I’m planning a new road trip to Isan come dry season.
This time, my girl friend has strongly suggested a visit to Wat Chetiyaram in Nong Khai, which she says is special.
Is it worthwhile taking a detour just to see yet another temple?
It definitely is worth a visit. Directions: Drive east from amphoe muang along the Mekong to amphoe Bung Kan.
Although I haven’t visited for years, I still remember when I went there after finishing some business in Bung Kan.
The temple itself (known locally as Wat Phu Tok) will not impress you, but its location and setting will.
The temple gets its local name from the small limestone mountain upon where the temple is located. Phu Tok looks like a huge rock plunged into the ground. There are no gradual slopes, but the rock sides rise roughly in an angle of 90 degrees, strutting up from the flat sandy Isan soil.
The temple on top is small as its function is to be a praying and meditation area. It can be accessed by a steep wooden staircase if one has the legs to handle that. From the serenity up there, the view is quite breathtaking.
The much revered Phra Ajarn Juan Kulachettho had people build an access “bridge” (two parallel wooden planks) circling around the rock on scaffolding. Well, he died in April 1980 and when I visited Wat Phu Tok, the “bridge” looked like it hadn’t been much improved since then.
Wat Phu Tok is very unusual. I’ve been to the Perfume Pagoda outside Hanoi and to the Tiger Temple outside Krabi town. But getting up Phu Tok is a mental challenge and once at the top, it is difficult not to take the opportunity to ponder life.
This was exactly the intention of Phra Ajarn Juan. Walking up using the circular bridge, you will pass through six levels, each level representing some state of Nirvana through images or other symbols. Eventually, you will come to the seventh and last level, which is the flat top of the hill.
If you can, make the trip before all the rice is harvested … makes the scenery more green.
Ubon Ratchathani Thailand Candle Festival parade 1- 31 July 2010
The Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival (ประเพณีแห่เทียนพรรษา), the most elaborate of the traditional parading of candles to wats (Thai: แห่เทียน hae thian), is held in Ubon Ratchathani, Isan, Thailand, around the days of Asanha Puja (which commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon) and Wan Kao Pansa (which marks the beginning of vassa).
At the start of the Lenten period, it is traditional in preparation for the rainy season for the devout to donate items for the personal use of monks, and candles to dispel gloom in their quarters and elsewhere within the wat. The latter is often the core event of many village celebrations, but is at its most elaborate in the Ubon Ratchathani version, which nowadays is a major event both for residents and for tourists: giant candles are paraded through the town, each representing a local temple, district, or other institution. The more elaborate versions are accompanied by scenes of Hindu and Buddhist mythology sculpted in wood or plaster, and coated with wax. Of course, these candles are never burned.
The candles are carved a couple of days before the procession.
On Asanha Bucha day, the candles are taken to Thung Si Mueang, a park in the middle of the city, where they are decorated and then exhibited in the evening. On the same evening, there are small processions with lighted candles at several temples.
The procession takes place on the morning of Wan Kao Pansa. The candles are paraded through the city centre on floats, accompanied by representatives of the respective institutions. These are normally dancers or musicians in traditional dress.
In addition to the above, the festival is accompanied by the usual paraphernalia of feasting and games which attend any Thai festival.
Master from wiki pedia
It’s because a) The Isaan is the poorest region in Thailand and even though it’s one of the dryest regions most people make their living with farming – thus they’re often considered as uneducated and b) the ethnicity is a mix of Laotian and Thai – they speak a different kind of dialect than other Thai people and apart from that people from the Isaan are often considered as a bit rough, loud and they’re said to be prone to alcohol. Furthermore, their skincolor is a bit darker (Thai people are somewhat prejudiced against people with darker skin.)
And as the region is so poor, it’s often girls from the Isaan going to Bangkok for a job – and they often end up as prostitutes or bar girls.
God Is An Anime Girl
A various shoujo video this was originally going to be a tribute to magical girls, but no. The song is God Is A Girl(Techno Remix), by Groove Coverage and the anime’s used are:
Beating Angel Dokuro-chan,
Powerpuff Girls Z,
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne,
I used some clips that just deserved to be there, some openings, and some of my old ones. I hope you all like it.
By the way, this is a fan made video, I won’t get anything by posting it here, I don’t own the animes used, or the song. So yeah, I’m just a fan, doing what fans do.
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