Friday, 26 September 2014

Phra Mahachedi Chai Mongkon in Roi Et province

Phra Mahachedi Chai Mongkon in Roi Et province

พระมหาเจดีย์ชัยมงคล

(Bus from Roi Et to Nong Pok about 80 km, see previous articles label "Roi Et".)

My bus from Phon Tong (line 4557, 30 Baht, 14:08-44) stops at the sidewalk next to a stadium. There is no designated bus station. From there I ask locals for way and public transport options to the Chedi. They recommend using nearby mocy/tuktuk drivers.

I walk there and inquire price. There seems to be a problem to get to the Chedi on tuktuk, but I can't get to the ground of the problem. Finally we agree on 500 Baht for return trip including 1 hour waiting time.

The trip takes 14:55-15:29. It's only about 15 km, but it was slow. The tuktuk driver stops at the entrance gate at the main road (hwy 2136, from there it is about 5 km), but I tell him to go in (cars are going and coming). Now I realize what the problem is: his tuktuk is underpowered, and with an incline of about 5%, walking would be faster. We finally arrive at parking/market/gate. 



I take free shuttle bus (15:34-37) for about 500 m from parking/market/gate to the chedi (pointless, can easily walk, there should be a shuttle from main road!). I recommend walking on the wall, enjoy the view.














The interior decoration (several floors, some still under construction) rivals that of Versailles palace:



















The spiral stairway leads to the Buddha relics:





From the base of the spiral stairways, you can go outside: 









And there is more around, miniature of Borobodur:



The whole area is encircled by a wall (designed to resemble the great wall of China), you can walk on ground level or on top of the wall:





Some spots are wet from rain, and the surface is slippery, watch your step:



I wanted to walk just a part on top of the wall, but then I realize I missed the last exit (stairs down), so I have to walk about 1 km until I can get off near the entrance gate:



On ground level (to your left side when entering through the main gate), there are toilet cubicles for a length of about 100 m, the largest public toilet in Thailand?





I spent about 2 h at the chedi and walking on the wall. There is more to see (Namyoi cliff ผาน้ำย้อย, wat, garden) but I'm tired and told the driver I would be back in 1 h.

Upon return (17:34-18:01), the driver asked if I could give him 100 Baht more, I refuse. In a Bangkok taxi, it would have cost 220 Baht (30 km) + 180 Baht (2 hours slower than 6 km/h) = 400 Baht, and it would have been faster and more comfortable, therefore 500 Baht was a generous offer.

Wait for bus, ride bus back to Roi Et (80 Baht, 18:56-20:20, the bus continues to Bangkok).

Verdict: location, size and ornamentation are spectacular, worth the trip. 

Further reading: http://roietattractions.blogspot.com/2008/01/phra-maha-chedi-chai-mongkol_05.html

Public transport:
In Nong Pok, there is limited public transport. I didn’t see any songteo or other local public transport, only big bus 289 from Khon Kaen to Amnat Charoen passing 18:08, bus 289 to Mukdahan passing 18:40, bus to Bangkok via Roi Et (18:30 schedule, 18:56 real, I took this to get back to Roi Et).

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC

1 comment:

  1. ''publ.transp'' in those faraway isany regions is mostly limited to songhthaews that only ride in daylight and stop soon after the kids have gone from school. OTOH they start much earlier to bring people+produce to the markets.

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