Saraburi / Thailand



The place is situated in the northeast of central Thailand, it's one of the terrible concrete deserts of the country who grow like cancer. I bet, thirty years ago one could walk from one end of town to the other end within fifteen minutes, and there was little traffic. Now it's much bigger and filled with cars and motorbikes, trucks and a few buses, and the main roads are very broad. There is a highway net around of town which serves as an accelerator for the further urbanization of the province.

'Saraburi | Downtown' by Asienreisender

A main road in downtown Saraburi. It could be in any modern Thai town. Sad as it is, they all are of the same kind, faceless, soulless. Image by Asienreisender, 4/2017

Walking through the city, I didnt' see any historical building but didn't visit Wat Phra Phutthabat, which is dating back to the 17th century.

In the late 19th century the place got connected to Bangkok, what is about 110km from here, by a railway line. This line, which was called the Khorat Line, was built towards Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat) and led from there in two directions, one northwards to Nong Khai and the other eastwards to Ubon Ratchathani.

East of town, closely behind a 14-lane highway, rises a hill chain. It's forested, but all the trees have now, in dry season, no leaves. Climbing one of the peaks, one get's a view over Saraburi's landscapes here, what is wide plains surrounded by more mountains at the horizon. I saw two quarries alone here, both no more in use. There are more, for the province is known for it's cement factories. Besides concrete, marble and granite are resources exploited and processed in Saraburi Province. The cement production leads to a poor air quality in parts of the province.

'Fish Grill in Saraburi' by Asienreisender

Thailand's roads are often seamed with food stalls. Here a fish grill, big, fleshy carps. Image by Asienreisender, 4/2017

A funny episode is my request at the city's police station where I asked for the location of the Immigration Office and if it's open at weekends (what I didn't believe). However, two police officers confirmed that, and in their typical helpful manner they organized an amublance car to bring me there. It's far out of town, about 15km at a highway where it's very hard to find and barely accessable with public transport. A real annoyance for any visitor, particularly those who have to go there frequently. Arriving there, we found it closed on weekends. The ambulance drove me back to town then, and, as always in Thailand in such situations, declined to take my tip. I had to leave it in the car to force the driver accepting it. By the way, the driver was telling the police that the office was closed, and they invited me to come back on Monday, when they would help me again.

In the evening, as it is so often in Thailand, the dogs get lively and some of the beasts get aggressive. They threaten pedestrians and can be very bad and dangerous, not only when coming in packs.

Mountains of Saraburi
'Mountains West of Saraburi Town' by Asienreisender

That's how it looks east of Saraburi. Urbanization is creeping in every wrinkle of the nature, quarries and cement factories eat some of the mountains. New roads are under construction, expanding the already existing big ringroads around town. Image by Asienreisender, 4/2017