Finding dinosaurs in Khon Kaen written by Lee Leelawadee

From 2 persons who have been pen pals by writing some postcards for a year but have never met each other. They want to travel together in a long trip in northeastern Thailand. And the trip eventually started. One of them booked a flight ticket for 0 baht (excluding taxes and fees). It's a ti

Finding dinosaurs in Khon Kaen

Finding dinosaurs in Khon Kaen


From 2 persons who have been pen pals by writing some postcards for a year but have never met each other.

They want to travel together in a long trip in northeastern Thailand. And the trip eventually started.

One of them booked a flight ticket for 0 baht (excluding taxes and fees). It's a ticket that she had to book last year and she can fly this year, which the total price is 200 baht including taxes and fees.

Another one is easy going because she hasn't been there.

One of them knows how to use Google Map very well.

Another one knows how to ride a motorbike safely in Thailand and she only rides in 40 km/h the entire trip.

Although pictures are not so beautiful and some information may be missing, a story of travelling with a stranger may make you guys enjoy reading this review.



Cameras:

Fuji X-E2 + 35 F1.4

Canon 750D + 18-55

Gopro Hero Silver

With some retouch...just to be more beautiful.


3 January 2016

06.00 a.m.

@ Nakhon Chai Air bus, Bangkok.

(Since there is a travel buddy, I decided to not to fly to Khon Kaen and take a bus instead.)

I make an appointment with her at the bus station. We meet each other here at the first time after writing to each other by postcards and twitter...So exciting...After talking for a while, we get in the bus, eat some snacks and sleep...See you guys in Khon Kaen...


12.00 p.m.

@ Khon Kaen province.

After arriving to the bus station in Khon Kaen, we take a taxi with meter fares to a friend's house. Today is a free day, so we don't have any travel plans. My friend is going to have lunch we her friends...Ahhh..Can we go with you?

Our first meal in Khon Kaen is really impressive. My friend takes us to have Sukiyaki buffet. We can eat as much as we can until the restaurant is closed.

After having lunch, we don't know where to visit. Luckily, my friend is a good host. She takes us around the city centre.


15.00 p.m.

@ Wat Nong Wang.

My friend takes us to visit Wat Nong Wang to pay respect to the Buddha and get a fortune to start our trip here.

"You girls can go up there, we will wait for you down here", my friend says.

We walk up to the top of the temple and we can see a panorama view of Kaen Nakhon Lake.

The weather is really good up here.

17.00 p.m.

@ Kaen Nakhon Lake.

My friend takes us to walk around an open-air market near Kaen Nakhon Lake. The atmosphere of the market is similar to some open-air markets in Bangkok but the prices are really cheap, which is good.


19.00 p.m.

@ My friend's house.

We return to my friend's house and prepare for our trip tomorrow.

Our plan for tomorrow is renting a motorbike and riding to Ubol Ratana Dam, taking some pictures at Little Box Restaurant and visiting a dinosaur museum in Phu Wiang.



21.00 p.m.

@ My friend's house.

I feel so hungry and decide to fry some eggs. Finally, a dining table is full of many dishes from my friend's refrigerator.

It seems like we forget that we already ate Sukiyaki buffet this afternoon.


4 January 2016

8.00 a.m.

@ My friend's house.

We get up so early in the morning, fill up the oil tank and start our journey.


9.00 a.m.

@ Ubol Ratana Dam.

We arrive to Ubol Ratana Dam and we forget to deposit our ID cards at the entrance...Ha ha.

It has such a great atmosphere with few tourists. The view is really good but the weather is quite hot with strong sunshine.



The map shows that there are some dinosaurs here...Yeahh...I am seeing the first dinosaur.


11.00 a.m.

@ A restaurant.

We decide to have lunch at Little Box Restaurant but there's only bakery which is not enough for our hungriness. So, we return to the same way and there is a restaurant with inexpensive food, free Wi-Fi, and fresh coffee. Sorry guys...we forget to take any pictures there (because we are so hungry).


13.00 p.m.

@ Phu Kao-Phu Phan Kam National Park.

Because of the free Wi-Fi and the direction sign, it shows us that there is another national park near this area. We don't know what to visit there but it's quite close from here comparing from the distance from my friend's house.


This place is still in the area of Ubol Ratana Dam. There is a viewpoint that we can see a panorama view of Ubol Ratana Dam. It's so beautiful here. I'm feeling so good...And the weather is so hot as well.

Before leaving the national park, we ask some officers how to go to Phu Wiang and they say that it's very far away from here (VERY again). Although there is a short cut from Ubol Ratana Dam, it's still very far and we really want to go there.

The driver said OK...So, let's go!

We turn on a Google Map app and it we are so shocked because we have to spend time for 3 hours riding a motorbike to Phu Wiang...Anyway, let's buy some bottles of water at 7-Eleven first.


14.30 p.m.

@ Tourist Information Center, Nam Phong National Park.

OMG...We ride a motorbike along the dam and it's very far. There are some students riding motorbike along the way before arriving to Pattaya 2 (or Bangsaen 2...I'm not sure). After that, there's nobody and no living things here. There's only mountain and grassland on the left side and the dam on the right side...However, we are still brave to continue our journey.

Once we see a tourist information centre along the way, we are so happy and we suddenly make a pause here.

There are some food stalls, toilet and some officers working in the tourist information centre. And it seems like there is a camping group today since we see many students around here. We eat ice-cream and later go to the toilet. There is a lady in the toilet asking me where I'm from and where I'm going to travel. I ask her how long does it take to go to Phu Wiang (we still want to go there) and she says that it's very far.

So, we change a question by asking where is another attraction close to this place. She recommends us to visit Khao Hin Chang Si since she sees many photographers often visit the viewpoint up there.

We walk to the tourist information centre and ask for a map from the officers. Then, we return to our motorbike.

As a result, we are not going to Phu Wiang but we are going to visit a viewpoint on Khao Hin Chang Si instead. We have to fill the oil tank before going up to the viewpoint. There's no need for a map because the road to the viewpoint is straight without any intersections.

15.30 p.m.

@ A petrol station before going to Khao Hin Chang Si.

We are so happy to find a local petrol station. It's quite old and we have to call somebody in a house to fill the oil tank for us. Actually, the owner of the petrol station is sleeping while we call him...Anyway, let me take a picture of this petrol station.



16.00 p.m.

@ Khao Hin Chang Si Viewpoint.

There are many curves on the way to the viewpoint and my buddy tells me to grab her waist very well. Finally we arrive to the viewpoint safely.



We have to walk up to the hill around 900 metres to reach the viewpoint.


At the viewpoint, we can see a panorama view of the dam and the road that we ride a motorbike up here.

Wow...We are not tired anymore. We really want to watch this beautiful view until the sun goes down but we have to go back because it's not safe to ride a motorbike during the night.


Let's take some pictures on the way back.


17.00 p.m.

@ In a village, on the way back (I don't remember the name of this village).

Those cows are coming...We have to park a motorbike on a side of the street and wait for the cows to pass first.

I have never seen this..Love it.



On the way back. The sun is going down.



18.00 p.m.

A petrol station, on the main road.

We pause at a petrol station since we are tired from spending a lot of time riding a motorbike.


19.00 p.m.

@ Ton Tan Night Market

We walk around and buy some food for our dinner in the night market. There are many things here, which is quite cheap and similar to Chatuchak market in Bangkok. I don't forget to buy a piece of cake for my friend because her birthday has just passing by since 24 days ago... Ha ha.

I didn't take any pictures but I felt so happy because we have many choices for our dinner such as grilled fish, papaya salad, grilled beef salad and sticky rice.



20.00 p.m.

@ My friend's house.

Arrive safely to my friend's house.


A summary of our journey on 4 January.


5 January 2016

8.00 a.m.

@ Ban Kam Hai market, near Sri Than Lake.

My friend tells us that she wants to take us to have some local noodles in a famous restaurant but the restaurant is closed. Therefore, we decide to have a meal in a restaurant near a street. It look a little bit weird but it tastes so delicious. The price is quite impressive, around 25-30 baht per dish.


12.00 p.m.

@ My friend's house.

Getting ready to travel to Chiang Khan.

You guys can read a review by clicking the link as below:

A Slow Life In Chiang-Khan [5-8 Jan 2016]



8 January 2016

21.30 p.m.

@ Kang Sadan area, Khon Kaen.

We arrive to Khon Kaen city centre so late in the evening. Tonight my friend is not comfortable to host us so we have to find an accommodation by ourselves. We decide to stay in a hostel in Kang Sadan area with the price of 500 baht per night. The room looks good with air-conditioning. After check-in to the hotel, we leave our luggage in our room and get out from the hostel to have dinner. However, we don't have many choices of restaurant since it's quite late at night. We finally eat noodles with spicy soup nearby our hostel and it cost 55 baht per dish.


9 January 2016, Thailand National Children's Day

10.00 a.m.

@ My friend's house.

We make a pause at my friend's house, drop our luggage and take a motorbike to ride to Phu Wiang (We really want to go there and we must go)

12.30 p.m.

@ Phu Wiang's Dinosaur Learning Centre, Dinosaur Museum, Phu Wiang.

The traffic is so comfortable and safe because it's in a living area.

The first place...

We ride a motorbike to the first place by following a map. The Dinosaur Learning Centre looks like a large area with a park and dinosaur sculptures. Plus, there are many children around here.


The second place...

It's a Dinosaur Museum. It's free entrance today because it's Thailand National Children's Day (I'm so happy).

There is an exhibition area showing how to dig out dinosaur bones from the ground and a history of dinosaur.


Another zone is a zone of dinosaur models. Some of them can move themselves...There are many children taking a lot of picture here.

I think it's not what we really want to see. There is another place that we want to visit but we have to take a flight at 18.00 p.m.


15.00 a.m.

Phu Wiang National Park.

Welcome to Phu Wiang National Park! Finally we arrive here.

There are some visiting points in the national park but we have limited time so we can spend time here only for 45 minutes.

We decide to visit dinosaur bones at the first point and we find out that there's nothing to see (and we are quite hurry).

We see a viewpoint and we have to walk up for 1 kilometre...Ohhh...I'm so tired since we have to walk quickly, pause a little bit and walk again.

We arrive to the viewpoint and we feel disappointed because the view is not so beautiful. We take a rest for a while, just to feel better and we walk back to a motorbike.


16.30 a.m.

@ On the way.

My buddy is riding a motorbike so fast. It's the fastest ride ever.

I try to find a way to change my flight during this time (which can't be changed). If I miss a flight tomorrow, I will take a bus back home (which is usually fully booked...What?).

Anyway, I must be able to catch this flight.

However, our luggage is in my friend's house. If I return to my friend's house to pick up our luggage, I will miss the flight. Therefore, I decide to call my friend to take our luggage to the airport and we will pick it up there.

My buddy is riding faster, my friend is taking our luggage to the airport, and I am checking in online by using my mobile phone...So, after getting our luggage from my friend at the airport, we can enter to a departure gate directly.

All the actions happen on a motorbike...Ha ha.


17.50 a.m.

@ Khon Kaen Airport.

With a goodness from making a merit in many temples, the flight is 15 minutes delayed and I'm rescued from missing the flight.


18.15 p.m.

On board, flying from Khon Kaen to Bangkok.

I am flying back to Bangkok safely without any noise from children.


19.30 p.m.

@ Don Muang Airport.

I call my friends and my mum that I already arrive to Bangkok. And suddenly my mobile phone turn itself off!
(3 days later, I find out that my mobile phone is totally broken. It can't be recovered anything except some telephone numbers in a sim-card. Therefore, I have to change a mobile phone.)

A summary of the trip on 9 January.


Khon Kaen is a big city and it's good to travel around if we have a car (a car is really essential). It's recommended to travel to a national park, drive along the Ubol Ratana Dam, do rafting in Ubol Ratana Dam, or travel in the city centre since there are many restaurants around. Nowadays, there are some buses running around the city with air-conditioning. Plus, the price of the bus is not so expensive...You guys can take it into consideration for your next trip


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