Three days in NE Isaan - Part 1: Phu Tok

Access via the 227/222 Kalasin highway.

For three days I was traveling by bike in the far northeast of Isaan - quite a sparsely populated area, very scenic with still largely natural vegetation. An ideal place for eco-tourists and a wonderful spot for a cozy and tranquil biking trip on a comfortable chopper.

Part 1 brings us to Wat Phu Tok

50 km NNW of Bueng Khong Long, it is built on a huge red sandstone block, overlooking the surrounding green plain.

Seven circumferential wooden platforms are attached to the vertical rock ridges, and linked by steep stairs. It is nicknamed the 'stairway to heaven', and symbolises the seven stages to Buddhist enlightenment. At the top you can roam the small forest. But beware, there are no railings and a fall will likely see you in Nirvana...

It is one of the most breathtaking places that I have ever seen! Climbing on these wooden planks (in good condition!), each 50-60  metres in height and between the sky above and nothing underneath, is an incredible experience, but not for those afraid of heights!


There is virtually no farangs here - NE Isaan is really still 'Unseen Thailand' - and as most Thais are knackered after a few busy meters, I was completely alone at level three, with the exception of three workers and two monks. They were somewhat taken aback by the sight of a 62-year-old farang with his 12kg camera bag ....

IT WAS WONDERFUL !!!

You should go early in the day (cool), and wear stout shoes, and be in reasonably good condition. Don't forget plenty of water, and your mobile in case of emergencies ....

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

Wat Phu Tok

This was the first part of the report on the visit by photographer Gerhard Veer to Wat Phu Tok. The second part of the report, click here. Coordinates for navigational aids and a map can be found at the bottom of the page. More stock images, impressions and information can be seen in this article, and in our photoblog.


posted on: 17.02.2015 - last update on: 14.05.2015

This article ...

Coordinates for your navigation device

Latitude: 18.129743
Longitude: 103.882163

Three days in NE Isaan - Part 1: Phu Tok on Google Maps



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