2015 - North-Eastern Thailand and Laos - Day 4

North-Eastern (I-San) Thailand and Laos, 16 Nov - 10 Dec 2015 (25days)
L-R: Ching Neng Bin, Chan Meng Fye, Chia Chai Ling, Chew Leng Soon

Day 04 (19 Nov) Khon Kaen City to Kalasin (80km)

This morning at 10am was travelling by bus to Kalasin and arriving at its new bus station at 11.40am. We then took a tuktuk to a nearby place and stayed at AP Garden beside Kud Nam Kin Lake.

Kalasin, the land of Pong Lang music and the famous Phrae Wa cloth is also the site of the ancient city of Fa Daet Song Yang and one of the largest concentrations of dinosaur fossils in northeastern Thailand.

At 1pm we traveled by van from the bus station to visit The Sirindhorn or Phu Kum Khayo Dinosaur museum and had lunch there. On the way back we stopped in Kalasin town to visit the Kalasin City Shrine, Wat Klang a third-class royal temple and Wat Tai Pho Kham. Sleeping at AP Garden, Kalasin

Morning breakfast in a shop opposite our Roma Hotel.

The bus that dropped us in Kalasin bus station.

We took this smaller songthaew to the AP Garden Hotel nearby.

We stayed at AP Garden Hotel beside Kud Nam Kin Lake, Kalasin.
AP Garden Hotel at TB400 per twin room.

Kud Nam Kin lake in front of AP Garden hotel. It is a public park just west of Kalasin's bus station. A very nice little lake with a recreation park at the western side. In the evening many local people come here to do jogging around the lake or to use the sports instrument who are free for public use, including those in the small gymnasium there. The lake's shore is dotted with small restaurants.

We had Som-Tam for lunch in front of Dinosaur museum.

Sirindhorn dinosaur museum near Sahatsakhan, 31km from Kalasin. Entire skeletons had been found. Most are large, long-necked, plant eating Sauropods that lived about 130 millions years ago.

Kalasin contains the largest concentration of Jurassic era dinosaur fossils in north eastern Thailand, located in Phu Kum Khayo where archaeologists have excavated whole fossils of Sauropods.

In the Sirindhorn museum's garden are many dinosaur sculptures placed. At the slopes, about 200m from the main museum, is an excavation site open for the public which shows original dinosaur remains in the ground. More than 700 Dino-bones have been found here.

The museum was named by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. A two-storey building, its interior is filled with mysterious walkways guiding visitors to travel back in time to the Palaeozoic Era. Walking through the tunnels, visitors reach various exhibition halls about Geology, the beginnings of the Earth and how it was formed, as well as the evolution of living creatures such as dinosaurs and humans. The 8 exhibition zones: 1st zone: The Origin of the Earth and Universe. 2nd: The Origin of the Living Things. 3rd: Paleozoic Era. 4th: Mesozoic Era, Thai dinosaur. 5th: Dinosaurs in Thailand. 6th: Bring life to dinosaur. 7th: Cenozoic Era. 8th: Human being.

In the main museum the whole evolvement of the universe is sketched, beginning with the big bang theory and the development of the solar system with it's tenth planet has been discovered.
The Earth’s Geologic Time Scale. Evidence from radiometric dating indicates that the Earth is about 4.570 billion years old. The largest defined unit of time is the supereon, composed of eons. Eons are divided into eras, which are in turn divided into periods, epochs and ages. The terms eonothem, erathem, system, series, and stage are used to refer to the layers of rock that correspond to these periods of geologic time. Years are expressed as MYA or MA, meaning “million years ago.”
Eon: Half a billion years or more.
Era: Several hundred million years.
Epoch: Tens of millions of years.
Age: Millions of years.

The next zone explains and illustrates the geological development on the early earth, followed by the biological evolution.

Beautiful stones and crystals on display in Sirindhorn Museum.

The Palaeozoic Era was two hundred million years ago, long before humans existed. Dinosaurs once lived in this area and we find their fossils underneath the sandstone bedding-plane. Hence, the museum is a research centre as well as being the most complete and largest dinosaur museum in Southeast Asia.


A more comprehensive display of such fossils can be found in the Sirindhorn Museum, Kalasin.

The museum’s outstanding exhibits include life-sized skeletons of the many significant dinosaur species discovered in this area, such as Phuwiangosaurus sirindhornae, Siamosaurus suteethorni and Siamotyrannus isanensis. In addition, also displayed in the museum, is the actual archaeological dig-site where fossils of six dinosaurs were unearthed from the same bedding-plane.

The real fossils on display.

The dino eggs are at least 20cm in length and weight certainly several hundred grams.

In the center of the museum, under a large glass dome, are several dinosaur skeletons placed.

The two dinosaur skulls are part of the collection of skeletons in the museum's center.

Early human evolution. In the last zone are skulls from different hominids between the age of 4 million years via a homo erectus from Sangiran in Java ('The Java Man'), a Neanderthal man (homo neandertalensis) and finally a modern cro-magnon (homo sapiens) man from Germany.

Homo erectus is an extinct species of hominid that lived throughout most of the Pleistocene geological epoch. Its earliest fossil evidence dates to 1.9 million years ago and the most recent to 70,000 years ago.

Neanderthals were a species of human in the genus Homo which became extinct around 40,000 ago.

Homo sapiens is the binomial nomenclature for the only extant human species. Homo is the human genus, which also includes Neanderthals and many other extinct species of hominid; H. sapiens is the only surviving species of the genus Homo.

Kalasin City Shrine

Phraya Chaisunthon Monument (Chao Somphamit). This monument is in front of the post office in the city. The life-sized monument is made from bronze in a standing position with the right hand holding a teapot, and left hand holding a magic sword. The people of Kalasin donated the money to build this monument so to express their gratitude to the founder of the city. Phraya Chai Sunthon or Thao Somphamit evacuated people from the left bank of the Mekong River to settle along the Pao River over 200 years ago.

Wat Klang is a third-class royal temple. Within the temple’s compound, there is an Ubosot (chapel), which was once an extension from the old building.

The Thai-style Ubosot is decorated with Chofa (gable finials) and Baraka (crocketts).

The wooden doors are ornately carved to depict the story of the Lord Buddha and the Buddhist theme is continued on at the windows.  There are stucco door statues – “guardians” - in the front and at the rear.

Inside the pavilion or Sala near the Ubosot is a beautiful, black Buddha image made from bronze with a lap 20 inches wide.
Wat Tai Pho Kham, Kalasin.

Wat Tai Pho Kham, Kalasin.

Beautiful sunset at the Kud Nam Kin Lake, Kalasin.

Beautiful sunset at the Kud Nam Kin Lake, Kalasin.

Our dinner at a shop beside our hotel - nice fried rice and tomyum.

Tom-yum is a Thai soup, usually cooked with shrimps.

Click below to view:

North-Eastern Thailand and Laos - Introduction
Day 01 (16.11.15) AirAsia AK 856 KUL. 12.45pm to Chiang Mai, (1738km)
Day 02 (17 Nov) Chiang Mai to Loei to Phu Kradueng to Khon Kaen (691km)
Day 03 (18 Nov) Khon Kaen City walk around
Day 04 (19 Nov) Khon Kaen City to Kalasin (80km)
Day 05 (20 Nov) Kalasin to Sakon Nakhon (129km)

Day 06 (21 Nov) Sakon Nakhon to Nakhon Phanom (92km)
Day 07 (22 Nov) Nakhon Phanom - day trip to Thakhek, Laos (62km)
Day 08 (23 Nov) Nakhon Phanom to Mukdahan (125km)
Day 09 (24 Nov) Mukdahan - trip to Phu Pha Thoet National Park (108km)
Day 10 (25 Nov) Mukdahan to Ubon Ratchathani by bus (194km)

Day 11 (26 Nov) Ubon Ratchathani to Pakse to Si Phan Don, Laos (291km)
Day 12 (27 Nov) Si Phan Don - a long walk to Somphamit Waterfall
Day 13 (28 Nov) Si Phan Don to Ubon Ratchathani by bus (291km)
Day 14 (29 Nov) Ubon Ratchathani to Si Sa Ket by van (67km)
Day 15 (30 Nov) Si Sa Ket to Buri Ram by train (148km)

Day 16 (01 Dec) Buri Ram - day visit to 3 places (219km)
Day 17 (02 Dec) Buri Ram to Nakhon Ratchasima by train (129km)
Day 18 (03 Dec) Nakhon Ratchasima - day trip to Phimai (120km)
Day 19 (04 Dec) Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok by train (264km)
Day 20 (05 Dec) Bangkok - Chao Phraya River boat ride to Khaosan Road

Day 21 (06 Dec) Bangkok - rest day and dinner at Royal Bangkok Sports Club
Day 22 (07 Dec) Bangkok to Prachuap Khiri Khan by train (320km)
Day 23 (08 Dec) Prachuap Khiri Khan
Day 24 (09 Dec) Prachuap Khiri Khan to Hatyai by night train (660km) 

Day 25 (10 Dec) Hatyai to Butterworth by train and to KL by bus (555km)