Trip to Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan and Sakon Nakhon

Over the last few days, I was on a media trip to Nakhon Phanom in Northeastern Thailand for a short three-day trip that also included Mukdahan & Sakon Nakhon provinces. Click here for a google map of the place we visited. The last time I was in Nakhon Phanom was for a “Four Province Dinosaur Trip” last year. Click here for the live photo blog.

Trip Date: 28th-30th June 2018

DAY ONE: Boarding Air Asia FD3394 from Bangkok to Nakhon Phanom in Northeastern Thailand. Flight time is just over an hour. I will be flying back on Saturday night from Sakon Nakhon.

Good evening from Nakhon Phanom in Northeastern Thailand. A beautiful sunset tonight. The hotel where I’m staying is on the Mekong River. The view from my room is of Laos on the other side of the river. These are drone photos from the hotel. You can see the city of Nakhon Pathom in the first picture.

DAY TWO: Good morning from Nakhon Phanom in Northeastern Thailand. The view is from my hotel room and shows the Mekong River and Laos beyond. Since I took this picture, a mist has fallen and I can no longer see the other side.

The latest landmark in Nakhon Phanom is Phaya Si Sattanakharat, which is a 15-meter high seven-headed naga snake. It’s alongside the Mekong River. Map:

Drone photos of Nakhon Phanom town and the Mekong River.

It’s good to see this blue bicycle lane along the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom. The ultimate plan is for a 60-kilometre cycling route between the third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge and Wat Phra That Phanom.

This is the watchtower from the old prison in Nakhon Phanom. It has now been turned into a park called Suan Chom Khong. There’s some interesting street art on the prison wall. Map:

The former Governor’s Residence in Nakhon Phanom has now been turned into a museum about the province & the Illuminated Boat Procession. The architecture has Western colonial influence. Entrance is 50 Baht and is open from Wednesday-Sunday. Map:

Saint Anna’s Church Nong Saeng in Nakhon Phanom is situated along the Mekong River. The present building dates back to 1926. Map:

The National Library in Nakhon Phanom is another beautiful Colonial style building. It was built in 1919 and used to be the former city hall. It was damaged in 1940 during a conflict with the French. Map:

The most important temple in Nakhon Phanom province is Wat Phra That Phanom. It contains relics of the Lord Buddha & is particularly important to people born in the Year of the Monkey. The stupa is 53 meters high & 12 meters wide at the base. Map:

Drone photos of the area around Wat Phra That Phanom in Nakhon Phanom province. As it contains relics of the Buddha I didn’t want to fly too near.

Our first stop in Mukdahan Province was at Kaeng Kabao, which is a set of well-known rapids on the Mekong River. The latest attraction here is ‘Phraya Sri Puchong Mukdanakarat’ which is a large white statue of the Naga. Map:

Our Lady of the Seven Martyrs of Thailand Shrine in Mukdahan Province is the largest Catholic church in Thailand. The shrine was constructed in honour of the seven Thai Christian martyrs who sacrificed their lives to protect their religion.

This was at a time when Thailand had expelled foreign missionaries because it wanted the local population to convert to Buddhism. But the local Christians refused. Seven of them were shot dead by Thai officials in December 1940. Map:

Drone photos of the area around Our Lady of the Seven Martyrs of Thailand Shrine in Mukdahan Province. It’s known locally as Wat Ban Song Khon.

From the top of Phu Manorom there are some fine views of Mukdahan city below, the Mekong River & Laos beyond. There is also a temple here called Wat Roi Phra Putthabat which has a very large Buddha & a very colorful & large Naga snake. Map:

Drone photos of the giant seated Buddha and Naga snake at Wat Roi Phra Putthabat in Mukdahan.

DAY THREE: Good morning from Mukdahan Province in Northeastern Thailand. Yesterday I had a great but sadly brief time in Nakhon Phanom Province. Today we’re moving onto Sakhon Nakhon Province. Click here for a map of places that we’ve visited so far.

We’re now on our way to Sakon Nakhon province. In Ban Ta Rae there’s a large Catholic community. I was here a few years ago for the Christmas Star Procession. Click here for the photo album.

Wat Phra That Choeng Chum is a sacred icon for Sakon Nakhon. The stupa is 24 meters high and is decorated with 3.75 kilograms of gold. The stupa is built around four Buddha footprints. Map:

Drone photos of Nong Hang Lake, to the northeast of Sakhon Nakhon city. It’s a popular location for locals during sunset and sunrise. In the cool season there are many water lilies. Map:

Lunch was at Farm Hug (ฟาร์มฮัก) restaurant, just outside of Sakon Nakhon. It’s a cowboy themed restaurant with a sheep farm around the back. It’s a popular place for eating steak. Map:

This afternoon we visited Kram Sakon, a clothes shop in Huai Yang sub-district of Sakon Nakhon. They sell clothes and other fabrics with unique tie-dyed indigo designs. They even run workshops so that you can try yourself. Map:

Wat Tham Pha Daen is a well known meditation temple in Sakon Nakhon province. Highlights include Buddha images carved out of sandstone, replicas of Buddha footprints, and a giant golden rock stupa which symbolizes Mount Sumeru. Map:

Drone photos of Wat Tham Pha Daen in Sakon Nakhon.

If you like the colour indigo & want to buy some clothes then head down to the Kram Weekend Walking Street in Sakon Nakhon in front of Phra That Choeng Chum temple. The English name is Indigo Dyed Clothes Street. It is open from about 4pm. Map:

That’s a wrap on my 2-day trip to Nakhon Phanom, Mukhadan and Sakon Nakhon provinces. I hope you enjoyed the photos and I’ve inspired you to visit.


  1. Philip says:

    Love this post. My wife is from this area and we visit her family farm a few times each year from our home in Krabi. We have been to most of these places, some of them several times. She and I especially like the drone photography of this trip.

  2. Terry says:

    I think that, as a Western writer/journalist, you have the responsibility to write objectively that “Wat Phra That Phanom ‘IS BELIEVED’ or ‘IS SAID’ to contain relics of the Buddha.

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