Suan Hin Pha Ngam Park,Loei, Thailand, Isaan Kunming,Google Maps and GPS

kunmingUpdate 01 February 2016
I you happent to find Suan Hin Pha Ngam Park on the Tourism Authority of Thailand website you will learn that This Park has limestone mountains that have eroded over time to form an interesting shape, similar to that in Kunming in China. A path, which winds through the rocks, takes visitors to the lovely Suan Hom and Phiang Din Waterfalls. The park is south of town ( Wonder which town they are talking about )on Highway No. 201. Proceed past Wang Saphung to Nong Hin then take another road for 20 kilometers. They go on to inform you that the park is located in Amphor Pheu Rua, which is still more Tourism Authority of Thailand delusionas it is located in Nong Hin District. And it is open 24 hours a day. I would not want to go wandering in the middle of the night, but most certainly would like to see the fine folks at Tourism Authority of Thailand give it a try.

Ccc State Parks In Florida

The Santa Fe River, High Springs, Florida

At O’Leno State Park and a few miles down the road at River Rise Preserve State Park you can witness the Santa Fe River disappear and reappear. I also visited the CCC and the  exhibit at O’Leno. But…Continue reading

Isaan From Above, Sights and Sites in Northeast Thailand

Since my return to Isaan in September last year I have been photographing the region using a DJI, Phantom3. All of the photos are geotagged, but, unfortunately those locations can’t always be seen in places like Facebook and  Twitter. If you are looking for a place to visit, or just want to see where something is located the best thing to do is to go to the album in Picasa.

Thailand Tourism Festival, Lumpini Park, Bangkok, Thailand, Parade

lumpini1Ended up taking a taxi to Lumpini Park as the MRT station at Sukhimvit was a total bottleneck. At least MRT takes paper money, while the BTS only takes coins. To balance things out the change from the MRT machines seems to often end up on the ground,
There were throngs of people blocking the entrance to the festival. I have no answer as to why all the stuff was being sold blocking the entrance.
Since all drone manufactures warn against flying drones over crowds, I was not surprised to witness the BIG over sized drones flying frightfully low overhead. I will wait to see some of the 100s of hours that was filmed.
The large crowd shuffled along in a fairly orderly shuffle. It appeared that the majority of polular booths were selling food, the gai yaang, somtam booths in the Isaan section doing the briskest business. Pleant of people picnicing i the grassy area and in shaded areas set up for sitting.

Kampot, Cambodia, Overnight Visit, 9, 10 January 2016

kampot1Arriving in Phnom Penh the evening of the 4th I muddled through 4 more days in a city whose traffic makes Bangkok seem like a tropical paradise I was much in need of some relief from the cacaphony of traffic horns. Kampot was suggested as it is 150 kilometers from the capiotal and less than a 3 hour drive.
The vehicle (modern, clean, full size SUV) with driver appeared nearly on time at 0705, the then took nearly an hour, on a Saturday, to navigate the first 12 kilometers of the trip to the airport. After that it was madness on Route 3 down to Kampot. Overloaded lorries at 20kph, motorcycles and eveyother fowm of transport travelling both north and southbound. If this traffic had been on Thai roads I have no doubt the dead and injured would have littered the road.

Pol Pot was a Loving Husband and Father, From Tom’s Desk

tuol slengThe title for this post comes from a desana given by Ajahn Sumedho many years ago. He spoke about amongst other thing how Pol Pot’s mother loved him. While in Phnom Penh I visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the talk came to mind. I had also recently read “Pol Pot’s daughter weds” The Museum, like so many places, offers any number of opportunities for meditation and reflection. I guess I’ll let my words tell the story of my visit

Wat Pa Klang Nong Phu, Forest Buddhism, Phanna Nikhom, Sakon Nakhon,Thailand

My first interaction with Theravadan Buddhism occurred in England some 30 years ago. Wats Amaravati, Chithurst and Harnham were the 3 principle places  where I was introduced to the sect and did a fair bit of engineering to help build repair and refurbish. Back in America I continued my relationship with the Sangha and from more than 20 years I have been supported by and supported the Forest Sangha. The The Customs of the Noble Ones is a good read if you are interested in learning a bit about Forest Buddhism here in Thailand.
In my opinion the best information about the practice of Buddhism and Buddhist meditation are available free and can be found at the Forest Sangha and Forest Dhamma websites.

Buddhism, Wat Tham Khuha Sawan, Luang Poo Khamkhaning, Ubon Ratchatani, Thailand

khuha sawanThe compound of Wat Tham Khuha Sawan stands on the bluff overlooking Khong Chiam town in Ubon Ratchatani. Many spendid buildings, chedis and shrines to include a huge white Ubosot stand on the property.
The real gem at the temple is Luang Poo Khamkhaning who lies in state in glass coffin intact since his death in 1985 at the age of 91.
He spent time when a child as a novice before becoming a recluse for 15 years. He was so respected that the King of Laos patronized his ordination into Buddhist monkhood.
He traveled the caves and quiet places of the region, supported by laypeople in the area. As a Buddhist monk he lived on the alms given him daily by the local villagers in remote areas of the region…

Tham Patihan, The Longest Known Sandstone Cave in Thailand, Ubon Ratchatani,Thailand

pattihan caveIs located in Wat Tham Patihan. Now the Tourism Authority of Thailand sees no reason to list the fact that it is the longest known sandstone cave in Thailand. I doubt they know it. From my searches over the years I have not seen any information, but then the Prime Minister of Thailand thinks there are 77 Provinces in the country and no government agency seems to know the number of sub-districts, Tambons. Once again it is westerners that seem to have the correct data about Thailand. I have visited the site twice once with no time to explore and once the generator providing light was out, and me without a proper torch. I finally got into the cave 22 December 2015 and the attached video shows what I saw.I was told that the cave was a few kilometers long but tend to accept the information by the only people who seem to have any clear concise somewhat complete information about the caves of Thailand, Hepton Mallet Caving and  Caves and Caving in Thailand