It occurred to me that I haven’t pointed out on a map where I’ll be spending a majority of the next two years and this is pretty much as good as I can get for you…
You see the city named Uthai Thani? Imagine me 70km to the left of that where the road makes that distinct curve down and it turns into the more mountain-y area. Unfortunately, the main city in my province isn’t very big, so I have to leave to go to one of the neighboring provinces for things like pizza and legitimate supplies shopping. The other unfortunate thing is the public transportation as it takes me two hours on the bus just to get to Uthai city and then a further hour-plus bus ride to Nakhon Sawon, the most legit city closest to me. Suphan Buri, where we went for Reconnect, is another solid option, but it doesn’t have much to offer.
Things I didn’t know until I researched this post: my amphur district is over half of my province, is the third largest district in Thailand, and has an astounding population of 8,616 people (I would never have guessed that many in a million years). I happen to live in one of the villages close to the district center, 3 km, so I’m really lucky that way.
There are also tons of things to do in my province according to Wikipedia (taken straight from their ‘sights’ of Uthai Thani):
Wat Sankat Rattana Khiri (วัดสังกัสรัตนคีรี): Inside the main hall is “Phra Phuttha Mongkhon Sai Sit” or “Luang Pho Mongkhon”, an ancient bronze Buddha image form the Sukhothai period. In addition, in one corner of the temple is a pavilion housing a statue of the father of King Rama I.
Wat Ubosatharam (วัดอุโบสถาราม): Many historical sites and artefacts are found inside. Also of interest are the octagonal multi-tiered roof, the Bot Nam raft, the replica of Lord Buddha’s footprint from the time of King Rama IV, a silver Buddha image and gifts from King Rama V to Luang Pho Chan Wat Bot.
Bot Nam (โบสถ์น้ำ): It was built to receive King Rama V when he visited northern provinces in 1906. Originally a twin raft, it has an elongated carved apex of the gable like normal temple main halls. Today the raft is used by raft residents for religious ceremonies.
Rafts on Sakae Krang River (เรือนแพลำน้ำสะแกกรัง) reflect the lifestyle of Uthai Thani people that has always been linked with water. Water is used here to grow pandanus and for raising fish in floating baskets, particularly gourami. This has become the main occupation of the province and has made it famous.
Wat Chantharam or Wat Tha Sung (วัดจันทารามหรือวัดท่าซุง): It is an old temple from the Ayutthaya period. The item of note in this temple is a pulpit built by Luang Pho Yai. More buildings were later added by the monk Phra Ratchaphrom Yan Nen (Luang Pho Rusi Ling Dam).
Local History and Cultural Museum (ศูนย์วิทยาศาสตร์เทคโนโลยีและสิ่งแวดล้อม): On display are prehistoric human skeletons, clothes, regalia of city lords and a room with wooden models of Thai houses.
Wat Thammakhosok (วัดธรรมโฆษก): This temple was used for holding rites by Uthai Thani government officials where they pledge allegiance to the king. It was also in service as an execution site. The most interesting edifices are the chapel and the main Buddha image hall.
Wat Thap Than (วัดทัพทัน): The items of interest here is the lovely carved door depicting an angel holding an arrow standing on a serpent and another of an angel tending deer holding a pike on a lion.
Thalaad Kwai Thap Than is a lively market for water buffaloes. It is a great opportunity to study these huge mammals in large quantities.
Ban Khok Mo Weaving Village (แหล่งทอผ้าพื้นเมืองบ้านโคกหม้อ) is a small village of Thai-Lao residents whose ancestors migrated here in the Rattanakosinperiod. Villagers take to weaving when the harvest ends. Their products are made from Sin Tin Chok Silk, Mat Mi silk and traditional-style fabrics with floral patterns.
Bung Khok Chang Ancient City (เมืองโบราณบึงคอกช้าง) was a town surrounded by a moat and an earthen wall. A sacred pond is at the outer corner of each wall. Artefacts unearthed here include tools, utensils and a stone scripture in the Mon language.
Prehistoric colour drawings at Khao Pla Ra (ภาพเขียนสีก่อนประวัติศาสตร์เขาปลาร้า): These coloured cave drawings stretch for around 9 metres. The prehistoric and detailed drawings are of humans and animals in red and black. They are certainly invaluable as part of the artistic heritage of the country.
Tham Hup Pa Tat (ถ้ำหุบป่าตาด): The mountain range surrounding the valley is a limestone range. The way up to this cave is through a margosa forest. The valley has a higher humidity than it surrounds, contributing to the abundant flora.
Tham Khao Khong Chai (ถ้ำเขาฆ้องชัย) is a cave on a limestone mountain range, which is renowned for its natural beauty, with an elevation of about 353 metres. The first cave is large and stone tools and earthenware pieces were discovered here.
Khao Phraya Phai Rua (เขาพระยาพายเรือ): The mountain is shaped like a Chinese junk and is surrounded by a natural moat. It is covered with many species of plants and there are altogether 12 caves leading underground.
Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary (เขตรักษาพันธุ์สัตว์ป่าห้วยขาแข้ง) consists of almost every kind of forest found in Thailand. The unspoiled nature of the reserve makes it an ideal home to various rare and endangered animals. Due to these attributes, Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Reserve was named by UNESCO as a Natural World Heritage Site.
Ban Samo Thong Hot Spring (น้ำพุร้อนบ้านสมอทอง): This is a small spring with clear water, pungent with the aroma of sulphur. The spring has an area of 4,000 square metres and consists of 3 separate springs.
Namtok Cyber (น้ำตกไซเบอร์): The waterfall is situated amidst nature surrounded by the Huai Kha Khaeng forest. The water comes from the western mountain of the nature reserve, resulting in a medium-sized waterfall that drops down several levels before splashing on the boulders below.
Wat Khao Wong (วัดเขาวงพรหมจรรย์) is a temple in a valley. It has a beautiful two-storey Thai-style convocation hall. The monastery is the 13th of 19 branches of Wat Sangkhathan in Nonthaburi. Other branches can be found in places such as Chiang Mai, Um Phang, the United Kingdom and India.
Lan Sak Amphoe: Very old teak trees line this picturesque town’s access roads. The town is famous for solid furniture made from this precious wood.
Namtok Pha Rom Yen (น้ำตกผาร่มเย็น): The highlight of this waterfall lies its uniqueness of being a limestone waterfall that falls from a cliff. It can be clearly seen from the road nearby. This beautiful waterfall flows from a small stream 4 levels up.
Ban I Mat-I Sai Hill Tribe Cultural Centre is in Tambon Kaen Makrut. The centre has a house with a raised lower floor, a thatched roof and bamboo walls.
If you’ve made it through all of that, good job! I’m not even sure what all I’ve been to yet, maybe I should try seeing some of these things before making another trip to the beach…maybe not. Come to visit and I’ll have a reason to get out and explore!