Rocky Mountain High
Last weekend I went with my friend David and his family to Khon Buri in Nakhon Ratchasima province for some sightseeing.
Roughly half an hour drive from Khon Buri town is a monastery on a mountain; Wat Khao Chom Thong, from where - after an uphill stairs climb - you can have great views over the area.
This includes an inland lake (Mun Bon) with a 'beach'; Haad Chom Thong, which is apparently popular among the locals as it boasts some restaurants, small boats and more.
However to see this sign on a huge slab of stone in a otherwise bone-dry countryside is kind of funny!
Large part of the drive goes across a weather beaten - but still functional - B-road and ends at a larger than average sized temple with no-one in sight.
According to David the viewpoint was developed many years ago as a tourist destination but hasn't been a great success.
Since then it has become a bit derelict but also a pretty cool off the well-trodden tourist trail place.
The (uneven) steps led us upwards through forest, bamboo and big rock formations.
About 20 minutes later we'd reached the top and admired the view which was very clear that day.
There are several viewpoints around and we visited a few.
Even the fishing net locations were quite easy to spot!
David had to try out the various bells...
Unusual rock formation of which some part was used for offering coins...
Another spot showing a mountain range and Mun Bon lake.
A closer look showed massive smoke columns from Khon Buri's sugar cane factories.
Different view area, the temple is at the bottom, right.
Some parts of the trail were a little challenging.
Although we didn't see anyone else here, occasionally local people come here to pay respect.
Another - and closer - view of the river area.
Some visitors had built these little 'stupas'.
Another narrow passage to crawl through...
Some of the bigger rocks just seem to 'balance' on much smaller stones.
These iron stairs were still in good condition.
Another 'window' view.
Tiny 'supporting' twigs like these really made us feel much more safe...
Down, down, down again, these steps reminded me of the classic Talking Heads album 'Fear of Music' (*)
Looking back & upwards...
Stone steps and bamboo...
One of the more unusual Buddha statues at the temple.
Afterwards we returned to Khon Buri for coffee and more, a pretty good way to start the day!