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In the North of Thailand, outside the charming border town of Nong Khai, you will find one of Thailand’s more surreal attractions. A visit to Sala Kaew Ku Sculpture Park is a journey into the mind of Bunleua Sulilat, a modern day mystic, cult leader and sculpture artist.

A seven headed Naga snake towers fearsomely 25 metres above you, while serene Buddha statues of all shapes and sizes emanate compassion from their meditating faces. Serpent like creatures curl into spirals at the feet of all manner of gods and symbolic representations, one of our favourites being a pack of dogs on motorbikes.

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The depiction of the karmic wheel of life takes you on a journey through human existence starting with a womb like portal and then through love, suffering and finally death. Here again he uses traditional symbolism with some modern imagery thrown in.

Bunleua Sulilat blended Hinduism, Buddhism and Animism into a new philosophy which became popular with locals and inspired him to build two sculpture parks, the other of which is on the Lao side of the border.

If you fancy a foray into the fantastical and quirky, jump on any east bound bus and get off at ‘Wat Khaek’. The ride should only cost about 10B while a tuk tuk there and back will be about 150B. Alternatively you can hire a bicycle or moped in town and make a day of it, stopping off for road side snacks along the way.

 Photo Copyright: James Rippingale

Photo Copyright: James Rippingale

 Photo Copyright: James Rippingale

Photo Copyright: James Rippingale

 Photo Copyright: James Rippingale

Photo Copyright: James Rippingale

 Photo Copyright: James Rippingale

Photo Copyright: James Rippingale

 Photo Copyright: James Rippingale

Photo Copyright: James Rippingale

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