Nong Bua Lamphu
Nong Bua Lampu is the country's latest province. Established on December 1, 1993, it is the 76th province of Thailand. Before separation, Nongbua Lampu once was part of Udon Thani. Although the province was just established recently, it has a long history. Archeological artifacts found in this area indicate that there were human settlements in Nong Bua Lampu since in the pre-historical era. About 200 years ago, a town was established by Lao people from the left side of Mekong River. The name Nong Bua Lampu appears in historical records as a rest venue for the Siamese Army during their march to fight against Vientiane in both the Ayuthaya and the Rattanakosin era. Besides picturesque nature, namely the Phu Phan Range, and a beautiful lake, Nong Bua Lampu is rich of cultural attractions, such as archeological sites and interesting local handicrafts.
From Bangkok, motorist can use highway 1 (Pahol Yothin Rd.) to Saraburi. Turn right at kilometre 107 into highway 2 (Mitraphap Rd.) and travel via Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Udonthani. Turn left into highway 210, via Amphoe Nong Wuasor of Udon Thani to Nongbua Lampu. This route is 608 kilometres long. In another route, motorist can turn left in Khon Kaen into highway 2109 (Amphoe Namphong-Ubonrat Dam) via Amphoe None Sang to Nongbua Lampu . This route is 577 kilometres.
Regular buses and air-conditioning coaches provide regular services between Bangkok and Nongbua Lampu. For more information, call Northeastern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2) at 0-2936-2852-66 and 0-2936-1880 or visit www.transport.co.th
Train passenger can travel from Bangkok to Udon Thani, then take bus to Nongbua Lampu. Train’s timetable can be checked at State Railway of Thailand at 1690, 0-2220-4334, 0-2220-4444 or visit www.railways.co.th
Thai Airways Itnernational does not operate direct flight between Bangkok and Nongbua Lampu. Passenger can fly to Udon Thani and take bus to Nongbua Lampu. For flight timetable, call THAI at 1566, 0-2356-1111, 0-2280-0060, 0-2628-2000 or visit www.thaiairways.com
As in most rural Thai provinces there are typically local busses and songtaews that follow established routes around the provincial capital and between towns within the province. Songtaews, motorbike taxis, and some form of tuk tuk are usually available for private charter as well.
Monument and shrine of King Naresuan the Great. (พระอนุสาวรีย์และศาลสมเด็จพระนเรศวรมหาราช) Built to commemorate King Naresuan the Great. who in 1574 led his army en route Nongbua Lampu to Vientiane under orders of the King of Hongsa, the kingdom of Burma which ruled Thailand at that time. Nong Bua.(หนองบัว) This big pond is right in front of the city hall. As it never dries, the pond with beautiful back drop of Phu Phan Kham Range is used to relax by Nongbua Lampu residents. Phra Wor Phra Ta City Pillar Shrine. (ศาลหลักเมืองพระวอ พระตา) The city pillar shrine was built to honor Phra Wor and Phra Ta, who founded the city. Namtok Huay To Botanical Park. (วนอุทยานน้ำตกเฒ่าโต้) This shady park is a popular place for picnic. The secreted shrine of Pu Loop is located nearby. Shell Fossil Museum. (พิพิธภัณฑ์หอยหิน ๑๕๐ ล้านปี) The museum features fossils of shells from the Jurassic period, dating to 140-150 million years ago. In the nearby area, 60 dinosaur fossils can be seen in the layer of siltstone, above the layer where the fossils of shells and ancient crocodiles are found. Wat Tham Klong Pen.(วัดถ้ำกลองเพล) This is the province’s famed forest temple. Blanketed with lush vegetable and decorated with rock garden, the temple is shady and peaceful. The main hall (ubosot) houses a statue of Luang Pu Khao and two-sided ancient drum or Klong Pen. Museum of Luang Pu Lod. (พิพิธภัณฑ์หลวงปู่หลอด) Located in the compound of Wat Tham Klong Pen is the Pmotita Pagoda, which houses a relic of the Lord Buddha sent from Nepal. Wat Sri Koon Muang. (วัดศรีคูณเมือง) Located on Worarat Road, the ancient temple houses ancient stone leaves which are significant archeological artifacts, and ‘Luang Por Phra Chaichettha’ significant Buddha statue in Laotian style. Phu Phan Noi.(ภูพานน้อย) The mountain provides great view point ‘Dao Bon Din’ or ‘Stars On the Ground’. None Wat Pa. (โนนวัดป่า) The historical site once was ancient temple as stone Buddha image in the attitude of seating under protection of naga, ancient architecture and antiques from the Khmer era are found.
Isaan cuisine borrows heavily from Lao cuisine and is distinctly different from central Thai cooking, although there has been a considerable amount of cross-pollination. Perhaps the best-known Isaan dish is som tam (or tam mak hung in Lao/Isaan), a spicy salad prepared from unripe papayas. While Thais prepare this with dried shrimp, in Isaan the preferred style is with preserved crab (puu) or mudfish, an acquired taste. Other characteristic dishes include roast chicken (kai yaang), sticky rice (khao niaw) and a wide variety of cold meat, mint and lemon juice "salads" known as larb. A word of warning: Isaan food is known even among Thais for being fiery hot!
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