Wat That Phanom in Nakhon Phanom

That Phanom

I like being spontaneous. Yesterday I decided on a whim that I’d take my last travel trip of the year. A week touring around Isaan… which I had started at the beginning of the month which had to be cut short. With my ruck sack packed, I jumped onto my motorbike and within an hour and a half I had reached the sleepy town of That Phanom, 55km south of Nakhon Phanom.

The main reason for visiting was to check out the temple, Wat That Phanom. As soon as I arrived, the temple was beautifully lit up and could be seen from most parts of the town. A great sight.

With bags dropped of at the NJ Hotel (300b – nice rooms in great location), I went out to take some pictures of the temple and of course, find a little den I could settle in for a nightcap. As I pulled up outside the temple, I could see preperations were being layed out around the temple grounds – I could sense something big was going to happen.

Wat That Phanom

That Phanom

Then all of the sudden, a university teacher approached me and offered me some coffee – an act of kindness that is all to familiar in this part of the country. He explained that a ceremony involving 5,500 monks was to take place in the morning. Perfect timing I thought! Sweet.

That Phanom

After chatting for a while, he introduced me to his students and before long I was helping move some boxes with the rest of the students along with some local monks. Good times.

That Phanom

That Phanom

An early night was to be had, as I was keen to get up at 6am in order to return to witness the huge ceremony.

That Phanom

Monks sitting outside the That Phanom Temple at around 7am

That Phanom

That Phanom

Breakfast was offered out for free. I think it was noodles.

That Phanom

Many locals paying respect to the monks.

That Phanom

The monks started collecting donations – mostly food (rice, instant noodles and sweets), flowers and money.

That Phanom

That Phanom

That Phanom

That Phanom

That Phanom

That Phanom

That Phanom

That Phanom

That Phanom

Time to go home!

    1. Chris Post author

      I agree… spontaneous travel is defo the best. I remmeber going to the airport in HCMC with no plans… looking up at the departure board wondering where I was to go (I chose KL in the end) – What a great buzz!

  1. Pingback: Advice for first-time visitors to Thailand

  2. sandyojo

    Hi Chris, am not a first time traveler. Trying to plan a full moon festival on 2/18/11 Thailand, Laos or Vietnam. Seen enuf of ChiangMai, Luang Prabang and Hanoi, Gots any suggestion? thanks. sandyojo

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