Off on our holidays
Trip Start Sep 21, 2011
175Trip End Mar 21, 2012
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Kust before we get to Roi Et we take a short detour to see an old Khmer temple phrang that is signposted as being only 1km off the main road. For once they are right and it is only about 400m. The temple of Phrang Ku was built under the Khmer King Jayavaraman in the 12/13 centuries and it is only the central prang that is still standing
Returning to the main road we are soon in Roi Et and looking for a hotel. I have a few names in mind but finding them could prove to be a problem so we just cruise around looking for a while. Spot one of the places on my list, the Sai Thip Hotel, and stop for a look. Ask to see an aircon room but am told to look at a fan room which looks the same. I pojt out that the fan room doesnt have a bathroom and that I want to see an aircon room with the bathroom but it is all too much trouble for the guy at reception who returns to his newspaper with a shrug. Needless to say we leave and wont be returning. We phone the Petcharat Garden Hotel which looks to be quite classy and at the top end of our budget for this trip and they give Jai directions (left, left, then right, then straight on the n left again etc etc etc). Jai cant follow this at all so we ask someone who is passing who tells us to go 200m down the road, over the bridge and turn right. Easy enough and we are soon at the hotel. Looks good but a bit impersonal. A place that businessmen might stay but not travellers
We dump our bags then head out to visit a temple that we pass every time that we are passing through the city on the bus. Wat Buraphaphiram has a large standing buddha which I have been led to believe was 100m tall. The name Roi Et actually means 101 in Thai. We wander around the temple and I spot a notice in English and Thai that tells us that the buddha is actually 59.2 m tall or 67.85m if you include the concrete base. Not 101m at all but still they proudly claim it is the tallest buddha in the world to be portrayed in the 'blessing posture' - hand raised. Find a strange group of concrete figures sat in a semi-circle listening to another concrete figure preach a sermon - well, obviously not actually listening but ... There is a small cave beneath a huge tree that has a reclining buddha but there is not much else here
We ride back through town and park up by Palanchai Lake where we wander about for a while. The park is really nice and we visit the city shrine, spirit house, of chao phor Mahesak and Phra Buddha Kodom sat on a rise in the ground overlooking the lake. In the distance we can see a number of Donald Duck pedalo boats on the water and have to investigate. It is a lovely spot that actually puts me into a holiday frame of mind.
We bike back into town for some lunch at a duck and rice place at the side of the road then picking up a couple of coffees we head back to thehotel to cool off for a while from the midday sun. On our way back we stop to have a look at the Roi Et City Hotel which at 990Bht a night seems no better than what we already have.
Mid-afternoon we are off back to Palanchai Lake and our date with Donald. We board another cartoon boat - Donald wasnt available - and at 40bht for 30mins it was a really good deal. Hard work peddling the boat around in the hat though. Made the mistake of going down to the one corner of the lake only to find that when we turned around we were heading into the wind and were pretty tired and hot by the time we got back
Spend another hour or so in the gardens where there is a fitness park and a 'zoo'. The zoo turned out to be concrete animals amongst the bushes but all in all a very nice place.
Back to the room then down to the swimming pool for a stretch and a cool off. A few people around but fairly quiet and enjoy a good swim.
We go back out after dark and find that a lot of the park is now lit with coloured lights and is very busy with people jogging and eating on mats. We stop at what appears to be a 'farang' bar called 'The Happy Man' which turns out to be run by an American guy. Have a beer and a chat but not too much going for it in terms of location. Had been told about another bar but havent found it yet. We eat noodles on the street corner then return to the hotel about 20:30 - a late night for me !!