Thailand Painting Holidays provides trips to many unusual and beautiful destinations in the NE of Thailand. There are no tour buses with a guide. Locations are difficult to access, with few tourists, so your hosts Jeremy and Waree will personally show you around during your holiday.
Sala Kaew Ku See location on Google map
This is an amazing set of sculptures in a park in Nong Khai. It is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Thailand and is well worth a visit. We always take our guests at our Thailand Homestay Painting Holidays guesthouse here for a visit. It is full of incredible sculptures relating to Buddhism. I can't read the inscriptions but fortunately my wife translates them for me. There are ponds with thousands of huge fish that will feed out of your hand and a cactus house full of large and unusual cacti (strange for Thailand). I love the building that houses the preserved body of the founder, partly because of the massive gongs that you can hit with a soft mallet to reverberate out to the park, and the fortune teller who will predict your future. If you are in Nong Khai this is an essential place to visit. If its hot go early in the morning, although in winter its mild. Not crowded and few Western tourists.
Sala Keoku (Thai: ศาลาแก้วกู่; RTGS: Sala Kaeo Ku; [sǎːlaː kɛ̂ːw kùː], also spelled as Sala Keo Ku, Sala Keo Koo, Sala Kaew Ku, Sala Kaew Koo, Salakaewkoo, Sala Gaew Goo, Sala Kaeoku, etc. Alternative name: Wat Khaek) is a park featuring giant fantastic concrete sculptures inspired byBuddhism and Hinduism. It is located near Nong Khai, Thailand in immediate proximity of the Thai-Laoborder and the Mekong river. The park has been built by and reflects the personal vision of Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat and his followers (the construction started in 1978). It shares the style of Sulilat's earlier creation, Buddha Park on the Lao side of Mekong, but is marked by even more extravagant fantasy and greater proportions.
Some of the Sala Keoku sculptures tower up to 25m in the sky. Those include a monumental depiction of Buddha meditating under the protection of a seven-headed Naga snake. While the subject (based on a Buddhist legend) is one of the recurrent themes in the religious art of the region, Sulilat's approach is highly unusual, with its naturalistic (even though stylized) representation of the snakes, whose giant protruding tongues beautifully complement the awe-inspiring composition.
The Sala Keoku pavilion is a large three-story concrete building, whose domes bear a surprising resemblance to amosque. It was constructed following Sulilat's plans after his death. The 3rd floor hosts a large number of Sulilat-related artifacts, as well as his mummified body.
Sala Keoku: one step to Buddhahood
Perhaps the most enigmatic part of the park is the Wheel of Life, a circular multi-part group of sculptures representing the karmic cycle of birth and death. The composition culminates with a young man taking a step across the fence surrounding the entire installation to become a Buddha statue on the other side.
There is another good description of the park here