Holes Holes Holes!
The heat is burning away my soul as venture forth to one of the highlights in Isaan. Today I am visiting two locations – the Pha Taem Nationalpark and Sam Phan Bok.
The Nationalpark is the first destination and is known for its prehistoric cave paintings that are lining along the broken sheer walls of the park. Following the trail I start to explore the are which fortunately is lying in the shade of the surrounding tree line. The paintings which are dating back 3000 – 4000 years depict the traditional lifestyle of the people that include everything they would encounter on their daily route to work – from fishing and farming to animals and families. The funny thing is that the most interesting “paintings” are the simple handprints which somehow underline the reality of things past. Additionally if you look up right above some of the paintings you might see the wild bee hives 20 meters above your head.
A little bit of the painting track you can find a cute waterfall to cool yourself and enjoy the scenery. My time is running out as I climb the stairs back up to the platform. As I stand at the cliffs edge I let my eyes wander and enjoy the Mekong River slowly flowing past me far below in the valley. Time to move on.
For quick stop I jump out the car to enjoy Sao Chaliang – a weird constellation of rocks that look like oversized mushrooms and is believed to have been part of an ocean over a million years ago. Quick side tip: If you follow the trail up the hill you can find a huge crack in the stone that formed a medium sized gap and looks amazing on photos because it is pitch black.
Snap Snap (the sound of my camera) as I try to capture the scenery and off we go.
The second stop is the Grand Canyon of Thailand. Sam Phan Bok which is part of the Khong River is regularly flooded and through that constant battle with nature the result are over 3000 small to medium sized basins or holes and to see this mesmerizing natural wonder you should visit during DRY season.
The area looks like someone had a lot of fun with dynamite and had a touch for artistic pleasure and one “hole” is famous for looking like the head of the famous Disney mouse Mickey. This area is incredibly beautiful and worth spending a couple of hours here but absolutely be aware to bring a lot of sunscreen, water and headgear anytime you go and ideally bring a freaking umbrella, believe me you will thank me later because the area gets insanely hot and there is NO shade anywhere.
This kind of atmosphere can be experienced only during January to April.
As the heat is slowly melting my body like the villain in Roger Rabbit I decide it is time to move along.