Central Thailand is a huge area, which is often ignored by
travellers. One of the reasons might be that it is not covered in many of
the guide books, except for the major sights, of course. This might
be a blessing on one side because the area has not changed too much by
tourism or the (negative) influence of the west. However, it proves
to be a major undertaking to plan a trip here. While the books offer
almost nothing, there is a lot covered on the internet, both in English
and Thai language.
The reason why we spent much time
here, is that this web site is named after someone from the central
provinces who has accompanied us on all our early trips through Thailand.
That and the car we had available, allowed us a lot of flexibility. If we
didn't find a temple we searched for, we simply visited the next one down
Nakhon Sawan is known for the Chao Pho-Chao
Pak Nam Pho Procession Festival, held during the Chinese New Year.
Research on this festival from overseas was an absolute disaster, as no
information was available. Unfortunately even the Thai Tourism Authority
has not found it necessary to answer my emails as to when exactly this
festival happens. Even weeks before the festival their own web site listed
the dates from last year and made planning almost impossible. Otherwise
Nakhon Sawan is a beautiful province. Bueng Boraphet, the largest
freshwater swamp in Thailand and Mae Wong National Park are just two
The street signs including signs for
important temples in Chainat province was the most confusing we ever dealt
with. Getting help from the locals proved as confusing, as we were
pointed into opposite directions by people just 100 meters apart from each
other. The street signs of Phichit Province on the other
hand were excellent. Uthaithani province was the most
impressive because of it's wide variety of things to see - temples,
nature, house boats, rain forest, wild animals etc.
with local monks nearly everywhere we went. They were always interested
talking to a 'farang' (westerner) since there aren't that many travelling
around in the remote areas. Very often the conversation opened the doors
to the otherwise locked temple buildings. Some of the temples we
visited, didn't even seem to have anyone there. Except for the dogs of
course, who seem to be everywhere. They made it sometimes impossible to
visit the temple. In a few cases I got help from a local monk who then
chased them away. Wat Tham Bo Ya in Nakhon Sawan province with it's
beautiful caves was such an example. It took me three attempts to enter
the larger cave and only with the help of an older monk did I finally make
it to the huge Buddha statue inside.
and Angthong Provinces
provided us with so many temples to visit that it
became almost a marathon for us. With those two provinces a new era had
started for us and we took the merit making more seriously. Naturally it
also took far more time for us to visit a single temple. Nevertheless we
managed to visit close to 40 new temples during the rainy season of 2004.
Sometimes we had to wait inside the temple for the rain to stop, which
provided us with great opportunities to engage into conversations with
monks or the abbot of some temples.
of the coastal provinces, which we had only driven through before on the
way south, were finally visited. In Samut Songkhram we visited several
temples and Don Hoi Lot Park, which is known for it's excellent seafood. We
passed through this province on the way to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market,
which actually lies in Ratchaburi Province. This market we feature on our separate password restricted web site. Samut Sakhon also had to
offer some ancient temples as well as Mahachai Market, which is Thailand's
largest traditional fresh seafood market.
Wat Rai King in Nakhon Pathom Province we visted an important Buddha image
and temple in 2004 and did our second visit to Phra Phuttamonthon.
2005 we finally visited Lopburi with it's many Khmer monuments and many
important temples, like Wat Lai and Wat Phra Baht Nam Phu, also known as
the AIDS temple, which does a lot of project work and acts as a hospice
for AIDS patients.
in 2005 during the rainy season we did a day trip to Pathumthani but all the temples here were
closed. Not sure what the monks here did but we didn't see a single monk all
day. And, for the fifth time we went back to Ayutthaya, re-visiting some of
the ruined temples in the old capital as well as some new temples outside
the city in the district of Sena.
2006 we chose Phitsanulok as our location to go to the neighbouring
provinces of Sukhothai, Uttradit and Phetchabun with very exciting temples.
We were normally either on the way up to the North or on the way back down
and never had enough time for this important area, hence we felt that we
had to stay here for several weeks to explore it in depth.
that Ayutthaya had so much to see and equipped with a new camera gear, we
did actually choose the old capital as a base in 2008. This allowed us to
plan extensive day trips to the central temples, re-visiting many and
re-taking images of important Buddha images and visiting many new ones.
2008 we actually moved the provinces of Chachoengsao, Nakhon Nayok and
Prachinburi to the eastern provinces page. Just in case you were missing
them on here.
to the political unrest and the closure of the international airport in
November 2008 we got stuck in Thailand for an additional 11 days instead
of being able to fly home. We used the time constructively and went to
Ayutthaya where we visited over 40 additional temples and went back to
several we had seen before.
May and June of 2009 we did some extensive tours through the provinces
around Bangkok and visited several temples in Samut Songkhram and Samut