Monday, May 18, 2009

Ubon Ratchathani - Gateway To Laos
UBON RATCHATHANI's ATTRACTIONS
Wat Thung Si Muang is renowned for its traditional wooden Ho Trai scripture repository, with an intricately carved gable, in the middle of a pond. The monastic hall of Wat Thung Si Muang houses beautiful mural paintings depicting episodes from Buddhist literature and scenes of local everyday life.
Ubon Ratchathani National Museum once the province's City Hall, puts on exhibition the province's history, geological features of the Northeast, discovered artifacts, and local handiworks like basketry, brass, traditional hand-woven fabric, and local musical instruments. The museum is open daily except for Mondays and tuesdays.
Wat Nong Bua located on the suburb of town on the way to Amnat Charoen province. It is the only Buddhist monastery in the country with a Buddhagaya - style stupa,and has an extensive structure. Within the Stupa are several important Buddha images.
Wat Maha Wanaram the ancient and principal temple of Ubon, houses the sacred Phra Chao Yai Indra Plang image, highly venerated by both the people of Ubon and neighboring provinces.
Wat Supattanaram the first Buddhist monastery of the Dharmanyuthi sect in Northeastern Thailand, is situated on the hank of the Mun River not too far from town center. Built in 1853 with an initial royal donation by King Rama IV, it has as its principal image the Phra Sapphanyu Chao which is greatly revered by both local people and visitors alike.
Ban Kan Luang Archaeological Site five kilometers away from town along Highway 212 and 2050, the site was excavated by the Fine Arts Department in 1992. Discoveries include artifact, implements, ornaments, heads, pottery, and iron axes. It is believed chat this settlement dates back at least 2,000 years.
Wat Pa Nanachat some 15 kilometers from the province on Ubon - Si Sa Ket route, the Wat is renowned for its meditation affairs with a large number of foreign monks practising there.
Kaeng Saphu rapids south of Amphoe Phibun Mangsahan market, 45 kilometers from Ubon. Splashing currents during dry season make a beautiful scene over rocks and outcrops, although they are completely immersed during the high -tide season.
Sirindhorn Dam one of the major multi - purpose dams in the Northeast is around seventy kilometers from town in Amphoe Phibun Mangsahan. It is capable of producing 36,000 kilowatts or an annual 13.E million units of eletricity.
Khong Chiam is a district overlooking the Mekhong River and is located 80 kilometers from Ubon Ratchathani. A hired boat is available here to go to Kaeng Tana cataract and to go sightseeing at Mae Nam Song Si or the bicolour river where the Mekhong and Mun Rivers meet.
Kaeng Tana National Park is located in Amphoe Khong Chiam, 13 kilometers off Highway No. 217 opposite the entrance of the side - road to Sirindhorn Dam. There is accommodation for tourists. Attrations in the park include:
Kaeng Tana is the largest rapids of the Mun River. The cataract itself is a big stone platform lying across the Mun River, causing the water which flows through Kaeng Tana to take the form of beautiful waterfalls.
Nam Tok Tat Ton is created from Tat Ton brook flowing past a stone platform and plunging onto the plain forming a basin large enough to swim in. The area is surrounded by a forest and flowering shrubs.
Pha Taem National Park is located l4 kilometers from Amphoe Khong Chiam. Attractions in the park include:
Sao Chaling 11 kilometers from Amphoe Khong Chiam on the Highway 2112, the place is scattered with natural mushroom- like piles of stone slabs with a large amount of shells stuck in their texture. The area is believed by geologists to he a long dried sea.
Pha Taem and Pha Mon located 3 kilometers beyond Sao Chaliang, the Pha Taem and Pha Mon are two steep cliffs overlooking Mekong river with a clear view of Laos on the other side. On the cliffs' surface, there are prehistoric paintings dating hack to 3,000-4,000 years ago reflecting ancient ways of life of the people once lived in the area, such as Buk fishing (BA is a species of large scaleless fish found in the Mekong river), and rice farming. Figures of people. animals, hands and geometric designs were also depicted.
Phu Lon Buddhist Center is in Tampon Song Yang, about 20 kilometers from Amphoe Muang Mai. It is a small hill with trees and rocks. There is a cave built by Phra Achan Man I'll urithattathera; it is very tranquil and suitable for relaxation and meditation.
Candle Festival held annually at the beginning of Buddhist Lent in July at Thung Si Muang, the festival's planned activites include the competition of the candle "tree" which is divided into moulded and carved categories. All candle "trees" will he brightened up by the lights from many diverse entertainments organized to celebrate them.

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