place to yourself. Now it’s overcrowded with tourists. Such is the nature of tourism in Thailand… It doesn’t look so bad below but that was early on.

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The next day we headed over to Krabi for a couple days on Ao Nang Beach. While it sees quite a few tourists, it still feels small. There are 150b massages on the beach and Railay Beach is just around the corner. It’s another one of our favorite stops in Southern Thailand.

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Pro-Election Rallies in Pictures

The “Bangkok shutdown” was today and a large number of people came out for it.
CNN estimated 50,000. Others say less. Protest leader Suthep suggested 180,000.
Michael Yon estimated hundreds of thousands

World and national media focused most of their coverage on Bangkok. Afterall it is the capital. But what was happening outside of Bangkok? I got tired of searching last night but came up with at least 37 provinces with pro-election rallies countering the Bangkok shutdown. That includes all but 3 provinces in the North/NE and they probably had events that I couldn’t find. How many people showed up to these rallies? Take a look below and see what you think. By the way, this is not an endorsement of any political group. My blog is mostly about Isan and I wanted to put in pictures what is scattered around the news and social media. Any additions or corrections?

Ubon Ratchathani
large_image

Udon Thani
udon

Chiang Mai
chiang mai

Khon Kaen
khon kaen

Nong Khai
nong khai

Chiang Rai
chiangrai

Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat)
korat

Pathum Thani
Pathumthani

Kamphaeng Phet
kamphaeng phet

Phayao
phayao

Buriram
buriram

Phetchabun
Phetchabun

Sisaket
sisaket

Ratchaburi
ratchaburi

Lamphun
lamphun

Kalasin
kalasin

Loei
loei

Sakon Nakhon
sakon nakhon

Uttaradit
uttaradit

Phitsanulok
phitsanulok

Lampang
lampang

Mahasarakham
sarakham

Yasothon
yasothon

Nakhon Phanom
nakhonphanom

Surin
surin

Nong Bua Lamphu
nongbualamphu

Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya

Samut Sakhon
samut sakhon

Tak
Tak

Nakhon Sawan
nakhon sawan

Phrae
phrae

Chaiyaphum
chaiyaphum

Mukdahan
mukdahan

Roi Et
roi et

Songkhla (Hat Yai)
songkhla

Mae Hong Son
MHS

Bueng Kan – I couldn’t find a picture but over 1,000 people were reported.

 

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2014 Children’s Day at Wing 21 วันเด็กอุบลราชธานี

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Today is children’s day across Thailand. The main attraction are the military bases opening to the public. In Ubon, the big event is at the Air Force base; Wing 21. Last year’s show was more exciting. For some reason the jets weren’t doing any stunts and only made a handful of passes. Even the F16 that flew in from Korat only made a couple passes and no stunts. But much fun was had by many families, including my own. We stayed just long enough to see the air show and mock battle, but made a quick exit as the heat and crowds were becoming too much.

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Rosewood Logging in Ubon

Illegal Rosewood logging continues. This was near Khemmarat, Ubon on January 7, 2014. It’s very valuable wood and you routinely hear of Cambodians being shot on the Southern border of Isan trying to cut it. This is on the Laos border though so I’m not sure if it’s coming in from Laos or going out from Thailand. Picture is courtesy of Suchainews, the most prolific Thai journalist in Ubon. If you have twitter, follow him here. Or he’s also on Facebook here.

And they found more on the 9th in Khemmarat.

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Pha Taem ผาแต้ม in October

Soi Sawan Waterfall น้ำตกสร้อยสวรรค์

Soi Sawan Waterfall น้ำตกสร้อยสวรรค์

I finally have some free time to catch up on some recent trips around Ubon. In October I took a visiting friend to Pha Taem National Park. We started at Soi Sawan Waterfall and as usual we climbed the thing to the top. It never gets old. It was a battle to get the park staff to give us the 100b entrance fee again unfortunately. If you get there before 8 you don’t have to worry about it. Later we went to the main park and hiked down to the ancient paintings which doesn’t take very long. This was actually my first time visiting the paintings. It was a little underwhelming but a snake on the path on the way back made things interesting. I failed to get a picture because it scared me to death before slithering off into the woods. Finally we ended the day at the 2 color river in Khong Chiam. We always have a meal on the river and they’ve got a nice little walking market there. It makes for a great day trip if you have visitors.

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Pha Taem ผาแต้ม New Year

Channel 3 had a report today from Pha Taem National Park. People flock here to see the “1st sunrise in Siam” during the cooler months and New Year’s Day is the biggest event of the year. Pretty impressive number of people out there. Click on the video below to view the report. Glad I didn’t go camping. Next week… :)

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Posted in Pha Taem National Park, Thai National Park | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Tad Fane Waterfall Video

Thailand could use peace right now so here is 2 minutes of nothing but peaceful Tad Fane Waterfall…

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Tad Fane Waterfall Hike น้ำตกตาดฟาน

I recently went back to Tad Fane Waterfall on the edge of the Bolaven Plateau in Laos. The purpose wasn’t to hike this waterfall but in mid afternoon I happened to be in the area and so looked for a trail. Sure enough, there is a pretty clear, though not marked, trail. In the map below I added the hiking route. It’s not too difficult of a hike but does require hiking up/down some slopes that require hanging on to roots and trees. It’s only about 600m long. There is a path that connects this waterfall to Tad Yeuang Waterfall but I didn’t look for it. There was a path up another hill to reach the South falls but I was losing light so didn’t have time to check it out. The water was ice cold but made for a great place to swim as there is another small waterfall and pool at the top.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hSzZkq2pyU


View Laos in a larger map

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Huai Luang Waterfall

Just another visit to Huai Luang Waterfall in Ubon Ratchathani in late October.

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Protests in Ubon Ratchathani

As most are already aware, the government announced it will dissolve after weeks of protests and all the democrats resigning yesterday. Today protesters were supposed to either go to the government house in Bangkok or provincial halls. Ubon’s provincial hall had several hundred protesters under tents. In the early afternoon the red shirts showed up and started to setup a stage across the 4 lane highway to Yasothon. A few were trying to cross the road to the anti-government protesters but the large number of police did a good job keeping things calm. Below are a few pics and a short video. I would have gone onto the protest grounds to snap a few pics and talk to people but my wife made me promise I wouldn’t. Since I love her, I agreed. :)

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