Photos of Phu Phra Bat Historical Park, also called "Stones Garden", near Ban Phu (Thailand)
Phu Phra Bat Historical Park (Stones Garden) is on the foothills of the Phu Phan Mountains in Ban Phu district, 68 km north-west of Udon Thani (northern Thailand).
The park is full of bizarre rock formations and shrines built around the boulders. Several temples and Buddhist shrines are located in the park. Sema stone markers and high relief sandstone Dvaravati-era Buddha images can also be seen. Evidence of prehistoric cultures can be found in a number of caves where there are wall paintings of humans and animals.
Most of the bizarre rock formations to be found in this park are featured in an enchanting local legend about a king (Phaya Kong Phan), his stunningly beautiful daughter (Nang Usa), a hermit (the Rishi Chantra) and a love-struck prince from another kingdom (Tao Baros). The most striking rock formation, Ho Nang-Usa, an overturned boot-shaped outcrop with a shrine built into it, is said to be the tower where the beautiful princess was forced to live by her overprotective father.
The tale of Nang Usa, can be found there:
Those photos were shot in Thailand in May 2008 (Bangkok) and in March-April 2005, where I traveled with my friend Anke Rega.
Related Set: Forensic medicine museum - Siriraj Hospital (Bangkok).
Our 25-day tour in 2005 included, in chronological order, Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Kanchanabury, Nam Tok, Erawan, Nam Tok Huai Mae Khamin, Thong Pha Phum, Sangkhla Buri, Wat Wang Wiwekaram, Ban Pa Rai Nok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phanom Rung, Si Racha, Chantaburi, Ko Chang, Phimai, Nong Khai, Ban Phu, Wang Saphung, Loei, Dan Sai, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Si Ratchanalai, Chiang Mai, Tham Chiang Dao, Chiang Rai, Tha Ton, the Wieng Haeng loop, Pai, Muang Paeng, Tham Lot, and many other fantastic places that are not on the maps.
We were lucky to be in the Phanom Rung historical park during the annual festival, during which the history and legends associated with this religious monument are re-enacted by hundreds of actors, dancers and musicians in a very impressive celebration.
We also had the chance to be in Chiang Mai during Songkran, the Thai New Year (April 13th through the following week-end). During this holidays period, a Thai tradition consists in throwing copious amounts of water to others as a way to wish a happy new year. Chiang Mai's old defensive moat provide a endless source of water for the occasion.
Camera used: Sony DSC F828 (8 Mega-pixel) with 4GB Microdrive.