Thursday, 5 September 2013


We finally make it into Udon and I have a room booked at the Heritage Hotel, a great place at around $16 a night and I would definitely stay there again and highly recommend it.  We spend our time there exploring the city, going out, a couple of fishing park trips, plenty of sightseeing in the surrounding areas and of course eating a ton of delicious and sometimes weird food.  The pace is almost too hectic as Wit makes sure we have plans every day and he is a great tour guide, an amazing cook and partial to a few cold beers also.  

We get along famously, even with our limited communication, as he speaks barely any English and most afternoons or evenings are spent over his little charcoal bbq cooking pork and having a beer or whiskey.  Udon Thani is a great city, plenty happening and some great rural countryside and smaller towns and villages to explore all around.  It has everything an expat could want while still retaining a small town feel.

We also head up to Nong Khai, the town right on the Thai side of the border with Laos and where most people enter the country to head to the capital Vientiane.  We spend a few hours looking around, visiting a pretty cool aquarium, the Tha Sadet markets, checking out the riverside looking across at Laos and finally the Sala Kaeo Ku sculpture park. It is a great place to spend a couple of hours wandering through the gardens, marvelling at the sculptures and taking a few snaps.

This strange and amazing sculpture park is the biggest year round attraction in Nong Khai. It was built by, and born out of the vision of the Shaman Luang Pu Boun Leua Surirat and his followers. When walking around the park, if you didn't know better, you could believe that it was an ancient site, though in fact construction only began in 1978.

Luang Pu Boun Leua Surirat, who passed away in 1996, had originally started his creation in 1958 in "Xieng Khuan" or the Buddha Park on the Laos side of the Mekong, although he was born in Nong Khai Province in 1932. He fled back to Thailand after the Laos revolution in 1975.

Both site that he created reflect the belief of Luang Pu Boun Leua Surirat that one could draw on the teachings of all religions and as such the sculpture park is filled with images of the Buddha as well as Hindu gods and Christian religious icons amongst others. It is the scale of the sculptures that is truly awesome, numbering over one hundred and with some towering over twenty five meters high!”

Quote taken from  here
 this place also comes highly recommended by a friend Top Mansion

the small clay charcoal bbq's

Some snaps from the sculpture park

the Nong Khai Aquarium
now that's a big catfish

mmmm   bugs!  quite tasty actually

Wit doing his thing with the bbq pork

the end result, so good I could eat it all night, and we literally did, even after being full to bursting

my Udon Thani machine,  the mighty Scoopy!!

 I better mention this place we went for lunch one day also, amazing food and a great setting as you sit in huts over the water. You can't fish there unfortunately but there are tons of fish in there that will come to the surface and fight over bread you throw in, some pretty big catfish in there.  Highly recommend it and if you go, order the pork spring rolls, apparently they are famous for them.

 Huts over the water...

I should have taken a 'before' shot of the food, but you have to be quick around Thai's!!

The details of the place if you decide to go