Sala Keoku or Wat Khaek in Nong Khai

2017-11-21 at 14:52

Today we went to Nong Khai and visited Sala Keoku (Thai: ศาลาแก้วกู่) also spelled as Sala Gaew Goo, Sala Keo Ku, Sala Keo Koo, Sala Kaew Ku, Sala Kaew Koo, Salakaewkoo, Sala Kaeoku, and a few more! The only name that is somehow consistent is Wat Khaek. Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat started in 1958 to build Wat Xieng Khuan – a similar park in Laos – just over the Mekong not to far away from this one. When the Communists became stronger he feared they would kill his park so he fled to Thailand in 1975 and started this park in 1978.

The first statue after the entrance
The first statue after the entrance

Buddha seated on a coiled nāga
Buddha seated on a coiled nāga

4 of the hundreds of statues
4 of the hundreds of statues

Hmmm what is going on? Jump or I shall kill you! Not sure what he wants from happy turtle
Hmmm what is going on? Jump or I shall kill you! Not sure what he wants from happy turtle

The woman gives you some feeling for the size of the sculptures
The woman gives you some feeling for the size of the sculptures. The tallest one is 25 meters high.

Ganesh
Ganesh

Not sure what is going on - does the Dog protect the Snake?
Not sure what is going on – does the Dog protect the Snake?

They look happy
They look happy

Sure enough - true 360 vision
Sure enough – true 360 vision

Small one in front of the 4 faced Buddha
Small one in front of the 4 faced Buddha

Serpent goddess
Serpent goddess

Another Buddha
Another Buddha

Kali is the Hindu goddess (or Devi) of death, time and doomsday
Kali is the Hindu goddess (or Devi) of death, time and doomsday

Some of the statues are 25 metres high

Elephant wading through a pack of anthropomorphic dogs (which teaches people to not be bothered by gossip)
An Elephant wading through a pack of anthropomorphic Dogs. This should teach people to not be bothered by gossip

Looks like this one drives a car
Looks like this one drives a car

A lot of talk
A lot of talk

Gram and Nong
Gram and Nong my tour guides for the day

Gram and Nongs offspringGram and Nongs offspring at the Vietnamese place. All that looking at statues makes one hungry. Too bad there was no food for me. I had some of that green stuff next to the beer – well what to do 😉

Laos on the other side of the MekongLaos on the other side of the Mekong. Thank you Nong for driving us and showing us this nice sculpture park!!

Hanoi – Bangkok – Udon Thani – Kut Chap

2017-11-19 at 20:13

The last few days in Asia for this trip. Hanoi International or Noi Bai Airport as they call it here. I have a VietJet flight to Bangkok. And a bus ticket a few days later to Kut Chap to see Nong and the girls.

My plane to Bangkok
My plane to Bangkok

VietJet from the inside
VietJet from the inside. I had enough space and was quite happy with VietJet. Booked my 2 flights in 2018 already with them.

Adios Hanoi
Adios Hanoi

Over the clouds - over Laos
Over the clouds – over Laos

Bangkok

Two nights in BKK – visited Melanie and Scott – that was all.

Bangkok Architecture
Bangkok Architecture

Bird of Pray? Not really
Bird of Pray? Not really

Coffee
Coffee

Off to Udon Thani

My VIP bus to Udon Thani
My TCK Rungroj VIP bus to Udon Thani. Left Bangkok at 21:00 for 454 Bath. Quite a good deal. There are snacks and food vouchers included.

Enough space for the night
Enough space for the night

The usual 2-1 seating arrangement
The usual 2-1 seating arrangement

Gave my food to the lady next to me
Gave my food to the lady next to me

Breakfast in Udon
Breakfast in Udon. Had to wait for Nong to pick me up and give me a lift to Kut Chap

Kut Chap

Good to be back but it was bloody hot there. Nong arranged a room at her neighbors place. They build a small house to rent apartments. Mine was not really finished but the bathroom worked and there was WiFi – what more do you need??

My room
My room

At the coffee shop
At the coffee shop

What you do?
What you do?

Evening with the girls
The best part of the day – the evenings with the girls

Evening with the girls

The fish market
The fish market part of the market. The market is behind the bar and there is a public toilet. Way more space to take a leak. I never tried the toilet in the small restaurant.

Breakfast
Breakfast – Nong cooked for me in the morning – great when you wake up and find some fresh food on your doorstep! Thank you Nong!!

Last Days in Hanoi for my Winter 2017 Trip

2017-11-17 at 18:52

Two more nights to go before the flight to Bangkok.

Hanoi Lucky Guesthouse

Booked at the Hanoi Lucky Guesthouse in the “Backpacker Quarter”. This is the best place in Hanoi if you ask me. Lots of small streets with still a lot of original stores and in the weekend they close down a few streets and it turns into a big open air bar and shopping district. Let’s talk about shopping – if you go to 10 different shop you saw it all. Lots of fake cloths and bags and other tourist bullshit. If you skim the “Art Galleries” you might find a pearl in all the “same same but different” copy works. I found one last year and I am quite happy with it – still!

My bed in the Hanoi Lucky Guesthouse
My bed in the Hanoi Lucky Guesthouse

TV, Fridge, AC, Chair and Closet
TV, Fridge, AC, Chair and Closet

well - nothing to call home about the bathroom but ok
Well – nothing to call home about the bathroom but ok

Yeah! Balcony with plants - great for coffee in the morning!
Yeah! Balcony with plants – great for coffee in the morning!

Not really big but very good for 11$ a night
Not really big but very good for 11$ a night – with breakfast. Which I skipped to get a tasty one in a sandwich shop.

Here is the link on booking.com

One of the many food places - old style. I have to go walk more in the night and take pictures with the big camera
One of the many food places – old style. I have to go walk more in the night and take pictures with the big camera – next time!

The next Day

Graduation Day in the city
Graduation Day in the city

All over the place they took pictures
All over the place they took pictures

Pictures like this on as well
Pictures like this on as well – It was Sunday and the road next to the lake is closed for traffic. Great for a walk and to do some PPL watching.

A lot of traffic on the small bridge
A lot of traffic on the small bridge to the island

Other than that: Waiting for customers
Other than that: Waiting for customers

Customer - come here - come come come!
Customer – come here – come come come!

Waiting
Waiting

Waiting for the picture
Waiting for the picture

Meilin and her boyfriend was in town – finally reunion. The poor boy was sick and stayed in the room. We had dinner and a few local brews at a small place at the corner next to my hotel. Later we walked to the hotel to have a beer on their rooftop. Great view and nobody else up there.
View from Meilins hotel roof
View from Meilins hotel roof

View from Meilins hotel roof

Meilin with boyfriend and me
Meilin with boyfriend and me

Cool electric scooter
Cool electric scooter

Last Night in the City

 
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Last Days in Ninh Binh

2017-11-16 at 15:31

Only a few more days to go before the flight home. Drove back to Ninh Binh to my friend’s place. Will park the bike there to use it next year again. The last few days the sky was nice and we even had a few blue days here. With lots of haze of course – so again – no clear sky for nice landscape pictures.

Boats waiting for tourists in Tam Coc
Boats waiting for tourists in Tam Coc

Boats waiting for tourists in Tam Coc

The river in Tam Coc
The river in Tam Coc

Rice field with Hang Múa in the back
Rice field with Hang Múa in the back

Baby Ducks
Baby Ducks

Wild Horses - why here??
Wild Horses – why here??

450 steps to the top
450 steps to the top

View from the top toward Ninh Binh
View from the top toward Ninh Binh

Much better sky this way
Much better sky this way

The peak on the left (from the top) about half way. You can see workers constructing new stairs
The other peak – you can see workers constructing new stairs

The other peak
The other peak

More haze this way
More haze this way

You can see the city on the far right
You can see the city on the far right

Back at the hotel - cleaning
Back at the hotel – cleaning

Only one kind of meat here
Only one kind of meat here

With Gaelle
With Gaelle for a beer – or two…

The gang in front of the place. With Jordi Huysmans, Saci Kovách, Việt Tây and Andrew Pycroft.
The gang in front of the place. With Jordi Huysmans, Saci Kovách, Việt Tây and Andrew Pycroft.

One is working and one is sleeping
One is working and one is sleeping

View from my room
View from my room

Ready to go to Hanoi
Ready to go to Hanoi

 
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