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  1. #1
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    Trip journal, Part 1; Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park

    The trip involved about 2000 kilometres, leaving Bangkok on the 26th December 2007. Two Thai/falang couples who drink too mut, and a nice car. A rough itinerary. Destination- North Thailand. First overnight stop, Kamphaeng Phet as it transpired.

    Kamphaeng was a compromise- the plan was to stay in Sai Ngam about 40km east, and check out some nearby waterfalls. Problem is the dusty town had not one single guesthouse, so we headed for Kamphaeng Phet and found a decent motel on the edge of town (the Kamphaeng Resort, but the sign is in Thai). Decent value for 280 Bht, including Thai breakfast and all the instant coffee you can drink.

    A very pleasant compromise as it turned out - Thai waterfalls don't impress me much anyway. We decided to check out the Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park instead. KP itself is a very pleasant, seemingly quite prosperous market town with a substantial Chinese population. A lot of sugar cane grown around here, also various orchard fruits, vegetables, rice and bananas. Much more varied agriculture than further south.

    We checked out the town, had a very nice Chinese meal, a few beers then a few Yaa Dongs back at the Motel, which was only a few km's from the Historical Park.



    Granted world heritage status around 1992, the KP Historical Park was a pleasant surprise. First surprise, no falang pricing- 50 bht per car + 50 per person. The Visitors centre is well worth visiting- quite informative with audio visual displays, and some antique statues and stuff.



    The main park area is exactly that- set in very pleasant wooded parkland. Nice place for a picnic.





    An old belltower or watchtower or something. KP dates from the Ayuddhaya era mainly, and one of it's main purposes was to act as a defence post for the capital against the marauding Burmese. There are city walls still standing in places, and a moat. The Burmese got them in the end though.
    probes Aliens

  2. #2
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    There are some forty Wat's around Kamphaeng Pet. Fortunately, all of the ones in the Historical Park are clearly signposted and explained, so culture vultures and history buffs should be content. This is no theme park.









    The ruins vary from quite well preserved to some piles of crumbling bricks. Whilst perhaps overshadowed by the ancient capitals of Sukhothai and Ayuddhaya, I reckon KP is well worth a visit- no vendors or souvenir stands here, and very few tourists.
    Well set up for the visitor though- well done Thailand.
    Last edited by Marmite the Dog; 03-01-2008 at 05:17 PM. Reason: resized rogue image

  3. #3
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    Chinese Temple

    The most famous Wat is actually outside of the Historical Park itself. It is no extra cost though, the same ticket covers the entrance fee there too. so we drove out of the Park a t the other end, turned left where we should have turned right, and came across this Chinese temple.





    Quite a gaudy contrast to the ancient city nearby. Quite a large temple building too, but you will have to see that for yourself.

  4. #4
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    Wat Pra Khaeo

    Many if not most visitors to KP come to see the Wat Pra Khaeo, or sleeping monk. In a piece of inspired Thai logic, there is a falang price here- 80 bht. yet, if you paid 50 bht to see the historical park first (much nicer in my opinion) it is no extra to get in here. Go figure.



    Opposite the Wat is the KP National Museum, which might be worth a visit. We were thinking of our lunch stop however.







    I guess this place must mean something to the Thai- Mrs did a fair bit of Waiing there.



    The eponymous sleeping monk.





    Last edited by sabang; 03-01-2008 at 05:08 PM.

  5. #5
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    So onwards to Tak for a pleasant lunch by the River- pleasant by the river, but average food that is.





    Riverside Tak. From here, we drove onwards for an overnight stop in Chiang Mai before heading to Doi Angkhang next day.

    A venerable Teak Door tradition was continued here, being stood up by CMN, who texted to tell me he could not make it for a beer that evening as he was in Phrae (pretty good excuse really). We checked out the Pub anyway- The Red Lion, h'mm very touristy and located in the midst of a crowded tourist market. But it was the first stop of several, and we ended up getting well pissed.

    Impressions of CM- touristy, some character areas in the centre and old city, and the city has a traffic problem.
    Last edited by sabang; 03-01-2008 at 05:20 PM. Reason: resized another one

  6. #6
    Northern Hermit
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang
    city has a traffic problem.
    Only during holidays does it get real bad
    BTW CMN texted me your phone number I tried to call...

    No answer.

  7. #7
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    We were only in CM for the night of the 28th frankie, and early lunch the next day. If thats when you called, we were probably walking through some crowded tourist area with the phone tucked away in Mrs bag. Shame.

    Anyway, I'll take a break now. Next Thread, Part 2- the drive up to Doi Angkhang, Angkhang Gardens and the village. Part 3- Tha Ton & the drive to Chiang Rai.
    Last edited by sabang; 03-01-2008 at 05:38 PM.

  8. #8
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    No Problem, next time you're in the neighborhood

    Great stuff on Kamphaeng Phet. been through a dozen times, never stopped to see anything. Next time I will.

  9. #9
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    The details of the nite in CM are a bit hazy, but over the river from the night market you've got a row of about three restaurants, each fairly big places with a band playing. We had a nice dinner at the Riverside, then checked out a few places in the adjoining old town, which seemed a nice place to hang out- I think I'll stay around there next time. Then we pub crawled back to our hotel, I've forgotten the name but it was right next to a restaurant called the Steakhouse and cost 800 Bht a nite. CM was heaving with tourists- it was obviously high season- so we were glad to get a hotel with parking.

    I'd like to go back to CM for a few days and get to know it more. It's a pleasant place to wander around, and of course several attractions around it. It won't be in Peak season though- too many tourists, too much traffic. The last time I was in CM was about 12 years ago, and I remembered it as quite a sedate place in comparison.

    ERRATA-

    I clumsily put these Fot's in the wrong albums on TD hosting, so I'll tack them on here:-



    Entrance to the Chinese temple.



    Everything is well signposted and explained in KP historical Parl.
    Last edited by sabang; 04-01-2008 at 10:23 AM.

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