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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Somdej Phra Naresuan Maharat Shrine and Fossil-Dinosaur 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.Naresuan was one of Siam's (as today's Thailand was then known) most revered kings. He and his older sister were hostages in Burma when young. I am given to understand that their was a lot of hostage taking, exchanging and swapping during this period. Also he had some association with cock fighting, which may have something to do with the 100s os them around the shrine. During his reign Siam reached great influence and gained much territory.
The exhibit at the park is rather interesting and has plenty of English translation. The center of attraction is the animated dinosaur, which sends little kids screaming. Also on exhibit was a collection of items the amateur archeologist might need to include what was labeled " binocular" and as I had been chatting with the curator or janitor, I kindly pointed out that the item was a monocular as there was only 1 eye opening.I am beginning to wonder if Fred Flintstone was not in fact Thai. Perhaps more on that at another time.
All in all I think the place is well worth a visit and in conveniently located on the North side of Road #210 Linking Nong Bua Lam Phu and Udon. Also note that I made it through this whole post without any comments about old westerners (fossils) in Isaan.