Central Thailand Rides

Discussion in 'Central Thailand Road Trip Reports' started by Goran Phuket, May 30, 2015.

  1. #1 Goran Phuket, May 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
    On my way down from north decided to stop and check this place out. Passed by numerous times before but never had a chance or time to spend few hours and enjoy what this place has to offer. For some reason, I always thought this was one of those tourist traps and oh boy...how wrong I was. To say I am impressed is gross understatement. It is not just statue of Big Buddha but 2-3 more temples, huge park and literally 100's of other life size statues placed around. There are sections: heaven, hell, war times, kings and generals, maidens....you gotta see for yourself.

    GPS: 14.59303, 100.38039 (decimal)

    The Great Buddha of Thailand, Phra Buddha Maha Nawamin, is the tallest statue in Thailand, and the ninth tallest in the world. It stands at 92 meters high and 63 meters wide.

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    They also have "Crystal Temple"

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    Photo of revered monk....I guess he was very important because his body is right there in mummified state in that glass casket

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    "Gates of Hell" .... had lots of pics from this section but purposely deleted them....made me actually sick...

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    There are hundreds of statues like these, I photographed only few

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  2. First time overnight in Lop Buri, took an opportunity to check around.

    What used to be a Hindu Shrine, now happens to be Lop Buri landmark. During reign of King Narai the shrine was converted into a Buddhist temple.

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    Lop Buri is the city famous for it's monkeys, they are just about everywhere and ready to pounce.

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    Built some 350 years ago, King Narai's palace was monarch's retreat during non-raining season. At that time Lop Buri was established as second capital of Ayutthaya Kingdom. Here pictured the gates of the palace compound.

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    Apart from palace ruins, there is a national museum too. I arrived at 3:45pm and gates close at 4:00pm, unfortunately no enough time to see inside the museum.

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    Within the palace compound

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    Statue of King Narai

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    It's getting late, time to move on

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  3. When mentioning Uthai Thani usually reminds me of that excellent highway stretch towards Nakhon Sawan.
    This time I've decided to avoid main route and explore back roads before proceeding towards Lop Buri for overnight rest.

    After all these years in Thailand I still find these brightgreen rice fields jaw-dropping gorgeous. I must have taken dozens of similar pics within last 14-15 years and never gets boring.

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    Somebody gave me coordinates of very nice looking temple so decided to go and check it out. All of a sudden end of the road and had to board this river barge. That wasn't so much of an event compared to what happened next: monk appears out of nowhere, greets me and asks if he could take photo of my bike. I was really surprised but of course, told him to take as many pics as he likes. Had to catch this moment, took my compact camera out and snapped it out. He sure loves BMW: Ultimate Riding Machine :smile1:

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    So here I am, in front of fabulous Wat Tha Sung or Crystal Temple. Unfortunately main hall was closed for some kind of renovation but still managed to snap few nice shots.

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    On the way back again on river barge before proceeding to Lop Buri

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  4. Nice one. That is quite a find..worth checking out.
     
  5. May 12th, 5am and on my way from Phuket to first planned overnight stop, Sam Phran in Nakhon Pathom. Total of 830km, three 15-20 minutes stops for fuel and refreshment. It did help a little leaving so early, by 8am I was in Lang Suan, Chumpon for my first refuel. By the time I reached Sam Phran at 2:30pm I downed about 3 liters of water and Gatorade.

    Wat Sam Phran complex actually consists of multiple buildings but all I wanted to see was giant dragon spiraling to the top of 17 levels tower. The city itself is nothing special and you won’t find mention of this place in usual tourist brochures or leaflets. Hence, upon arrival I was the only "tourist" in the area.

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    Apart from temple itself, another thing leaving strong impression on me were white clad friendly nuns, they are all over the place. It appears they are involved in some kind of re-education program; giving lectures to female prisoners. They actually encouraged me to take as many photos as possible.

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    Here is another shot from the entrance gate

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    Overnight at Rangsee Place, more info about this accommodation can be found here:

    https://www.gt-rider.com/thailand-motorcycle-forum/showthread.php/41228-Sam-Phran-(Sampran)-Nakhon-Pathom

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    • Like Like x 1
  6. #6 Goran Phuket, Jun 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2016
    Day 2 and on my way to Suphan Buri, Phu Toei National Park to be exact. Read about Lauda Air disaster site on this very forum and wanted to see for myself. I remember when this tragedy took place, back in 1991, my first year in Asia. Never thought I'd actually see the ground zero of what is until today Thailand's worst air disaster. 223 passengers and crew members lost their lifes and about 90 kilometers before the ground zero I spotted the road sign indicating Lauda Air Cemetery.

    About 9am arrived at National Park gate....nobody around. Guess it was too early, midweek and low tourist season...but from what I hear this park is not that much visited anyway. Perhaps something to do with local belief that spirits and ghosts of killed passengers and crew roaming these parts.

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    Trail starts right after the park gates.
    Road leading to "Lauda Shrine"

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    About 15km later I reached this point. Park signage in really poor state...Sign states another 1.5km to shrine and main impact site.

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    Arrived at the main site, part of airplane wreckage next to the signboard.

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    Over the years locals scavenged this area and there are hardly dozen wreckage parts left. Some really influential and rich people were among the victims, most notably Chiang Rai Governor. There are stories circulating around of vast fortune being looted by local villagers.

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    I just sat here all alone for a while deep in thoughts and thinking about these unfortunate people. Was just about to move on when I heard car approaching. 2 people come out of SUV, father and son. Apparently each year they pick a day in month of May to come here and place offerings to what they call "restless spirits". Today was that day, and I was here. What a coincidence.

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    The boy's nickname is Koh Kah, speaks quite good English. He pointed out many people in this area feel guilty for what happened in aftermath of plane crash and least they can do is to clean up and maintain the shrine.

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    Descended from the park and decided to use scenic back-roads towards Kamphaeng Phet.

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  8. Nice work Goran.
    I often overnighted there when riding between BKK & CNX - I'm hooked on the monkeys (& have yet to see a new-comer not totally taken by the spectacle).
    Well worth visiting.
     
  9. Enjoying this post greatly - I like the way you do your research pre-trip so as to give readers an in depth insight into the sites you visit, & what sites they are - sites far from the tourist agendas & guide books, spots with a rich historical or cultural tradition.
    Thanks for your efforts, Goran.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Thank you Rod. Still nothing special compared to David's or few other guys' descriptive reports but I am getting there :)
     
  11. Quick stop at Pathum Thani and visit to unique Wat Chedi Hoi. This temple is well known for being the site where gigantic oyster fossils, calculated to be millions of years old were discovered. The temple abbot built a Chedi at the entrance using the special fossils.

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  12. Amazing Wat Bang Kung in Amphawa, Samut Songkhram Province.

    Dating back to Ayutthaya period, famous for the small chapel that is completely enclosed within the roots of a banyan tree. It is almost like the tree itself is the pillar of the temple and without the roots the chapel would fall down. Trees are between 200 and 400 years old according to guide I spoke to.

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  13. August 2016, bored and thinking where to go. Raining season, everything is green, hoping and praying for good weather though.

    Ride straight from Phuket to Nakhon Pathom. Friend of mine, Malaysian residing in Bangkok calls and wants to join the ride.

    Upon arrival quick stop at Phra Nakhon Pathom. Built 4th Century AD, rebuilt in 1870. Thailand's tallest pagoda at 127 meters height.

    GPS: 13.81859, 100.06030

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    Beautiful sunny day, lots of people around.
    Sat in the shade, had some refreshments and off to Sanam Chandra Palace. This is my third visit to Nakhon Pathom but never had a chance to see the place.

    GPS: 13.81915, 100.04587

    Parked the bike right next security gate, heat is unbearable.

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    As usual, I get my customary salute photo :D

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    Palace's ground layout

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    The Palace was built early 20th century by then Crown Prince Vajiravudh, who in 1910 became King Rama VI. The Palace complex was also built to serve as a base for the “Wild Tiger Corps”, a military unit serving the King. Most of the buildings are constructed in European style, in fact the Chaleemongkolasana Residence of King Rama VI looks more like a French or English castle than a Thai Palace.

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    Beautiful gardens all around and a lake

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    There is an interesting story about King's dog called Jarlet.
    The dog was born in Nakhon Pathom prison and belonged to chief prison warden. When King Rama VI went to inspect the prison he saw cute puppy and warden presented the puppy to the King. Jarlet was raised in the royal compound and stayed close to his master. It was very smart dog and loyal and become King's favorite in no time.
    On July 18th 1913, His Majesty left the palace to attend Buddhist Lent Day. That same evening, Jarlet sneaked out of palace compund and was found shot dead at the side of the road between Giant Temple and Royal Palace. This event brought tremendous grief to the king. He had the Jarlet statue cast in smoked copper and erected right in the front of Jalimangalasana Residence. King also wrote lengthy eulogy, which is engraved on a copper plaque.

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    Within the compound I accidentally discovered garage with vehicles used by King Rama IX during his visits to remote parts of the country.

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    Lots of Chevy's

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    Land Rovers...

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    and a single Oldsmobile

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    Early evening, my pal just arrived from Bangkok and we are off to dinner.
    Interesting signboard in front of the restaurant

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  14. #14 Goran Phuket, Oct 26, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
    Following day on our way to Tak with short stops in Suphan Buri and Sing Buri.

    But first we wanted to check so called "Aircraft Flea Market" at outskirts of Nakhon Pathom. Market is open 3 days a week, I guess today was day-off and nobody around.

    Still, we managed to get few nice shots.


    GPS: 13.84790, 100.02139

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    My buddy Kim puffing and panting in scorching heat

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  15. #15 Goran Phuket, Oct 26, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
    Suphan Buri, Somdet Phra Putta Putsaiya Kiri Sri Suwannaphumi, also called Luang Pho U-Thong, belonging to Wat Khao Tham Thiam.

    It is a giant Buddha statue carved in rock, still under construction.

    GPS: 14.37185, 99.86800

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  16. #16 Goran Phuket, Oct 26, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
    Sing Buri and visit to Wat Phikun Thong Phra Aram Luang.
    One of the largest seated Buddhas in Thailand. The large image, which faces East, is 23 metres wide and 42 metres high, and is made of concrete and decorated with golden mosaic.

    GPS: 14.78114, 100.40697

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    Beautiful straight traffic free road leads direct to the temple.

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  17. #17 Goran Phuket, Oct 30, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
    Entering Phitsanulok city.



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    The City Walls and Moats of Phitsanulok were constructed in the Ayutthaya era by King Borom Trailokanat. The walls were constructed by clay that is similar to the Sukhothai era’s construction to prevent attacks from the Lanna and Burmese kingdoms.

    GPS: 16.82597, 100.25591

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    Visit to Wat Phra Si Mahathad.
    Phra Phutthachinnarat is considered the most beautiful Buddha image in Thailand. The large Sukhothai-style bronze statue was cast in 1357 by the order of King Maha Thamma Racha I of Sukhothai. Only the Emerald Buddha situated in the Grand Palace, Bangkok, is more highly respected by Thais.

    GPS: 16.82369, 100.26150

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    As I was about to leave these 2 approach me, husband and wife, BMW GS riders. They said they recognized me and my bike from Facebook .... :cool:

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  18. Cruising down Route 11 towards Uttaradit and eventually turning to Ang Thong.



    I have been couple of times in Ang Thong to see Big Buddha and some other things but this time I wanted to see Wat Sam Kratai or 3 rabbits temple.

    The ruined monastic hall features three chambers of which two houses Buddha images. Roots of trees are nestled upon the brickwork, creating an art of nature. The temple has been abandoned more than 100 years ago.

    GPS: 14.60281, 100.43855

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