The first leg of our trip was in Udon Thani province, northeast of Thailand near Laos. This area is slightly off the beaten track but we love Issan food and wanted to chill and get used to the time change. There isn’t much to do here and the air is polluted due to the slash and burn farming practice. But we took a taxi and visited the UNESCO archaeological site in Ban Chiang with its swirl pottery that reminded me of the Mata Ortiz pots.
We were most impressed of the Phra Phuphrabat National Park where there are whale sized boulders impossible perched over rocks. This area is still on a tentative list for UNESCO so one can climb to the rocks and stare straight into the prehistoric cave paintings 6,000 years ago or posing next to priceless ancient Buddha’s statues. The name Phuphrabat means Buddha’s footprint as there is a belief that the Wat just outside the park was built on his footprint.
This picture was taken at noon with the harsh mid-day sun and it was boring. I edited the original image on my iPad using the app 100 Cameras in 1 to give it more texture and mystique.
We met Monk Eddy at the temple and he is the funniest person I’ve ever met. He loves being a monk and overjoyed to be in the holiest place on earth. He whispered confidentially to us the location of the eternal spring and the cave where the Naga will ascend to earth in a few days. We were there just before the festival and I hope the Naga came out of the cave as promised.