East towards the Surin
11 February 2018
Today we headed further east from Lop Buri. Our first stop was Wat Khao Tambon. There was a big climb to the top of the hill through a cave where we found a lone monkey. The views were excellent.
In the car park we got talking to a monk who recommended we head to Wat Tham Prommalok next – this small temple had lots of monkeys. We stopped for a short time before heading off again. Our next stop for the day was Wimuttithum Temple.
A surprise we came across was a white temple Wat Ban Don Yai. It was just gorgeous.
The temple I really wanted to see was Watbaanrai (The Elephant Temple). It certainly lived up to its images and was certainly one of the highlights of this trip. Inside the temple is an art gallery with multiple floors and an incredible basement.
Hotel for the night was in Nakhon Ratchasima named the Romyen Garden Palace. This hotel was close to night food markets and shops. We released when we booked in, the room next to us had a crying baby, so we requested a new room which we were given.
12 February 2018
Connies morning start off badly when we headed for the local Amazon Coffee only to find it closed!
Next stop was the Phimai Historical Park. Alison decided to head off to explore around town while Neil, Connie and Steve headed into the ruins.
After meeting back up again, we headed off to Sai Ngam, a giant banyan tree. It is 350 years old and covered about 3200 m2 (35 000 square feet) which you can walk under.
Next stop for the day was Wat Si Sawat. This site has a market which was lovely to walk through, another of those places where the tourists are not everywhere.
Hotel for the night was the NP Hotel in Buri Ram. Dinner tonight will be remembered as the “All you can eat” buffet which not one of us enjoyed. One thing we did see that we had not experienced before was a baby elephant being walked around the streets where tourists paid a few baht to feed.
13 February 2018
Feeling somewhat enthused this morning I decided to head off for my morning walk. Whilst waking though the Buri Ram railway station the national anthem played as everyone respected the flag and it was raised up the flag pole. My walk also took me via Wat Tham Theeraram. Here the locals gave me a banana to eat. Just lovely people. After arriving back at the hotel “NP Hotel” we all had breakfast before heading off.
Our first stop for the day was the Wat Phra Phutthabat. This site is set in a volcano vent. The name also given here is Phanom Kradong meaning turtle shaped hill. To the top of this hill is an enormous set of steps which we were able to bypass as we drove to the tp of the hill.
The next stop today was the Phanom Rung Historical Park. Ancient ruins are remarkably well preserved. A long walk way links the site together. Of course Neil was up to no good photo bombing tourists shots, as only he can and get away with it.
Our last for today was the Prasat Muang Tam. A square shaped temple with moats. From here we found a hotel Mani Rot in Suriname which gave a great view including the workers painting the Hop Inn next door. This hotel meant we only have a short walk to the local night markets. It was also here we decided to buy a kettle for use for the rest of the trip as they can be somewhat scarce in some hotels.