Chum Phae Downtown
A typical inner city in Thailand. If you know one Thai city, you know them all. Image by Asienreisender, 1/2016
Chum Phae is a boomtown on a highway crossroad. A main highway from Khon Kaen, one of the 'big four' cities in Isan, runs anlong here, connecting Isan via the Phetchabun Range with Phitsanulok, central Thailand. Another highway, coming from Nong Bua Lamphu to Chaiyaphum, leads along here as well. That served the place a super-ugly twelve-lane highway inmiddle of town. A typical Thai traffic (monster) planning.
The town has nothing of significance at all. There is a lake in the center near the bus station, surrounded by a green stripe which makes it good for recreation. A number of restaurants and five or six barbers are there as well (seems, all the town's men's barbers are concentrated in this single building; women hairdressers always refuse to cut my hair).
Thailand's highway landscapes are bombastic. Here, in town, it's a 12-lane motorway. Pedestrians are practically no part of the traffic planning. The only way to properly cross this monster as a natural person is an ugly concrete bridge further away. Left Phu Wiang mountain is paralleling the road. At a closer look it's a higher mountain with steep slopes, and seems (yet) untouched by urbanization, although it's forest and wildlife is certainly already heavily damaged. Image by Asienreisender, 1/2016
Remarkable is the large number of expatriots, western farangs, who are living here. Quite a number of Germans among them. Also remarkable is the great number of semi-ferocious dogs on the roads, not few of them quite big. They make a pedestrian a good deal of trouble at any streetcorner. I never understood, why Thai People accept that the streets are ruled by these ugly beasts. Moreover, many neighbourhoods feed the dogs. Has certainly to do with the widespread superstition of spiritual afterlife in other creatures...
In the district are traces of pre-historic settlements or, at least, human activity. The 'grand star' of pre-history in Isan is 'Ban Chiang Archaeological Site' in Udon Thani Province. There are also ruins of a medieval place at Nong Mueang, which belonged to the Dvaravati Culture.