Thailand once again has been noted for the high number of road fatalities. Many of the fatalities are due to drivers, untrained, drunk or often on medication. Another cause of many accidents is the state of the roads. I know of a number of motorcyclists would have died hitting potholes at night. Cars dodging potholes often collide. The 2 and 3 digit roads are bad enough, but the 4 digit, Rural Roads and often horrendous. Not only the cause of accidents, but the damage done to vehicles is an expense many rural citizens can hardly afford
Posts Tagged ‘Blue Highways’
Road 2287 Connecting Sakon Nakhon and Mukdahan,Thailand, A Scenic Alternative and Wat Phu Kampra
The usual route between Sakon Nakhon and Mukdahan is Route 223 to the 212 in That Phanom then south. Over the years I have taken a number of alternatives and recently started traveling and searching…Continue reading
Live from the Mekong River in Northeast Thaland
by way of TRUE 3G and a Samsung Galaxy Camera by way of twitcasting. What I am sure s the first ever live broadcast to an international audience. For sure Ray @ozlao and a viewer from Canada…Continue reading
Tha Uthen, NKP, Isaan, Morning Market21.11.11
When travelling anywhere in Isaan, but especially along th Mekong, get up early in the morning a visit a morning market. The one in Tha Uthen is just the right size to experience life in a riverside…Continue reading
Blue Highways, Thailand,Friendship Bridge 2 to Mukdahan
I have driven along the river road from Loei the Ubon Ratchatani, both directions, a number of times over the years and 3 things never cease to amaze me. First and foremost is the changes in the…Continue reading
And there was the rest of the Month
Well songkran is now just a memory and the rest of April has to be dealt with, so the 1st order of business is to wrap a few thing up here in Khon Kaen before heading down to Ubon. There stop to pay…Continue reading
Wat Pho Kham, That Phanom,Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, Buddhism
The Temple is located in Nam Kham village south of That Phanom and the Kham River. This is yet another of the isaan Mural temples from the Paper by Pairote Samosorn “E-sarn Mural Paintings” 1989. The…Continue reading
Ajahn Chah,Wat Pa Khan Ta Silawat,Luang Por Kinnari,That Phanom District,Nakhon Phanom,Thailand
The Wat is located in The section of That Phanom south of the Kham River in the town of Fang Daeng on road 223 shortly bere it intersects the 212. This is a Mahanikai Wat where Ajahn Chah spent time…Continue reading
Wat Pho Kham, That Phanom,Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, Buddhism
The Temple is located in Nam Kham village south of Thai Phanom and the Kham River. This is yet another of the isaan Mural temples from the Paper by Pairote Samosorn “E-sarn Mural Paintings” 1989. The…Continue reading
Alms Round,That Phanom,Nakhon Phanom,Thailand,22.02.13
The crowds have grown a bit through the night, and while still not up to weekend levels there were a fair few folks at pindabhat this morning. While the SOP seems to change year to year it does not…Continue reading
Royal Initiatives and Water Resources in Thailand Part 2, The management of water shortage
2.2) The management of water shortage 2.2.1 Royal rain This is a process for managing the atmospheric water resource by inducing the condensation of the vapour in the atmosphere to create water…Continue reading
Blue Highways, Mekhong River Bridge 3 South Toward Nakhon Phanom, Thailand
To my mind this bridge and it’s background is the most photogenic of the bridges that have gone across the Mekong in the past 20 some years. The lush treelined bank with the Karst mountains in the…Continue reading
The other day I posted Mahasarakham, Chii River and Post 2011 Flood Road Repair in Northeast Thailand And Khin Prasit the person who has taken the time over the many years we have been acquainted help explain many aspects of Thai Government, society, culture and law that I otherwise would never have learned. The comment he posted might be of use to others driving Thai roads so I post it here along with another look at pothole heaven in Northeast Thailand. This a rural road the lies from south to north feeding road 22 west of Phang Khon, Sakon Nakhon.
I do not think it is a road. It must be a dike.As far as an organization charts say highways with a garuda and a single ,or two ,or three or four digit numbers are under highway department.
To my mind this bridge and it’s background is the most photogenic of the bridges that have gone across the Mekong in the past 20 some years. The lush treelined bank with the Karst mountains in the background provide a picturesque scene even on an overcast day. The long approach makes dramatic panoramas as well as photospheres. The entire length of road 212 from Nong Khai to Nakhon Phanom, about 300 plus kilometers used to be single lane. The rout while a bit longer is a bit less hectic than the drive from Nong Khai to Udon, then on to Sakon Nakhon and to NKP.. As I have documented over the years there is plenty to see in do in the area, but, unfortunately the town has fallen in the shodow of Mukdahan 100 kilometers down river in my opinion. I will show the rest of the drive in town and along the river in a soon to come post.
Khon Kaen is one of the major centers in Northeast Thailand and traffic is becoming more and more a problem. Perhaps it is not so much the number of cars on the road, than the fact that people do not know how to drive and are not taught road manners. Right hand turns from left hand lanes, double if if not triple parking, crossing into oncoming traffic are just a few of the infractions that are not uncommon.
Weekday rush hours are madness and weekends everybody has to be going somewhere. Holiday weekends are even worse as out of town visitors add to the chaos and can be seen backing up on main roads to turn down a lane they missed. On many of the main thoroughfares parking is restricted to alternating sides of the road . Lack of knowledge, lack of manners and lack of police law enforcement are the main causes of congestion ……
They worked on this stretch of road for years. This is no blue highway by Isaan standards. As a matter of fact the whole fifty some kilometers from Nong Bua Lam Phu to Udon Thani is now dual carriageway. Cars coming down the hill swithch from lane to lane through the curves so , as always on Thai roads great care must be taken. The concrete dividers are an important safety feature as they keep oncoming traffic from shortcutting the curves. It is a rare oppurtunity in Northeast Thailand not to have to worry about oncoming traffic on your side of the road. I do not know how often coaches fly off the road or through the barriers, but it is a not rare occurance as maintenance is not a priority in the region and brakes do fail. And as always in Isaan the shoulder of the road provides space for rural retail and cars quite often park into part of that outside lane.
I have driven along the river road from Loei the Ubon Ratchatani, both directions, a number of times over the years and 3 things never cease to amaze me. First and foremost is the changes in the river each season. Now it is starting to rise as it will do till Autumn. Contrary to popular belief most of the water comes, not from local rains, but from ice melt in the Himalayas. The best place to keep track of water levels is at their data and information services page. and the Mekong River Commission website has tonnes of up to date information.
The second thing that amazes me is how bad the roads are along the Mekong on the Thai side of the river. That along with the lack of information available from the Tourism Authority of Thailand about places to visit and to stay along the river is also astounding.