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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Going Places that Don't Exist in Khon Kaen, Isaan, 05.06.11

Started off early yesterday morning from Khon Kaen enrout to Mahasarakham to look for some unlisted Khmer ruins. South from Khon Kaen on Route 2, Friendship Highway to Baam Phai and Route 23 eastbound.  If you look on the Google Map you will see a huge "Muang Ram Golf Driving Range" which I saw no evidence. Anyhow I turned south on road 2301, a route I had not used before. About 3.5 kilometers down the road I saw a sign showing a right turn to Wat Baan Laan Mural Paintings, so right I turned. Saw a couple folks and asked how far to the wat. "It's right here" they said pointing to the wat next to me, so I turned into the temple grounds. The Ubosot is as well kept and interesting as any other of this type in the region. It is certainly as well kept as the TAT listed Wat Sa Bua Kaeo, just down the road. Why isn't it listed? Beats me.




Back on the road, nearly 7k when I noticed a sign that I could, sort of, read, so made a right hand turn and in about 1.5k came to  Roi Phra Phutthabat. Here's what the posted sign had to say "Roi Phra Phutthabat Hin Lat, the Buddha's foot[rint was carved onto a natural sandstone terrace into the left footprint measuring 172 centimetres long and 80 centimetres wide at the toes and 40 centimetres at the heal. The footprint was carved in 2 tapering straight lines with a curve at the heal and even toes which are a symbolic characteristic of the Buddha. There is no design nor decorations inside the footprint, which was established in dedication to the Lord Buddha. It has been initially dated back to the Lan Chang period ca 16th-18th century A.D."Another one not good enough for the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Beats me once again. I do know that the little shops in the area would certainly benefit from any tourist traffic.


 Back on the road again and about 4k down the road saw a wat with chedi\that so I turned in. The ground floor of the chedi has a "store bought" Buddha footprint and the usual shrine paraphernalia. The upper floor has an intesting Buddha image, some relics and interesting murals
Especially since Asalha Puja occurs this month, which marks the Buddha's first sermon the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. Another TAT bye.

Now the tough one off to Prasat Baan Ku Moei. I had the latitude and longitude of the place and had plotted in in google maps. So south to route 207 where I turned right toward Wat Sa Bua Kaeo and turned left down the lane I had marked. The problem here appeared to be a small? stream that might need to be crossed. Stopped in the village a got 3 different answers to the same question. Where is the Prasaat? So after a couple dead ends and tight lanes found myself alongside a field directly opposite the site I had marked for the Ku So in I turned and1 of the cattlemen directed me to the footbridge.
I will later be posting many photos of these sites that have been ignored by the Tousism Authority of Thailand. I wonder what percent of sites of interest are ignored, missed and unknown to the folks at TAT. This seems even worse than their coverage of the Mekhong in Ubon. Whatever the case this is only a look at the southeast corner of Khon Kaen. I still have the rest of the Province to review. And I still have not discussed the Mahasarakham part of the days journey. Yes more of the same. Here's a bit of the map.

View Khon Kaen Province map in a larger map