Wat's on a run to a GTR Dinner

DavidFL

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I enjoy the monthly GTR dinners going to smaller towns that are often a bit out of the way, as it provides an opportunity to check out some local attractions you may not normally seek out, if you were just going to stay in a provincial capital or a popular tourist town.

The GTR pre-Christmas dinner was in Si Satchanalai, and whilst it isn't a quite backwater / out of the way town, it did give me the chance to tick off a few places I had wanted to check out on the way there & the way back.
One of the "problems" living here so long, is that the more you know, the more you realize how little know, and the more places you find about about and so the more places you want to go. You never bored "chasing your tail" it seems.

One of the positives of my failed relationship with the last GF, was that I spent a lot of time down Lamphun way, discovered the joy of R1184 & some interesting Karen Wats in the area of Thung Hua Chang & Li.
It also peaked my interest on the attractions of R106, the Lamphun - Li - Thoen road, and so it was with the GTR Dinner in Si Satchanalai the opportunity was there to take a round-about route to get there & tick a few more "Wat Boxes" on the way.

Wat Ban Pang & Ban Pang
Is the birth place of Khruba Siwichai, the famous Thai monk who built the road to Doi Suthep.
He entered the monkhood at Wat Ban Pang at18 & went on build 100 religious and nonreligious projects such as temples, roads, and bridges around the North.
He was involved in the renovation of the main temples of Doi Suthep, Suan Dok in Chiang Mai & Chamthevi in Lamphun.
Kruba gained massive influence, such that he eventually ran foul of the authorities. Over a period of yeas he was imprisoned for misdemeanours ordaining monks at his own temple, released, charged again with another offence, imprisoned at Wat Phrathat Haripunchai for a year, then eventually released again.
He died @ 61 in his home village at Wat Ban Pang on 21 February 1939.
In 1989 a museum was built at Wat Ban Pang to honour Kruba Siwichai.

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Not sure exactly what - a renovated ex residence of Kruba Boonchum / birth place??
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more to come on 106.
 

DavidFL

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40 kms further south along R106, & just 2.5 kms south of Li on the east side of the road are a couple of Wats that are close together.

The first one is "Wat One Eye" according to my google translation. 55
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But we warned the temple dogs here are nasty & could do with some serious discipline = I had to bail out.

Another 350 metres further south along R106 is the impressive Wat Ha Duang.
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More to come
 

DavidFL

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Thoen city at the south end of R106, was the next stop & time for a look around for a possible GTR dinner site - hotel, plus pub & restaurant on the Mae Wang river.
45 minutes pottering around the sois of Thoeng city on both sides of the river turned up another blank, but if anyone knows any better please speak up. Defeated a 2nd time, just like in Ngao city!

However boring as it maybe for some, the main Wat in town was a beauty.

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Wat Wiang is the name & it dates from the 1640 AD, the roof was renovated in the 20th century.
The Wat is renowned for it's classic Lanna / Chiang Saen influenced beauty.
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A reminder to clean the lens on your phone camera
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An interesting mural
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What you need to know
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More to come Si Satchanalai & home via Phrae
 
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Steve Merchant

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Dec 11, 2009
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I rode the same route but wasn't feeling so great due to some bad food and didn't stray too far from the main road. But one temple which I think was at Pasang did get my attention and I took a couple of photos. I was feeling far too sick to get off the highway and do an old favorite I took my wife and kids to a few times when they were young, Wat Phra Phutthabat Tak Pha, with an epic long stairway.

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DavidFL

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Si Satchanalai & a GTR Dinner

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The CSL Restaurant in Si Satchanalai has been one of the most popular & successful GTR dinners & after a good ride from wherever, it is always a total pleasure to hang out there for a night with Suwat & enjoy his fantastic food & hospitality.

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Si Satch has some great attractions with the old historical park
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and if you're visiting the historical park it should be noted there are two parts. Above is the main section, but below is the most important part
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Chaliang.

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The Gold Textile Museum is another worthy attraction in Si Satch to check out
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Full info on GTR here
 

DavidFL

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The master plan for the run home was to over night in Phrae & tick off a couple more "Wat boxes" on the outskirts of Phrae, then drop into the Sakthong for a cuppa on the final run home.

Phrae is one of favourite towns and always has been.
I have extremely fond memories of it being a top party town 30 years ago, and a few of us used regularly to hit Phrae for a big night on the town.
The Nakorn Phrae hotel coffee shop was the place to hang out, plus the coffee shop of the Paradorn Hotel. Our frequent visits to Phrae attracted the attention of our wives / girlfriends such that one night while nicely ensconced in bed watching TV there was a knock on my door at 11PM. Damn. The singer has knocked off work early I thought? I'm in luck. But nope it was the missus trying to catch me out. Oops red faced she was & smirking I was. She received a stern dressing down & was sent packing back to Chiang Mai to get my son ready for school the next day. Slightly relieved, In the days before mobile phones, I went downstairs & left a panic note at reception for my two other mates, still out on the prowl, to get rid of anyone they might have for company that night. I also tipped the security guy not to let any singers up to my room, just in case my bluff had failed & the missus was still out there waiting. Fortunately, my two mates returned empty handed so that everything ended well; but our visits to Phrae started to taper off after that close shave.

The old city of Phrae is a gem of a town with all the old colonial buildings & museums. It really does have a lot of character, charm & history in the old quarter. The long Phrae thread (that needs cleaning up) with all the info on GTR is here:

Phrae is chock a block full of history & places to check out!

For food & pubs go here

For accommodation go here

The Shan Rebellion also started n Phrae & with reverberations around the North

I reckon I have got most of Phrae city covered now so it was time to pick off a few places out of town in the hills .
There are a few I have not been to, so it was time to tick a few off.

Phrae Attractions - out of town

Wat Phrathat Doi Leng
sitting on a hillock 12 kms S-E of Phrae just off R1022, has superb panoramic views of the Phrae valley.
From the turn of on R1022, the road up to the Wat is the usual steepie
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And the road is tight narrow & concrete

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If you fancy testing out your stamina you have the option to park & walk up.
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I wisely rode up, & parked under the security
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and I wish I knew the story behind the two cannons!

Wat Phrathat Doi Leng dates from the same period Wat Phrahat Choe Hae.
The panoramic views are spectacular.
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Next stop was further out but on R1024 & the "Golden Rock Temple."
Golden Rock is 21 kms East of Phrae & 13 kms down R1024.
Getting onto R1024 can be a bit tricky, but just look for the "Golden Rock Temple" signs & you should be right.

R1024 goes past a new dam being constructed
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and you need to beware of trucks ahead, or the prick as it maybe
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Turn off to the temple
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Park your bike, look up and there's no mistake you've arrived
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The temple is a multi-level complex with paths going off in all directions, but basically up.
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and the mighty Golden rock of Wat Phra That In Kwaen, as is the temple's real name.
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Time was running out for the old GTR Fellah & the legs were weary, so time to beat a retreat to the safety of the Nam Thong Hotel in Phrae & kick back for a night.

I'm not done in & around Phrae yet, so stay tuned for a few more interesting attractions out that way.
 
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