Posts Tagged ‘udon’

I Interview Gary Larsen, American Vice Consul In Udon Thani, Thailand back in the 70s

isaanI had known Gary for a few years and he was kind enough to sit dawn and tell some very interesting stories.

From Hippies in Northeast Thailand to the end of the wars in Southeast Asia Gary provides a unique personal look at the time and area.

Sorry about the background noise, but I am sure you will find this interview interesting.

Click Here to listen to the Interview 

30 January 2014, Remembering Luangta Maha Boowa

mahaboowaVenerable Ajahn Maha Boowa Mahathera (Luang Ta Maha Bua) passed away at 3.53 a.m on January 30, 2011. He was 98 years old. Wat Pa Baan Taad

Luangta Maha Boowa said:

“This monastery has always been a place for meditation. Since the beginning it has been a place solely for developing the mind. I haven‘t let any other work disturb the place. If there are things which must be done, I‘ve made it a rule that they take up no more time than is absolutely necessary. The reason for this is that, in the eyes of the world and the Dhamma, this is a meditation temple. We‘re meditation monks…

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Trains, Roads and Infrastucure Illusions in Thailand

The Thai Government is after 2.2. Trillion Baht for their Infrastruc Plan. As I have previously posted  in High Speed Trains, Tunnels and Reality in Thailand No one really has a clue. Steve from Chaing Mai was kind enough to correct my initial premise in the post. But at the end of the day no one really has any idea of what this project might cost as there is no real plan in existence..
First of all the Thai government has not a clue on what the cost is of maintaining the roads and rail lines that are in existance, as they do not maintain the roads or rail lines. I drive 2,000 kilometers or more on the Isaan roads each month and often find myself averaging 35kph on many roads filled with potholes. I was recently on a road that I know has not been maintained in more than 10 years. And 115 reported rail incidents in less than a year, leads one to ask;…

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Rules of the Road, Isaan Style,Sakon Nakhon,Thailand

Isaan, Northeast Thailand to my mind is the best place to visit in Thailand, For, culture,history, the people and real Buddhism this is the richest part of the country. Cash wise this is the poorest part of Thailand, perhaps that is why people hold on to thoe things that are special to the region. If you do visit the most important part of the trip will be minding the traffic and what is happening in front, behind and on either side. It really is a jungle out there!
The photos at the left were taken on the main Udon Thani to Sakon Nakhon road just in front of Rajabhat University. There is an empty pedestrian bridge that crosses the, not only dual carriageway, but there are 2 lane feeders on either side.  These kids will pop out from in front of that truck you see right in front of oncoming traffic. Ones reaction is usually to edge to the right and in Thailand there is quite often a vehicle in that lane and the cause of many accidents.

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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 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.

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Somdej Phra Naresuan Maharat Shrine and Fossil-Dinosaur Exhibit

Today is the last day of the Phi Ta Khon Festival and the other guys are flying back to Bangkok via Nong Bua Lam Phu and Udon. Enroute they will stop at Somdej Phra Naresuan Maharat Shrine and Fossil-Dinosaur Exhibit. I have already visited the Park and Exhibit.
The Shrine is on the grounds of the Fossil-Dinosaur Park and entry is 20 baht for Thais and those with a Thai Driving license. AS there was a que and it was VERY HOT I did not get the entry fee for “foreign dogs and other assorted heathen”. It is about a 100 meter stroll from the carpark to the shrine and exhibit. There are also a number of trails to explore the fossil finds.I stopped 1st at the shrine.
Somdej (pronounced somdet) Phra Naesuan Maharat was king of Thailand from 1590 -1605.
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180,000 kilometers on the Road in Northeast Thailand

After seven years and the best part of 180.000 kilometers the time came to retire the Isaan Nissan from service. Most of those kilometers came in the past 4 years, or since internet access became somewhat widespread in Northeast Thailand. The ability to use google maps while searching for places and events is a miracle in a region that, to this day, does not have recent road maps or atlases. The rear cargo door suffered the dings and scrathes of the ever alert motrcycle and tuk tuk drivers for years. Once an attack to the front left wing by a motorcycle and once force of the road on a rainy morning enroute from Udon to Sakon Nakhon.
I’m not sure how many kilometers I covered during the “not” floods of 2011, but is was many. The Pong River from Ubil Rattana to Mahasarakham. The Chee river from Mahasarakham to the confluence with the Mun and around Ubon.
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Another Isaan Live Update From Tom’s Desk 22 March 2013

20130321_062024I have to got to go Khon Kaen and Udon to Take care of what will hopefully be the last of the annual taking care of this that and the other thing and have decided to do it by coach.
Hopefully this will be the last of the running around I need to do for now..
Songkran is only weeks away and hope to be set up to film as much as possible as well as twitcasting live, I am located in the middle of it all in Sakon Nakhon. I hope to be picking up the old Acer netbook with Ubuntu installed and want to get the webcam operating on it so that I can restart the Isaan Live webcam in time for Songkran. I also hope to have the  MK808 Android HDMI Dual Core processor connected and operating next week.
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Getting Around from and to Bangkok from Northeast Thailand and more

Read today via on of Thailand’s Nearly English Language Dailies, namely the Bangkok Post that  Transport Co to tighten safety for vans. Now how they plan to do that is beyond me as they cannot even control their own fleet, nor can they maintain a useful website. In riding the coaches from Sakon Nakhon to Bangkok and back a few times lately I can confirm that their vehicles are overpriced, poorly maintained and generally late at best. The Transport Company website is  wonderful for advertising the latest scams  to Laos and Cambodia, but as far as useful up to date information about fare and schedules, the information people want, is next to useless. The times and fares are out of date and the trip times are fiction. Delays due to mechanical problems are not rare and during the hot season you could well arrive at your destination medium well done if you travel during the daytime.
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