Travel Letters

Scenic Isan

Nang Rong District

Buriram Province


November 20, 2021


This recent trip with Jenjira to three Isan provinces - Nakhon Ratchasima, Buriram and Surin in the northeast - reconfirms for me that Isan is the true “Heart of Thailand.”


The Elephant Parade

Tha Tum District

Surin Province


November 19, 2021


In all my years traveling and living in Thailand, I have never attended the Elephant Round-up in Surin.  The huge celebration takes place in November and is one of the most popular events in Isan.

But today, just by accident, Jenrira and I found ourselves on an elephant parade route through this small community.  I suppose this Elephant Parade is associated with the Loy Kratong festival today.

After all the excitement, I will certainly add The Elephant Round-up to my “Thailand Must See” list.


Two Ancient Khmer Temples

Nang Rong



November 18, 2022


Prasat Muang Tam

Prasat Muang Tam (Thai: ปราสาทเมืองต่ำ, pronounced [prāː.sàːt mɯ̄a̯ŋ tàm]; lit. 'lowland castle') is a Khmer Hindu Temple in Prakhon Chai District, Buriram Province, Thailand. It is primarily in the Khleang and Baphuon styles, which dates its primary phases of construction to the late-10th and early-11th centuries. The primary deity was Shiva, although Vishnu was also worshipped there.

Like most Hindu temples, Muang Tam is oriented towards the east. It has a flat concentric plan, with a central sanctuary and two surrounded successively by an inner enclosure, ponds, and an outer enclosure. The ponds between the enclosures are an unusual feature of the temple, as is the central sanctuary, which is not elevated and has its towers arranged in rows of three and two. All the towers except the central one have been restored.

Wat Phayap

Nakhon Ratchasima City (Khorat)

Nakhon Ratchasima Province

November 17, 2021


The cave on the grounds of Wat Phayap is not the most stunning or inspiring cave.  The cave is small, about 16 by 12 meters, 3 meters high (52 ft x 39 ft x 10 ft).

 But, the story is appealing.

This cave is completely RECONSTRUCTED.   You might say artificial.  Certainly not natural.  The “cave” was built from rocks from neighboring Saraburi Province.

The cave is named Parat Cha Wemonmoree in honor of the monk who was the head of the Wat Phayap temple, and who initiated the construction of the cave.

Wat Luang Phor Toh


Sikhio District

Nakhon Ratchasima Province


November 16, 2021

Wat Luang Phor Toh is an elegant Buddhist Temple that was built with funds donated by a famous Thai actor who became a monk.

The Grand Hall honors him with an enormous golden sculpture in his likeness.

The surrounding grounds and gardens are decorated with enormous boulders.

A traditional Buddhist temple is on the far side of a placid pond..