Ubon Darwin and the Temple of Bloom: The Call

When traveling sometimes it is easy to miss gems towards the end of a journey. This is especially true it the route you have taken more than a few times.

I find myself getting anxious to reach my destination. I have the need to stretch my legs. The volume from the call of nature getting louder and clearer. Such is human nature but causes us to allow attractions to go by unnoticed.

On a recent trip to Khong Jiam I saw something interesting out of the corner of my eye. I had been riding for more than an hour so was more focused on the journey’s end. I quickly let it go from my mind and began preparing for exiting the vehicle at Tohsang Khong Jiam Resort.

After checking-in and getting settled into the room, Ting and I walked out to a cliff overlooking the Mekhong. It is the cold season, which is why there was a drop-off to the river. During the height of the monsoon season this same point would, of course, be the river bank.

Again, I noticed something from the corner of my eye. I turned to look and what I saw looked like a golden spear reaching high into the blue heavens and seemingly piercing the cotton-like white clouds. It must be an antenna though for I could hear a message, “Darwin, Darwin, Darwin”. How could I not be drawn to it?

khong jiam ubon ratchathani temple

The Call

My attention was taken elsewhere as we tried to decide if the goats grazing on the island in the center of the river are Thai or Laotian. We came to the conclusion they must be Lao as we could see other goats on the far bank and none on our side.

Not much later we decided to head into the village of Khong Jiam. Our goal was to buy a few items from the shops lining the the topside of the river bank. We purchased what we wanted then headed back to the local market and bus terminal with the intent of getting transportation back to Tohsang Khong Jiam Resort.

As we crossed through an intersection the golden antenna came into view again. As I looked it began calling to me once more, “Darwin, Darwin, Darwin.” Was I being seduced into a quest? Did I need to discover why I was being called? The answer evaded me momentarily.

As I turned my eyes from the spear they came to rest on a wide path leading up to a plataeu. I knew now what I had to do. I called out to Ting and nodded in the direction of the path. She didn’t seem to enthusiastic because it was a rather warm day and it appeared to be a sharp ascent. But she finally agreed.

khong jiam ubon ratchathani temple

We made the turn and began heading to the pathway up the hill…


  1. Nice photos

  2. Thanks

  3. Hi, yes there is a lot to do if you want a weekend exploring. 1 leave UBON and head off to Phi Boon Mangsahan, when you get there head down to the the river .. ask a local. Nice rest place with restaurants and touristy markets. From there head towards Sirindhorn Dam .. 40kms or so. Go into the dam complex .. 2 restaurants , 9 hole golf course and again a place to relax – the kids will like it as there are great gardens and fish to feed.. From there you can go to the Chong Mek border post where there is a market. After that about 2km heading back towards Sirindhorn there is a next temple on top of a hill .. great view into Laos and of the Dam. After that and on the 217 road take a right turn and head to Khong Jiam .. view of the Mekong River, river restaurants and also go to the Tohsang Resort .. again a great view and just a nice place.

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