A little less than two hours from Phitsanulok or roughly seven hours away from Bangkok, lies a province called Uttaradit. The province is known for its sweet langsat (lanzones), a specie of tree in the mahogany family. To market langsat to the local people, the province created the Langsat Day Festival which is annually held on weekends in September in front of town hall. Langsat and other fruits are available at reasonable prices. The fair displays fruit processions, concerts, beauty contest, stage performances and other forms of entertainment.
I actually lost count of the number of times I’ve been in this relatively small yet lively province. But it was only in October of 2014 that I was able to witness first hand and marvel at the beauty of Queen Sirikit Dam.
My wife and I together with our little bundle of joy in the backseat, found ourselves traversing the highway from Phitsanulok to Uttaradit. It was sometime in October 2014, a month of the Holy Rosary in the Catholic faith when Saint Nicholas Church Foreign Community (SNCFC) paid Uttaradit a visit. Why did we go there? My sister-in-law happened to be the host on that day and we did the prayer in their rented apartment.
When we arrived at the place, some friends were already having conversations, some were reflecting on how their lives were a mixture of both happiness and sadness and even some were arguing the never-ending topic of which came first – egg or chicken? And, of course, there were those who simply enjoy the company, the sounds, and colorful images of new technology. Their actions were pictures of how day-to-day scenes were being handled individually of the actors on stage.
After the prayer and a little catching up with the hosts, we headed out to Queen Sirikit Dam. According to Wikipedia, the dam is an embankment dam on the Nan River, a tributary of the Chao Phraya River in Uttaradit Province. Needless to say, the name was derived from the reigning queen of Thailand.
Unlike the highway from Phitsanulok to Uttaradit which doesn’t have much turns, going to Queen Sirikit Dam will be met with a paved zigzag road on a mountainous terrain; similar to a pendulum oscillating. It was already quite a ride for me; but it didn’t stop there. We traveled under a heavy rain with nearly zero visibility. But thank God we arrived safely.
After about an hour the rain stopped and I saw from a far a picture of the Queen. When we came closer, there were two people manning the entrance and they gave us a gate pass.
Queen Sirikit Dam is Thailand’s largest earth dam constructed under the Nan River Basin Development Project in 1973 over the Nan River. Its reservoir covers an area of 220 square kilometers. The vastness of the area blew us away. We were like transported in another place and time with breathtaking views in every angle. The lush vegetation enveloping the whole place gives a nice backdrop as to how a perfect-looking nature should be. There is also a bridge painted in blue and yellow that looks similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in California, only it was smaller. With its uniqueness among the many bridges in Thailand, I consider it a “selfie” magnet.
Northern Thailand is landlocked as it borders the countries of Myanmar and Laos. But you’ll get a feeling that you’re somewhere near the sea if you get to the top. You’ll see on the right side of the dam the massive volume of water stored in its reservoir. On its left on the other hand is the nature and well- taken cared greeneries lining beautifully on both sides of the road.
Apart from having picnic with friends and families, doing exercise on the side as well as taking selfies, there’s nothing much to do in the dam. But if you like a view that is different from the others and offers a serene and untroubled feeling not to mention a height that gives a taste of heaven, I recommend you to pay Queen Sirikit Dam a visit.
Let your self be taken distance away. Let your imagination feast at the beauty before your eyes. This is Queen Sirikit Dam – welcoming you with open arms.