7 February 2023 – NC Day 1
It was time to say goodbye to Mikey and Robbie. We had been traveling together for the four weeks, and we had all gotten to know each other very well. We had laughed together, cried together, and shared many memorable experiences.
We drove them to Chiang Mai Airport, where they would be catching a flight back to Perth. We were sad to see them go, but we knew that we would see them soon again in Jurien Bay.
After they had left, we turned our attention to our plans with Neil and Connie. We were going to be spending the next 2 weeks exploring the eastern provinces of Thailand with them, something we have not been able to do for 3 years due to the pandemic.
First we drove to Uttradit, then its was onto Phitsanulok, a larger city that is also home to a number of temples and historical sites.
After a long drive we were all in need of a good meal so, we decided to have dinner at the Somtam Na Sr restaurant. This was the same restaurant where we had dinner with Robbie and Mikey 3 weeks ago. Neil really enjoyed their BBQ and was happily hoping into seconds.
The food was just as good as we remembered it. After dinner, we walked to 7-Eleven to buy some milk. We then returned to the hotel and got ready for bed. We were all tired from our day of exploring, but we were also happy and content.
Interesting we booked into hotel Feungfaz Litz. Last time we were here we had Superior rooms. Interesting we were in the same rooms as 3 weeks previous and now they were classed as basic rooms. The only difference between the two were superior rooms have an electric jug and coffee.
8 February 2023 – NC Day 2
We departed the Hotel Feungfah Litz hotel at 9:30am, it had been a comfortable stay. We headed south, stopping for Cafe Amazons, 7-Elevens, and fuel along the way.
We made good time on the road, and by 11am we had arrived at Wat Thammayan. We showed Neil and Connie the huge building project that had been underway since their last visit. The temple was still under construction, but it was already an impressive sight.
After our visit to the temple, we continued on our journey. We arrived at the Sunset Resort and Bar at 5pm. We were able to get a basic room and a deluxe room, both of which were excellent value. We made use of the Lotus’s shopping center for topping up some items, and getting food.
We returned to the hotel to eat our dinners and have a few drinks. The beds were firm but comfortable, and we slept reasonably well.
9 February 2023 – NC Day 3
Neil was in some discomfort and we tried unsuccessfully to stay a second night.
Steve and I were enjoying our stay at Sunset Resort and Bar in Korat. We had a bit of a restful morning, catching up on things. Neil was in some discomfort and we tried unsuccessfully to stay a second night. When we went to book the room for another night, we were told they were all booked out due to a big festival in town for the next few days. So we pulled up stumps and headed south.
We got away at 10:41am. After a quick stop at a 7-Eleven to pick up some drinks, we headed to our first stop of the day, a pick from Connie.
Wat Wichitan Bamrung or Wat Tha Nam was an older Wat which was both being under renovation and having a new temple built. It was an interesting contrast to see the old and new side by side.
Steve and I were keen to see a temple we found whilst researching our trip. Wat Tham Khao Prang is easily seen from the highway with its enormous Buddha Statue. The statue is 56 metres high and the width of the lap is 32 metres. From the entrance road looking towards the temple, one can see the road dip, then climb steadily up to the temple complex. Behind the statue is a 5 tiered Mondop (shrine) building housing Buddha relics and the temple’s scriptures. It has 9 pagoda spires on the roofs of the tiers.
We were amazed by the size of the Buddha statue and the intricate detail of the Mondop building. We spent a while exploring the temple complex and taking in the views of the surrounding countryside.
We were also interested to see the monkeys that live in the temple grounds. As they increased in number, we were careful not to get too close to them, as we didn’t want to disturb them.
Wat Ban Rai, also known as the elephant temple, was our last stop for the day and is one of my favourite temples in Thailand. It was unlike any other temple we had seen in Thailand.
The temple is in the shape of a huge elephant, and it is located in the middle of a lake. The structure is made of concrete and is covered in colourful murals. The murals depict scenes from Buddhist mythology, and they are absolutely stunning.
We spent some time wandering around the temple, admiring the artwork. We also took a boat ride around the lake, so we could get a closer look at the elephant.
At the very top of the structure is a golden walking Buddha image. The statue is about 10 feet tall, and it is incredibly impressive. Below the Buddha image is a statue of the temple’s creator, Luang Pu Khun.
The views from the top of the temple are amazing. We could see for miles in every direction. We could see the lake, the surrounding countryside, and even the city of Nakhon Ratchasima in the distance.
We spent an hour at Wat Ban Rai, and we both had a great time. Sadly Neils discomfort was not improving and he sat the visit out on the lakes edge.
After a long day of sightseeing, we headed back to our hotel in Korat. We checked into the Centara Korat at 6:55pm. After freshening up, we headed out for dinner.
We decided to try the food court at Central Korat shopping centre. There were a variety of different food stalls to choose from. We ended up getting some Thai curry and rice.
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel. We checked out the 20th floor pool and bar. The views from the pool were amazing. We had an early night it had been a long day of sightseeing.