Confluences, Crocs, Commies, Civilization & Escaping Covid.

DavidFL

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Tired of being a good boy & "locked down" in Chiang Khong for almost 3 weeks, fruitlessly waiting for a vax at the Chiang Khong hospital, it was time to break out & make a move.
One of the complications of living in such a small community is that you can easily get a high profile, & in my case many people are well aware of my travels & bike touring. Not everyone is impressed with it in these covid times, & there is some pressure about me not being vaxed, like a good responsible citizen, not that I did not try just to please the locals.
I was always planning on being the last to get a vax, but I thought to keep the peace & make people feel comfortable, just go & get a "Sinovac flu shot," the weakest of the lot so they will shut up, especially my nagging landlady!
Despite being registered for 4 months at the Chiang Khong hospital, I have been refused on multiple occasions when the local villagers have been getting their shots. Sorry no vax for farang!
So it was with some joy that i received a message from a nurse friend telling me to pop along to Big C in Chiang Rai asap "today or tomorrow", & you can get a walk in Sinovac shot. But go now, because tomorrow is the last day for farang to walk in & get a free shot.

Lung packed his bags & thought whoopee I'm out of this claustrophobic little covid paranoid town for awhile....

To be continued.
 
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DavidFL

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After failing t get a vax 4 times in Chiang Khong at the CK hospital, despite being registered for several months, getting a shot at Big C in Chiang Rai city was literally a walk in the park / shopping centre.
I rocked up at 9am & at 10am I was walking out, stress free & content with a shot of Sinovac plus booked in for the 2nd September & a 2nd shot of Az, It couldn't have been easier, or more stress free. Kudos to the Chiang Rai city public health dept + Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital, running the show.

I hung out in Chiang Rai for another day, doing research for my CK Covid escape, then headed of down R1 to Phayao for a night with Dave DKT & Tom to savor some of the magnificent ambiance of the Chidlom Pub & Restaurant.

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On a late afternoon meander Dave DKT introduce me to a wonderful little coffeeshop on the Phayao rural back roads.
And a place that I neglected to get the name of.
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Fish 'n chips
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The fish was actually quite good, but the batter was a bit of overkill.

There are multiple seating options, inside & outside
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Let's see if Dave DKT can get the name of the coffeeshop for us & get it on Google Maps.


R118 was a blast the next day for a run into Chiang Mai
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See also
 

DavidFL

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Chiang Mai it was for a couple of nights.
One night in Mae Rim to catch up to my son + then GTR Mae Rim Warriors at Radek's Seepak Restaurant.
The place of stay in Mae Rim was the First Residence, which used to a favourite Pizza & Wine dining establishment for Jurgen and I when I lived in Mae Rim, prior to Chiang Khong.

Then 2 nights in Chiang Mai at the top North for 400 baht a night.
There's a lot of good value accommodation around today, due to the tourism collapse from covid.
2 nights in Cnx saw a bit of shopping at Helmet2Home for a new rain suit plus a pair of knee guards.
Scoyco was the brand winner in both cases, after I failed to acquire a 2-piece Loboo rainsuit from the distributor in Bkk, who fails terribly in customer service. Be warned.
A health check up on the old GTR body returned a surprising result with all my organs working within spec; plus a stern reminder to go back on your blood pressure and cholesterol tablets. They noticed the increase, along with the weight increase.
Have a heart attack and die Khun David,but please don't have a stroke and end up a vege, needing care. Some has to do the job for you & it won't be the Vstrom. Yes I agree & will do my best, as I do not wish to be a burden on the community when the time comes. Just put me straight in the GTR Chedi, no need for a slow exit.

A consultation with an insurance broker followed next, trying to get increased health insurance coverage for GTR, with a policy renewal up next month
Stay tuned to see if we have some good enticing new options.

Insurance broker meeting finished at 2.20PM & it was time to ride I thought.
Let's finish off an uncompleted trip from a month ago.
So Phichit was the destination. Crocs & Commies here we come I thought.
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405 kms it was & away we went.

Great weather at the northern end
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Entering Phitsanulok province
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Then it got somewhat threatening with a nasty storm that was gusting in fast.
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A change of route for a fast blast round the super saved the day, but added another 20-30 kms to the ride at the end of the day.
However, I did arrive dry in Phichit city at 7.40PM; got a quick cheap charlie meal & a nice room.

The Steak Lung Yai fast food
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and the Orchid Place
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Time to kick back for a few days & pick up on some culcha & history.
 

DavidFL

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Crocs - Phichit & Phichit Attractions

Why stay in Phichit - isn't it one of those backwater provinces, that you flash through on the way north or south to / from Bangkok or wherever?
I mean the town doesn't really have much to offer, until you start researching a bit for new destinations & attractions.

Situated in the Lower North some 345 kilometres from Bangkok, Phichit (pronounced Pijit) is accessible by both road and rail. Nurtured by two rivers, the Yom and the Nan running parallel to one another north to south, the land is agriculturally fertile. Once the site of an ancient town dating back almost a thousand years ago, Phichit has played in a major role in the history of both Sukhothai and Ayutthaya.

Known as the land of the crocodiles, it has been home to this ferocious reptile which has thrived in its waters. There are today several fresh-water crocodile farms. Phichit features in the Thai epic Krai Thong (ไกรทอง) composed by King Rama II which tells of Chalawan (ชาละวัน), a powerful crocodile king.

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Crocodiles & Chalawan.
Cruising around Phichit & the Phichit environs you will see multiple croc statues, such is the fame of the Chalawan Crocodile King.

Outside Wat Khlong Khu
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Downtown by the city park & Bueng Si Fai lake
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The legend of Chalawan, the Crocodile King of Phichit
Once upon a time, there was a magical kingdom located deep inside an under water cave where crocodiles live. Inside the cave, a magic crystal ball floated above, shining so bright like sunlight during daytime. The crocodile lord who ruled this cave was called Chalawan (ชาละวัน) as named after the cave. Every crocodile that entered the cave turned into human form and needed no food.

Chalawan gained his position to rule the cave from his grandfather, after his father's death in a fight with two other crocodiles. He had two crocodile wives living with him in the underwater cave. With his aggressive nature and his need for superiority, what he had was not enough. He wanted to eat human flesh unlike his grandfather who lived by the Buddhist precepts.

In Phichit, there were rumors that crocodiles had been hunting people who lived near the canal. One day, two daughters of a wealthy Phichit man called Tapao Kaew (ตะเภาแก้ว) and Tapao Thong (ตะเภาทอง) wanted to play in the canal. They did not listen to their father's warning and went in the water. Chalawan who came out of his cave in the crocodile form to prey on humans saw the two daughters and fell in love. He then abducted Tapao Thong down into his cave.

When Tapao Thong woke up in the cave, she was amazed by the beauty inside. Chalawan, in the handsome human form, tried to make Tapao Thong fall in love with him. However, he did not succeed. Chalawan then cast a spell on Tapao Thong that she would fall in love with him and agree to be his wife.

Meanwhile, when the wealthy man discovered that one of his daughters got attacked by a crocodile, he was in great sorrow. He announced that anyone who could defeat the crocodile and bring back his daughter's body would be rewarded with great treasures and the marriage with another daughter, Tapao Kaew. However, not a man could defeat Chalawan.

Krai Thong, a fine man from Nonthaburi, was trained to defeat crocodiles and had mastered the skills. He volunteered to defeat Chalawan and bring back Tapao Thong. He travelled from Nonthaburi to Phichit ready to fight Chalawan with a magical spear given to him by his teacher Khong.

Before the arrival of Krai Thong, Chalawan dreamed about his death. He informed his grandfather about what he dreamt. That dream was a prophecy. His grandfather told Chalawan to remain in the cave for seven days. If Chalawan went out of the cave, he would face a fatal threat.

The next morning, Krai Thong started casting his spells on a raft floating above Chalawan's cave. The spell cast by Krai Thong reached Chalawan, the crocodile lord started to feel impatient and could not remain in his cave. Chalawan swam to the surface and confronted Krai Thong. The battle started immediately, Krai Thong attacked first by stabbing Chalawan in the back with his spear.

Chalawan who was badly wounded retreated to his cave. Both of his crocodile wives asked for help from his grandfather, however, his grandfather could not help. Krai Thong dove into the water and followed Chalawan down to his cave. When he arrived, he met Vimala (วิมาลา), one of the crocodile lord's wives. Krai Thong seduced her, and followed a fleeing Vimala into the cave.

Once inside the cave Krai Thong found a wounded Chalawan in human form. The battle between the two started again. Chalawan could not fight Krai Thong and was defeated. Krai Thong finally killed Chalawan and returned to the surface with Tapao Thong. Tapao Thong then returned to her father who was happy to see his daughter still alive. Krai Thong was rewarded with great treasures and was married to both daughters from that family.

Wat Mahathat in the ancient city of Phichit
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To be continued.
 
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DavidFL

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Phichit Attractions - Luang Por Ngoen

Luang Por Ngern was a famous monk, born in 1810 at Bang Klan, and who lived to the age of 109 years.
He founded Wat Ban Klan / Wat Hiranyaram, which is on the Nan river, roughly 70 kms kms south west of Phichit.
There are statues of Luang Por Ngoen in wats all around Phichit.

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Wat Ban Klan - the home of Luang Por Ngoen
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Such is Luang Por Ngoen's fame & reverence that his amulets are highly respected for their power & protection; & the old GTR fellah snapped up two., to keep him healthier, alive & on the road a bit longer.

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A massive work in progress
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Wat Tha Luang is the most important temple in Phichit province.
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It was first constructed in 1845 during the reign of King Nangklao (Rama III).
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The temple was made a third-class royal monastery in 1986. The principal Buddha statue namely Luang Pho Phet is a Chiang Saen style Buddha statue that is widely respected and worshipped by Phichit people and the general public.

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The spotlights on you at night!
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Phichit Attractions - the Motorcycle Bridge
Phichit city backs onto the Nan River & has a small motorcycle bridge across to the other bank.
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Phichit Attractions - the Railway Station
Across the river from town, on the East bank of the Nan river, is the classic old Phichit city railway station.
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Heineken

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Good write up David, some interesting places to see ;)


I know all about the small village worries of Covid 19, and especially with falangs.......................im still waiting for a vaccine shot so I can get a bit of freedom back (does feel good to be told im too young for vaccine @ 58 though :laughing:) but that is supposed to be changing.


This is a great photo David, by the lake....................


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DavidFL

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Commies - Phichit Attractions - Ho Chi MInh & the communist museum.

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Luang Por Ngoen is not the only famous identity in Phichit.
Another fellow who came in & lived in Phichit for a few weeks was none other than the "communist revolutionary "/ Vietnamese nationalist Ho Chi Minh.

There was a considerable VIetnamese community scattered around Thailand, Vietnamese who had fled oppression from Emperor Ming Mang & then the French.

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Some who had settled in Nakhon Sawan, eventually moved to near Phichit & set up a community called Ban Dong in 1914.

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HO came in 1928, & started his organization for the recovery of Vietnam from the French & the eventual communist victory in Vietnam.
It was interesting that Ho entered Thailand by boat at Klong Toey, then traveled by train from Bangkok to Phichit, then his contacts brought him to Ban Dong by boat via the Nan River and Tha Luang Canal!
Ho only stayed a few weeks, before moving onto Udon, Sakhon Nakhon & then Nakhon Phanom, to set his communist revolution ball rolling.

The museum
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Some village history
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One of Ho's letters & notes
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A replica house like Ho may have used
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See also

Facebook Ban Dong, Ho Chi Minh Museum



 
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DavidFL

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Civilizations - Phichit Attractions - Ancient Cities & Ruins

The old city of Phichit is 7kms from town & believed to have been built in 1058 in the reign of King "Kotara Bong."
The area covers 400 rai has remnants of an old wall, temple ruins and many ancient trees.

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Wat Mahathat has most significant ruins.
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The park has been well looked after and has become a magnificent aboreteum
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Wat Nakhon Chum - Phichit Attractions
Just on the outside perimeter of the historical park, 400 metres away, is another fabulous old wat - Wat Nakhon Chum
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Wat Nakhon Chum houses a 800 year old Buddha
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On the same temple compound, & in a total contrast to the ancient old Viharn is a dazzling new wat.
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Amazing Thailand I thought!


Wat Pho Prathap Chang
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30 kms S-W of Phichit is another magnificent old temple ruins - Wat Pho Prathap Chang.

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This ancient temple was built in 1699-1701 under the rule of Somdet Phra Suriyenthrathibodi or King Suea, as a memorial to his place of BIrth.

It was also was used by King Narai, the Great, as a camp site for his troops on a northern excursion.
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The Fine Arts Department registered the site as a national monument in 1935.
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DavidFL

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Confluences - Phichit Attractions - the Yom river, the Nan River, The Phichit River.

As to be expected the land of crocodiles has abundant water & rivers; & the province mainly consists of low fertile river plains.

The name of the Phichit city changed several times. At first it was called Sa Luang ('city of the royal pond'). In Ayutthaya times it was called Okhaburi ('city in the swamp'), and then finally Phichit ('beautiful city').

The Nan and Yom Rivers flow through Phichit Province, joining at Nakhon Sawan to form the Chao Phraya.

Phichit city is "sandwiched" between the Nan & Phichit rivers, with the Nan on the East bank, the smaller Phichit to the West; then the Yom another 8 kms West. It is indeed a fertile river plain.

The Phichit & Yom river confluence.
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I stumbled across this quite by accident & actually thought I was at the confluence of the Yom & Nan of all places!
And was corrected by Ian Yonok who could more clearly see the link I sent.
My only excuse being that I was struggling to see & read my phone in the bright sunlight. 55
Or perhaps I was just plain lost & disorientated, wandering around?
I did however wonder why there was no geographic marker for such an important location.
The only marker was a small "no name" Chinese shrine in a parking lot by the river.
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The Confluence of the Yom & Nan Rivers.
Where I should have been was another 25 kms further downstream, & there was no mistake marking the Yom & Nan rivers meeting.
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To mark the location there is also a well known wat. Wat Koei Chai Nuea
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The Confluence of the Nan & Ping Rivers
The "mother of Thai river confluences," at Nakhon Sawan the Ping river & the Nan meet to form the Chao Phraya, Thailand's most important river.

Coming from the left is the Ping & coming from the right is the Nan, joining together to form the Chao Phraya.
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On the left is the Nan & the Ping coming from the right to form the Chao Phraya.
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A view from the main look out viewpoint isthsmus

The Nan on the left & the Ping on the right. Downstream, the Chao Phraya.
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The Ping river on the right the Nan on the left. Downstream the Chao Phraya.
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Shrines for the "mother of the river."
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Confirmation confluences are also croc territory
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DavidFL

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Taphan Hin - Phichit Attractions

Taphan Hin is 30 kms south of Phichit & once upon a time it used to be the biggest city in Phichit province, but was eventually overtaken by Phichit city itself.

The name "Taphan Hin" means "bridge stone," so named because of bedrock that pushes out into the river, near the northern area of the market from the center of the district.

Taphan Hin Railway station
The station opened on 24 January 1908 as part of the Northern Line extension from Pak Nam Pho to Phitsanulok.
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All trains used to stop here at Taphan Hin, as it was once the largest city in Phichit, but now Phichit City has surpassed it in terms of development and so all trains stop there instead and pass this station.
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Old Taphan Hin City
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Wat Thewaprasat
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This wat has the largest Buddha image in Phichit province, with a 30 metres high Buddha dominating the landscape.
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The giant Buddha image was completed in 1965.

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