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Archive for May, 2012

Wat That Noi in Nakhon Si Thammarat

Michael Babcock, Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Wat That Noi (วัดธาตุน้อย) is a temple found in the south of Thailand in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. It was the residence of Portan Klai (1876-1970), said to be one of the most famous guru monks of his generation. The temple includes a wax-reproduction of him as well as his mortal remains. (See Portan Klai (1876-1970) of Wat That Noi was one of the most famous guru monks in Nakhon Si Thammarat (NST) one generation ago. (See Wayne’s Dhamma Blog.)

Reclining Buddha

Recining Buddha at Wat That Noi

The most famous temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat is, of course, Wat Mahatat, found in the town itself. Kasma and I visited Wat That Noi on a recent visit and it is worth a stop. It is found to the west of the town of Nakhon Si Thammarat on Highway 4015. Here’s a map of its location and more photos. One of its more prominent features is the large reclining Buddha shown to the left.

(Click image to see larger version.)

At Thai temples I love to wander around and look at the details, from the nagas on the staircases to the bas-relief of the walls. I’m including a slide show of some of the interesting features I found at this slightly off-the-beaten-track temple.


Wat That Noi Slideshow

Click on “Play” below to begin a slideshow.
Clicking on a slide will take you to the next image.

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Reclining Buddha
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wat-that-noi-10
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wat-that-noi-13
wat-that-noi-14
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Nagas (dragons) on a staircase at Wat That Noi

Reclining Buddha at Wat That Noi in Nakhon Si Thammart Province

Detail of the reclining Buddha

Another view of the reclining Buddha

Wax reproduction of Portan Klai, a famous abbot

Buddha statue at Wat That Noi

Buddha head on statue at Wat That Noi

Another dragon at Wat That Noi

Buddha bas-relief

Another bas-relief at Wat That Noi

Elephant, detail of bas-relief

Concrete decoration on wall

Bas-relief sculpture at Wat That Noii

Monk drying clothes at Wat That Noi

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Reclining Buddha thumbnail
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wat-that-noi-10 thumbnail
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Written by Michael Babcock, May 2012

Mae Hong Son Breakfast

Michael Babcock, Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Whenever we’re in Mae Hong Son we head to a small shop by the morning market for our breakfast. Found on the small by-street leading into the market, it’s run by a friendly Vietnamese family and has several excellent choices to start out the day. As another plus, they make fresh-brewed coffee that is very good.

Kasma with Owner

Kasma and the restaurant Owner

The Mae Hong Son morning market is lively, colorful and fun; it’s definitely a blog for another day. Several online sites say it is found on Sihanatbamrung road near Wat Hua Wiang; When I loook at the map of Mae Hong Son it appears to me to be right off Nivet Pisan Rd. This restaurant is on one of the little alleys leading into the market, off Nivat Pisan Road (also transliterated as Nivespisan), as far as I can tell. There’s a bank on the left as you look from the street to the market entry with an archway over the alley: check out the pictures at the bottom of the page.

I’m going to include pictures of our favorite breakfast foods here and show the exterior and interior of the restaurant at the bottom of the page.

(Click images to see larger version.)

Vietnamese Eggs

Eggs, Vietnamese Style - Kai Gata - ไข่กะทะ

Close-up of Dish

Vietnamese Eggs (Kai Gata - ไข่กะทะ)

I call these Vietnamese Eggs, or Eggs, Vietnamese Style, because I’ve only had them in Vietnamese-run restaurants in Thailand, in Mae Hong Son and also in the Northeast. In Thai they are called Kai Gata – ไข่กะทะ. As you see in the photos, it consists of two fried eggs topped with sweet (the red) sausage, Vietnamese sausage, ground pork and green onions. It’s served with a bun with more sweet sausage. It’s a good, meaty breakfast.

Noodle Dish

Noodle Dish - Kway Chap

Rice Porridge

Rice Porridge - Johk

Kway Chap – ก๋วยจั๊บ – (note, Thai spelling does not display correctly with the font I have) is a type of noodle; it’s a flat noodle that curls up so that it looks like tubes when served. At this shop it is usually served with pork innards; this is a bowl that Kasma ordered for a trip member without the innards, though it does have pork blood. The innards are quite delicious and super healthy. The rice porridge (congee, or johk – โจ๊ก) can also be ordered with the innards.

Pad See Ew

Stir-fried Noodles - Pad See Ew - ผัดซีอิ้ว

Fresh Brewed Coffee

Fresh Brewed Coffee

The Stir-fried Noodles, or Pad See Ew – ผัดซีอิ้ว – are made with wide, fresh rice noodles. You can get them with pork or chicken. They make a very good fresh-brewed coffee here. The picture shows Kafee Sohd Rawn – กาเเฟสดร้อน – literally, “hot, fresh, coffee.” You can also get Kafee Sohd Yen – กาเเฟสดเย็น – yen meaning cold. Each cup is brewed to order. It is served “Thai style,” meaning it comes with a glass of tea as a chaser for the rich, dark coffee.

Condiment Set

Condiment set

Tangerine Juice

Tangerine Juice

Of course, you can add and balance flavors, as at any noodle shop in Thailand. To the left is the collection of condiments on the table. (See Michael’s blog on Thai Condiment Sets.) Also available, and shown to the right, is fresh-squeezed “Orange Juice” – nam som – น้ำส้ม. I put it in quotes because their orange is really more like a tangerine. Whatever you call it, this drink is very, very good: it is pure, unadulterated, unsweetened fruit juice. Very tasty and delicious.

Breakfast Shop

Front of restaurant

Restaurant Cart

Front of restaurant

This is our breakfast restaurant to the left. It’s right next to a store selling books and newspapers on its left; the store on the right is selling clothing. Look for the cart in the right-hand picture; the cart has a picture in the center of coffee with pictures of the the specialties of the restaurant in the 4 corners (click to see a larger image).

Street View

View towards the street

Restaurant

Inside looking out

The leftmost picture shows the view looking from just past the restaurant (which is towards the left, look for the stand) toward the street. You can see the archway in the middle of the picture. The right hand picture shows the view from the back of the restaurant looking toward front alley. It’s a very typical Thai store-front restaurant.

Menu 1

Menu with specialties

Menu 2

Another menu

These are the menus found on the wall of the restaurant. The blue menu (to the left) has the specialties: from the top down they are Vietnamese Eggs (kai gata), toast (kanom bang), Pork Blood (leuak moo), kway chap noodles, rice porridge (johk),, fresh-brewed coffee, Nescafe and Ovaltine. The red menu, except for the bottom two items, are either fried rice dishes or dishes served over rice. We’ve never ordered rice dishes here: just the special items. I always have a hard time choosing: everything is done very well, indeed.


Written by Michael Babcock, 2012