When I posted photos of Sam Pan Boak "Grand Canyon of Thailandon" Facebook, many of my friends kept asking me wonderingly about where is that place and is it really in Thailand?
Of course, it is in Thailand. (Actually I want to say that I can't afford to go abroad yet......)
I think for many travel lovers, this place is a familiar attraction already. But I'm also sure many more people are still new to this magnificent place.
And I really want to share this beautiful place of Thailand to everyone via this review and letting you know that Thailand still have many more unseen beauty waiting to be discovered......
This trip is all started from the aspiration to see the flower fields at Soi Sawan Waterfall in Ubon Ratchathani province.
And then, we do some research and find out more attractions like Sam Pan Boak, Had Hong, Pha Chanadai, Longru Waterfall and Zeunwan, the new shopping center of Ubon.
But...we only have 3 days and 2 nights, and it's already 10 hours just by driving, are we able to make them all?
This trip we have 4 members, it costs 2,000 THB each. I think it's very cheap and so worth the trip.
We leave Bangkok since 9 am. and drive straight to Ubon. It is considerably far from Bangkok and the chauffeur can be quite tiring for driving 700 km. straight.
And approximately 8 pm, we reach our accommodation at "Ban Suan Natchana".
At first we were going to set up the tent and sleep near the Kong River but Ajarn Ruengpratin (Ruengpratin teacher), the owner of Ban Suan Natchana told us that the place is not ready yet........what a pity.
So then we rent the room, it is 900 THB per night and can accommodate 3 people. However, we all sleep together and paid extra fee.
The room is very comfy, not too small. In fact, we also won't be sleeping long because we will be waking up very early the next morning
When we first arrive at Ban Suan Natchana, it is really quiet. But things change once Ajarn. Ruengpratin return.
He takes the guests to take photo of the stars, the Milky Way and also teach us some good technique of photography. It is a very fun and enjoyable time.
Ajarn is kind and very hospitality and before going to bed, he said 'see you again tomorrow at 5.30 am'
So what time shall we wake up then.... !?
At first I was thinking that I will just set alarm clock and if I really can't make it then I will not go.
But.....the next morning I wake up even before the alarm clock has a chance to make noise.
When traveling, I find myself being so diligent. When working, have I been this hard working before....!?
Ajarn said today he will take us to see sunrise at "Pha Wadjai" (testing one's gut cliff). I have seen some photos of this place before and now I'm super excited to see it in person! Just a very short drive from Ban Suan Natchana and we already at the cliff.
Before reaching the Pha Wadjai, we see this Twilight light....A real Thai folk classic...so worth of waking up at 5 am this morning. (-_-) zzz
In this early morning while we are still drowsy, the local ships have already been set out in the river for fishing. And we are just so amazed by this beautiful view.
This view, the local people are already used to, but it is different from us who have traveled so far in seeking for this beauty. And we are just so happy to simply sit and appreciate the sunrise moment.
Some people may see this morning view and feel ordinary but for us, seeing this view easily making us so thrilled and happy.
And then Ajarn call up our group to take the jumping shots, and we, of course, are more than happy for this generous offer... Here we jump, the stones are almost broken......hahaha (^0^)
And here it is 'Pha Wadjai', it is not so high as the name may suggest... We were also singing 'wadjai' song all the way up there....haha, good time...
Some tourists will go back to take some rest after Pha Wadjai and will take off for Sam Pan Boak again in the late morning.
But...we want to go there right away so Ajarn call the boat to pick us up at this cliff.
And then our small boat captain is taking us towards our next destination...
Just riding for a few minutes and we are arriving.....at... Sam Pan Boak.
Today is not so many tourists. I quite like it but the sun is also quite strong even though it's still not yet 7 am.
This is emerald pool. It's not only Krabi that has emerald water, Sam Pan Boak also does. The water is so tempting, it's like swimming pool. But our young tour guide warn us that it's quite deep. Do you think that we will be scared?........... Of course, we are! haha, whoever jump into it could be insane.
Sam Pan Boak photos are not much because the sun is too strong. (well, actually, it's not because of that, we have taken many but not so eye-catching so dare not to post them here, hahaha)
Here are our small little guide (may be not so small?) who take us for Sam Pan Boak touring.
Just stop by to check in at top-hit Boak "Mickey Mouse". But it is a little bit too much bubble, did someone jsut pee here?
After that, we continue to take the boat to Had Hong (Hong beach) and now it's just a little past 7 am.
But I want to say here is so hot! hot! and very hot! I highly recommend you all to take some sun protectors. At first, I was thinking not to get down because it's extremely hot but when I see the desert, I changed my mind. Let's just go enjoy the Had Hong and pretending that we are at Sahara...
The advantage of bright sun is that the photos taken are also very colorful. * So don't forget to wear bright color clothes so that we can have beautiful photos*
This is just like a desert and would be perfect if camels were happen to be around.....Next time, we probably can rent some camels from Khao Din (Dusit Zoo).....
And I want to end our Sam Pan Boak attraction with this photo.
Upon return from Sam Pan Boak, we have breakfast at Ban Suan Natchana.
After that, we are heading towards Soi Sawan Waterfall to appreciate flower field, the aspiration of this trip.
We have to climb up a bit once we arrive at the Waterfall and the water is quite dry up now.
We need to climb instead of simply walking because we chose to walk up from waterfall not the ordinary way as provided. And on the way up we see these kids jumping from the cliff to the water. It is so thrilling because the cliff is so high and the water is so small.
From where we climbed, it seemed not possible to reach the flower field. However, after asking these young teens, they said we could try to walk out so we tried keeping walking and here is the first flower field
For those who expect to see the flower field with big flowers all blossoming, in fact, it's not like that.
It is the flower field of many small flowers blossoming in a wide spacious field. I'm not disappointed at all because it is also very beautiful, especially with blue clear sky, just breath taking. However, the weather here is indeed very hot. We arrive here around 1 pm, and the sun is just burning us, so again, please bring the sun protecting equipment with you. This sun is truly too strong that you might be even pass out. Again, I'm not be able to take many photos.
This fresh bright purple flower is named "Dusita".
And this pale purple flower is called "Ngon Nak".
"Ya Num Kang" (or Drosera Indica), literary it means dew grass. The origin of this name may have come from the fact that this beautiful red flower is seeming to be accompanying by dew at all the time.
For this flower, I don't know what it's called. If anyone know, please also kindly let me know....
This flower seems to be 'Ya Rak Hom' (fragrant-root grass). When we pulling up the flower, we can get the good smell from its root.
But if you were traveling here, please do not pull it up, otherwise, you might have a diarrhea from my spell.
At about 3 pm, we leave Soi Sawan Waterfall and heading towards Pha Chanadai.
Whoever wish to spend a night up there, please prepare food, drink and everything because there's no shops whatsoever on this cliff.
I want to emphasize again, nothing up there, if we forget to prepare, we will definitely be starving. The road is quite difficult, it's like driving on rock land, quite a unique landscape.
From all my trips, I have never experienced this kind of road.
I recommend to drive up with 4WD and the driver should also be experienced. The road is not difficult to drive but can be a challenge to those who are not familiar with this rocky road.
The path up to Pha Chanadai started from the road in front of Wat Tam Patihan (miracle cave temple). It's only 15 km, but we travel for almost 2 hours.
Finally we make it here and then we start setting up our tents and imagine to spend a cold night under a sky filled with stars.
After we arrive, we are also a little surprised because many people are here already. The road is not paved and thus quite a challenge to come up, so we weren't expect to see so many people like this.
When the sky is getting dark, the starts also start to appear themselves all over the sky. A little bit pity is that the weather is not as cold as expected.
All the sleeping bags, winter jackets are all left unused. And this is the best photo I can take with sky filled with star because I don't know how to take them properly.
Tonight we are trying to sleep early so that tomorrow we can wake up early to see the first light of Thailand.
"Tomorrow morning the sun will be rise at Pha Chanadai at 6.30 am" who is familiar with this sentence from the radio broadcast...?
Tomorrow, we are going to follow that voice and see the real sunrise.
Personally, when I travel off Bangkok, I'm really falling in love with sunrise and sunset scenery and never tired of waiting for this moment to come.
Given that fact that I'm usually lazy to wake up but for the sunrise, I almost can wake up without alarm clock.
Just pity my friends who also have to wake up early with me, but believe me, it's all worth it and I really want everyone to see this breath taking moment. Again, this morning I wake up even before 5 am because I'm worried that I might be later than the sun.
Please don't forget to bright a torch with you on the way to Pha Chanadai because it is really dark, you might have fallen somewhere before reaching the destination, haha.
This morning, the sun seems to want to play with us a little bit, we are sitting, yawning and yawing but the sun is still shy. However, we also not give up and continue to wait for its appearance.
While waiting for the sunrise, we can also enjoy the view of Pha Chanadi. This is a true pleasure.
I like the sunrise view here because there's also river view. Usually the sunrise view will only accompany with mountains, mountains, and mountains.
Wowwww... the sun is coming... but....it's not coming like red egg.... a little bit disappointed....
But the journey is unpredictable, the nature has no schedule to tell us how they would come.
Therefore disappointment is usually going hand in hand with any journey. But believe me, in that disappointment,...
There are a lot of good experiences given throughout the journey.
The photo below is Pha Kampan. It is situated left to the Pha Chanadai and is not officially open for tourist yet.
However, some tourists have tried to pioneering the route and it might open soon in the future.
After finish scenery viewing, we come back to pack our bag. This time we pack it so fast because the sun is so bright already.
If you think you will have a good and late morning here, you might want to change your mind, otherwise, you certainly will become a roasting chicken. On the Pha Chanadai, there are many strange shapes of rocks. We didn't take the famous rocks but only the ones that we like. And we would like to name this rock "The Three Musketeers".
That golden pagoda is Wat Tam Patihan. We didn't get to go in because we don't have enough time and must continue to our next destination.
I have seen some photos of the inside and there were very beautiful. But a pity is that we have a very limited time. 3 days 2 nights in Ubon is really not enough time.
Upon reaching down, we have lunch at Sang Jan Waterfall.
This waterfall used to be one of 'Unseen Thailand'. It is really beautiful and all worth the given honor.
Then we leave the waterfall around noon and driving towards Warin Chamrap District for our last destination.
This place is like shopping mall. They have restaurants, cafes, and may more which I'm not sure because when we went there it's still under construction. I want to go this place because I saw a friend post the photos on Facebook. I think it's a very interesting place because it was made from wood and I'm a wood lover. So I say if I have a chance to visit Ubon Ratchathani, I must also visit this place whether it is fully constructed or not.
This place is called "Zuen Wan", it is situated on Sakonmark (warin chamrap-dejudom) Road or the highway number 24. It is located between Koktae intersection and Warin Chamrap branch of Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives. It is 500 meters left of the intersection and 300 meter right of the bank.
When I first heard the name of "Zuen Wan", I was wonder if it's the same owner as "Ploen Wan"....
Up until now, I'm still not sure if it is because they still not officially open. Nevertheless, you are welcome to visit. And upon your visit, the staff will take your photos and post them at http://www.facebook.com/zuenwan. It seems like they are taking photos for every visitor, I think if they are officially open, they will not be able to take photos for everyone anymore.
This place offers many angle for photography. If you like to take photos, I think you will like this place. On the day we went, we also saw beautiful models with many photographers.
And let's end our trip with this beautiful flower form "Zuen Wan".
Ubon Ratchathani province is treasuring something much more than we thought, it's not only simply Sam Pan Boak or Long Ru Waterfall.
But many more unique charm and attractions in which we are also unable to discover them all during this trip.
So please have Ubon Ratchathani pinned for your next trip.
Thank you very much for reading until this line, see you again next trip, Sawas Dee Kha -/\-