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Southern Isaan comprises three provinces, namely Yasothon, Amnat Charoen and Ubon Ratchathani, and this area is widely held to be the richest in the region with regard to nature. Apart from being the area where three major rivers meet – the Mekong, Chi and Moon Rivers – it is also an area that contains several national parks, including Pha Taem, Kaeng Tana, Phu Jong Na Yoi, and Phu Sa Dok Bua. In particular in the rainy season, apart from all the other wonders of nature, the whole place is a verdant green, and this is a period of time for discovering unusual tourist spots that have their own particular attraction, and other natural phenomena that are of interest and worth studying. In fact there are six ‘bases’ awaiting tourists – those who love nature and are looking at tourism from a different perspective – with natural phenomena that are so interesting, and occurring at tourist spots and along popular tourist routes that are convenient, without ever being of any danger to you the tourist. Most important of all is that you can follow a prepared tourist route and visit a large number of very interesting tourist areas very conveniently.
We would like to welcome you to the tourist spots supplied by nature in Isaan, and most especially the naturally occurring phenomena that are extremely magnificent and that can only be experienced during the rainy season.

Saeng Chan Waterfall, also called Roo Waterfall, is a stream that flows out through a hole (roo) above a stone cave. It looks like beams of light streaming to earth from the sun. The amazing beauty of Saeng Chan Waterfall has made it one of the tourist spots of Unseen Thailand, and was used as a setting for a television commercial for Regency Brandy in the Golden Land.

Saeng Chan Waterfall is situated at Ban Tung Na Muang, Tambon Na Po Klang, Amphur Kong Chiem in Pha Taem National Park. It is about 145 kilometres from the city of Ubon Ratchathani, and it is possible to travel from there to many other notable tourist spots, for example Pha Taem, Kong Chiem, Kaeng Tana, Raak Sai Waterfall, the Sirindhorn Dam, the Thai-Laos border market at Chong Mek, and Kaeng Saphue.

The best time for viewing the splendours of the waterfalls is from August to October, and at the end of the rainy season/beginning of the cool season. In the areas leading up to the waterfalls, there is an abundance of flowers.
You can obtain further information from Pha Taem National Park, Amphur Kong Chiem, Ubon Ratchathani province, telephone: 0-4524-9780, 0-4526-4332-3; Na Po Klang Sub-District Administration Office, Amphur Kong Chiem, telephone: 0-4538-1063, 08-1321-2852, or Huai Pai Sub-District Administration Office, telephone:  0-4535-1287

This waterfall flows down over a cliff edge beside the Moon River closely following the roots of trees, and looks like a bamboo curtain reaching down from the cliff top to the ground below and forming a mist of water – beautiful as well as amazing to look at.

Raak Sai Waterfall is one of many tourist spots on a nature study trail that is just 500 metres long on the banks of the Moon River in Kaeng Tana National Park. Besides marvelling at the natural water curtain, you can also see many kinds of natural vegetation including all types of mosses, lichens and ferns. You will also see traces of civilisation from the 12th Century B.E. near a cave at the end of the trail. It is a short trail along which you can trek and take in the many, many natural surroundings.

The waterfall is at its most beautiful between August and October, when there are also fields of flowers either side of the trail.
At the end of the rainy season/beginning of the cool season, there are fields of flowers of many varieties in the area.
Kaeng Tana National Park is situated about 85 kilometres from the city of Ubon Ratchathani on the main tourist route of the province, a route on which you can visit many other tourist spots, for

example That Thon Waterfall, the Chong Mek Thai-Laos border post, and the two-coloured river.

December to May is a period of time when you will see the beauty of Kaeng Tana. Nearby there is a horse conservation centre at Ban Nong Chat, Amphur Sirindhorn, which is operated by Ajarn Suchart Wanbreedee. Telephone: 08-1955-8369, 0-4524-3833. For further information, please contact Kaeng Tana National Park on 0-4540-6888 email : reserve@dnp.go.th

Huai Luang Waterfall, also known as Pak Taew Waterfall, is a large waterfall set in an abundance of nature. Water flows over the edge of a cliff 45 metres tall and drops to an emerald green basin below which is surrounded by a white sandy beach. It is the largest, tallest and most beautiful waterfall in the southern part of Isaan.
Huai Luang Waterfall is situated in Phu Jong Na Yoi National Park, Amphur Na Cha Luai, Ubon Ratchathani province, and is about 130 kilometres from the city of Ubon.
    - The waterfall is most beautiful between July and October.

    - At the end of the rainy season/beginning of the cool season, there are fields of flowers of many varieties in the area.
Further information can be obtained from Phu Jong Na Yoi National Park, Amphur Na Cha Luai. Telephone: 0-4551-1515-6

Pha Mor E-Daeng is a 500-metre-tall cliff which is part of the border between Thailand and Cambodia. It is also the entrance to Khao Phra Wiharn Castle. This cliff, in addition to being an ideal spot to get a view of the Khmer lowlands and the place where there are 100 of the oldest stone carvings in Thailand, is yet another part of Unseen Thailand. In the rainy season, a sea of clouds appears after air that continually blows in from the Khmer lowlands hits the cliffs. This spectacle attracts the attention of many who go to see Pha Mor E-Daeng in the rainy season giving them the opportunity to shower in the clouds most impressively.

Khao Phra Wiharn National Park is situated in Amphur Kantaralak, Sri Sa Ket province. It is only about 98 kilometres from the cities of Sri Sa Ket and Ubon Ratchathani.

    - The period of time when the clouds are most beautiful is between July and October.
   - At the end of the rainy season/beginning of the cool season, there are fields of flowers of many varieties in the area.
  Khao Phra Wiharn orchids flower in May and June. The blooms are very large.
Further information can be obtained from Khao Phra Wiharn National Park. Telephone: 0-4561 9214 , 0-1528–3268

The phenomenon ‘Parade of the Prawns’ occurs at Kaeng Lam Duan in an area belonging to Ubon Ratchathani Animal Conservation Station, Amphur Nam Yeun. The parade occurs in the middle of the night after heavy rain, or when the current in the water of Kaeng Lam Duan is strong. It is counted as being an amazing wonder of nature that is certainly worth studying.

Kaeng Lam Duan is situated 16 kilometres from Nam Yeun town centre, and about 160 kilometres from the centre of Ubon Ratchathani city. It is convenient to visit this tourist spot on the same route as Huai Luang Waterfall.

    - The best time to go there is between the end of August and the end of September.
    - It is on the same tourist route as
Khao Phra Wiharn National Park.
Further information can be obtained from 0-4581-6071 email :  wihan_np@hotmail.com
Ubon Ratchathani Tourist Information Office would like to recommend seven places in the Mekong – Chi – Moon River basin where traditional long boat races will be held. These events are very famous in southern Isaan and can be part of a tour of the area that covers many other tourist destinations. The competitions take place in the September to November period 2551 B.E. and comprise: Traditional Long Boat Race, on the Moon River at Po Tak Temple, Amphur Phibun Mangsahan, Ubon Ratchathani province; Ban Ta Waree Cup Competition, Amphur Keuang Nai, Ubon Ratchathani province; Thai-Laos Long Boat Race for the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup on the Mekong River in front of Amphur Khemarat Municipal Offices, Amphur Khemarat, Ubon Ratchathani province; The Phibun Mangsahan Long Boat Race on the Moon River where the bridge crosses the river, Amphur Phibun Mangsahan, Ubon Ratchathani province; Cha Nu Man Mekong River Long Boat Race for the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup on the Mekong River in front of Tambon Cha Nu Man Municipal Offices, Amphur Cha Nu Man, Amnat Charoen province; The Ubon Ratchathani Long Boat Race for the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup on the Moon River in the Ubon Ratchathani Municipal District; and, The Yasothon Traditional Long Boat Race.
Further details about participating in the activities and visiting nearby tourist spots can be obtained from Ubon Ratchathani Tourist Information Office, telephone 0-4525-3770, 0-4525-0714, or from their website: www.tatubon.org.

When mentioning Ubon Ratchathani province, many people would picture the magnificent Candle Festival, or the area of Siam that the sun kisses first every day. In reality, Ubon Ratchathani, the only place that uses the name Ratchathani in Siam (‘Ratchathani’ means ‘capital city’) and is well-known as ‘The City of the Beautiful Lotus Blossom, the Two-coloured River, and Delicious Fish’, has many other things of interest as well. Whether it is the beauty of nature, the unique customs and traditions, or the many races that live here, the most important thing of all is that Ubon Ratchathani is the centre for the dissemination of Buddhism in this country, particularly with respect to moral principles and meditation. As a result, the upcoming festival that marks the end of Buddhist Lent is an activity that the Thailand Tourist Information Office, Ubon Ratchathani branch, is ready to recommend along with experiencing the Fire Serpent phenomenon at Pha Taem so that all of our visitors will receive the maximum merit and happiness at the same time.

You can see the fire serpent phenomenon in which fireballs shoot up from the river in three places in the Mekong River at Kong Chiem: at Ban Gum (2 fireballs), Ban Tha Loang (22 fireballs), and Ban Ta Mui (24 fireballs). The phenomenon was first seen at the end of Buddhist Lent in 2548 B.E. and the story quickly spread as a rumour in the area. The following year, Huai Pai Sub-district Administration Organisation proved the existence of the phenomenon by having around ten thousand tourists from all parts come to witness it and the supernatural phenomenon was experienced in 2549 B.E. and in 2550 B.E. This year, the end of Buddhist Lent falls on 14th October, and Huai Pai Sub-district Administration Organisation, together with various other agencies, has arranged the event as a more formal tourist attraction in order to prevent problems with car parking at the sites and accommodation for those who come to witness the events. This will make it more convenient for tourists and, due to the large number of tourists that come (around 10,000), there is a need for increased safety precautions too. So, volunteers and officials from various agencies including the police have been drafted in to help tourists during the time that they come to see the phenomenon.

It happened that an orange fireball shot up from the middle of the Mekong River close to where the Navy boats are moored. Looking at the fireball, it could be seen that it did not have the characteristics of a fireball that had been fired, say from a gun, and did not shoot up with a curved trajectory.

 When it reached its peak, it fell back into the river but the fireball disappeared into the darkness of the air. Therefore, we can say that the phenomenon that occurred was not man-made because the fireball shot up into the air in the same way that fireballs shoot up from the Mekong River in Nong Khai. We in Ubon Ratchathani province are not competing with the display in Nong Khai, but it is an alternative for those who have already seen the phenomenon in Nong Khai and would like to experience it again. You can see the phenomenon at Amphur Kong Chiem. This includes people who live near Ubon Ratchathani province who can come to witness the experience during the evening and then travel home afterwards. This year, the district has put up signs directing you to the sites as well as arranging car parking facilities for at least 2,000 people.

Mr. Peter Gadd : Translator

 
 

 

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