ban dung changes buy roger goodchild
During my 2009 visit to Thailand I went back to Ban Dung to meet up with some of the friends that I made on previous visits, when I visited my son Dean and girlfriend Lang at their Bar just a few kilometres outside Ban Dung called The Five Bell Bar. Today the bar is barely recognisable as it use to be, the frontage is taken up with stalls selling bags of salt, and I’m told that they do do some Thai food there, I don’t know first hand because after seeing it when passing on the bus, I have not been able to go back and see exactly what it is like. This change of use has come about because my son, unfortunately died in 2007 at just 40years old, and I believe that his girlfriends mother is either living there or is using it during the day for business.
I have arranged to meet up at another ex pats bar called Eddies Bar in Ban Dung,owned byEddie and Pin his wife.
Most of those I expected to meet were there some with their wives some without, those who were not there were back in UK or wherever. Much reminiscing about times past and several beers later I was taken to spend the night at a new hotel in Ban Dung, called MB mansion.
The hotel is owned by the widow of a friend of my son. The rooms are big and all have free Wi009 Fi, air conditioning, TV, small fridge,and toilet and shower.
They are very reasonably priced. You can have a small breakfast of eggs, bacon, tea/coffee and toast in the morning to start the day off
They have also got car and bike rentals available.
Contact details for MB Mansion:-email@example.com, 042 273859 Office, 081 5973936 Porn speaks English, 087 6123629 Sam
I never got to see much of the town during this stay but I do intend to go back and see what has changed.
A few weeks later and I have made it back to Ban Dung,I have already mentioned the changes to The Five Bell Bar, and the new Mb hotel The next big change that I notice is to the road into Ban Dung, it is much much wider now and a030 much better surface than it had 2-3 years ago. There have been some development work in the town, with new shops opened and one cafe that use to be on the corner near the bus station, that looks like it is closed down now, I had many early morning beers there while my Thai lady friend had her breakfast, if it had been there now I would join her in eating rather than drinking that early in the morning.
I found a shop that, although it has probably been there for several years, one or two had made mention of because over the years with the growth of the ex pats population the owner has been wise enough to start stocking a lot of more western type foodstuff to cater for them. One that has been mention more than most is the availability now of Weetabix, which seems to have a big following in Ban Dung. The prices are a bit higher than you would expect to pay in somewhere like Big C or Tesco Lotus but when you consider the cost of fuel to get to those places they don’t seem to be far out.
The next thing was to check out the ex pats bars that I know about, if there are any I miss out I am sorry.
The first one as you approach the town from Penn Road is Trent’s bar was one of those not at Eddies Bar the night I met old friends there, for obvious reasons, his bar is on the left hand side of the road directly opposite the Ban Dung Crown Prince Hospital, and benefits from this position by serving mainly Thai food for the nurses that frequent it, I haven’t, tried it yet but am reliably informed that they do a very nice Full English breakfast, The menu also includes burgher and chips, cheese burgher and chips for the less adventurous and a selection of drinks. I enjoyed the food, both Thai and Western, and it was all very reasonably priced.
Contact number for Trent’s Bar:-
along the road, also on the left hand side you come to Eddies Sport Bar, very with ex pats from in and around Ban Dung, I would class it as a drinking man’s bar, having said that I have eaten there on more than one occasion, and can recommend the Pie Chips and Mushy Peas, there are a good few other dishes on the menu, including English Breakfast, all at reasonable prices. Eddies also have rooms to rent at reasonable prices
As you would expect in a sport bar there is a lot of memorabilia and a pool table and UBC TV to watch live or reruns of special events.
Contact numbers for Eddies Bar:- 0854553646, 042 271034
gary.s Bar The third and last ex pats bar ,that I am aware of, is on Salt Road, on the left hand side opposite the filling station and is called Gary’s Bar and Restaurant. There are two menu’s at Gary’s one Thai Menu and one for the Western palate. Western food menu has a large range of pizza’s, which I heartily recommend, along with Chips in two portion sizes, burgher and chips, and of course the Traditional English Breakfast, again this comes in two portion sizes, with the best tasting sausages in town, allegedly.
The Thai food is highly recommended by one who knows. All of this very reasonably priced.
The atmosphere here seems very relaxed and friendly, with a mixture of nationalities amongst the regulars.
Contact number for Gary’s Bar and Restaurant:- 0890308729
I would say that Ban Dung is an expanding town and seems to be attracting more ex pats as a result.
There are one or two places of interest if you are staying around for a day or two:-
Wat Kham Chanot (Thai: วัดคำชะโนด) is a Buddhist temple near Ban Kham Chanot, Amphoe Ban Dung, Udon Thani Province in North eastern Thailand. It is located in the Wang Nakhin area at a lake where the Nāga, a mythical large snake, is supposed to be living.
Picture source”Work by User:Mattes
The Naga is an enormous serpent, often suggested to have seven heads. Buddhist iconography popularly depicts this mythical beast as a dragon-like water serpent, and at times we see the Buddha depicted as standing upon its head.
Nāga worship is one of the main issue in this small monastery. About ten monks live here permanently. It is believed that the snake has a hideaway on the island. It is connected to the other Wat premises by a bridge. The origins of the wat are located on the island.
A small zoo with turtles has been added to the monastery.
Opposite of the main temple building, a permanent (rural) market for visitors is provided.
In the modern physical world the Naga still claims a position. Once a year, for several days, pilgrims make their way to the banks of the Mekong River in North east Thailand to watch the ‘Naga Fire-balls’ emerge from that river This phenomena has been recorded and witnessed by many, and is as yet not adequately explained. Unless that is you are of the same ilk as those whom ascribe all U.F.O.’s to being air balloons and meteors, in which case you will be happy with the current explanation of swamp gas and fireworks. The observers, and other advocates, claim that the Naga lives in the Mekong and that it shoots these fireballs up out of the water.
Ban Chiang World Heritage Site
Legend has it that Ban Chiang was discovered by a clumsy American college student, who fell in the road of the present town of Ban Chiang, and found ceramics eroding out of the road bed. The first excavations at the site were conducted in 1967 by archaeologist Vidya Intakosai, and later by the Fine Arts Department in Bangkok and the University of Pennsylvania under the direction of Dr. Chester F. Gorman and Pisit Charoenwongsa have revealed evidence of prehistoric occupation beginning as early as 3600 B.C. and continuing until about A.D. 200.
The site is one of the largest prehistoric Bronze Age sites in this part of Thailand, measuring at least 8 hectares in size. Archaeological research at the site has revealed a fully developed Bronze Age metallurgy, but lacking the weaponry so often associated with it in Europe and the rest of the world."
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