Photos by MJ Klein and Hui-chen
Recently, Hui-chen and I went to Ubon Ratchathani to visit our long-time blogger friend Brunty. In our last article I broke down our trip into a summation and this article is the first point of the summary.
Driving Under A Statue of A Giant, 3-Headed Elephant
I want to begin by telling what happened when we arrived in Ubon. After a grueling 5+ hour ride on what Brunty calls “a cattle car” we arrived at the bus station. Brunty and Noot came and picked us up. I had talked with Brunty beforehand via email about our impending visit and he found us a really nice room for only 400b per night. We stayed there for 2 nights and it was just great. Also, Brunty offered himself to be our personal taxi service, and we cannot thank him enough. All I had to do was send him a text message and he would arrive no less than 15 minutes later. If only the local services were as good!
We checked into our room and went to the food court in Tesco for some quick fare. Then we went to Brunty’s home and had some drinks and relaxed a bit after our long bus ride. Brunty invited his friend Barry to join us, and we had a great time chatting about old music and bands. I don’t know what’s going on with my batteries lately, but when we got to Ubon, both my video camera and still camera batteries were dead. I got only a couple of shots in the food court and then nothing for the entire evening. Brunty has written an excellent article about the first night’s events and fortunately he got some great photos. We were drinking amaretto (which I haven’t had for ages!) and after much conversation we went to a place called The Terrace. I just hope that Barry and I didn’t bore Brunty to death as we talked about music that existed before he did! In the photos of me at The Terrace, I am soaking wet due to the rain.
If you haven’t seen Brunty’s article, you must give it a read!
The next day was gorgeous. I sent Brunty a text message and we were off.
First order of business was food.
This is Brunty and Noot checking out the menu at the nana coffee & steak restaurant. Again, Brunty’s photos of the food are a lot better than mine, and he wrote in detail about the place, so I recommend you read his article.
After lunch we took a drive out to a temple that Brunty described as the biggest and most interesting in Ubon Ratchathani. He wasn’t exaggerating!
The name of this temple is Wat Bab Na Muang. Please note that the photographs in this section are geotagged and so is this article. You may click on the link at the top of this article to view it on our map page.
The sky was threatening all along the way to the temple, but it never rained.
We turned down this road and I got a “wtf?” look on my face!
As we approached closer, a shape emerged.
This 3-headed elephant is the gate to the temple!
As I shot photos through the front windshield of his car, Brunty drove right under the elephant and onto the temple grounds!
Once inside, Hui-chen took over the photography while I shot video (to be presented later).
Hui-chen took some detail shots of the temple wall near the entrance.
Next we turned our attention to this massive structure inside the gate.
This is a replica of a royal barge. There are too many photographs to present here, but you should take a look at them on our flickr album. The details are impressive! We’ll be adding photos to this set as we go along.
Next part in the series is entitled “A Dead Abbot In A Glass Case.” You won’t want to miss it!