Part 2: Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Nong Bua Lam Phu and Loei

During September, I was invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand on a 11-day trip to all twenty provinces in Northeastern Thailand. This is the third year that they have organised such a trip to promote new destinations and some lesser known attractions.

DAY THREE:

Good morning from Khorat in Nakhon Ratchasima province. This is Day 3 of the 11 day Isaan Trip. Today we have one stop in Chaiyaphum province and one in Khon Kaen province where we will spend the night.

There are eight Tourism Authority of Thailand offices in the Northeastern region and they are all represented in the convoy with their own decorated vehicles. This is the one for the Nakhon Ratchasima office who are also responsible for Chaiyaphum province.

Tat Ton National Park, Chaiyaphum

This morning we visited Tat Ton National Park in Chaiyaphum. The main attraction here is Tat Ton Waterfall that feeds into the Lum Pa Tao River. It’s only 21 kilometers from the city and so it gets very crowded on weekends and holidays.

Tat Ton Waterfall is the most popular attraction in Chaiyaphum province. The water flows here all year round. The waterfall is six meters high and 50 meters wide. There are trees among the rocks on either side which makes for excellent picnic spots.

Tat Ton National Park is 40 Baht/20 Baht for Thais and 200 Baht/100 Baht for foreigners. Cars are 30 Baht for everyone. Bungalows can be rented in advance and cost from 1,000 Baht for up to 4 people.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/cQrn9vJAznRkTV598

Prasat Pueai Noi, Pueai Noi district, Khon Khan

Prasat Pueai Noi, in Pueai Noi district of Khon Khan Province, is a small Khmer ruin in good condition. It was built in the 11-12th century in a mixed style between Baphuon and Angkor Wat as a shrine honouring Hindu Gods.

Its architecture consists of four buildings made of laterite, sandstone and bricks, surrounded by a rectangular wall. Of particular interest are the lintels which have been beautifully carved.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/QxDJqUaMvnHh9emq6

Aerial views of Prasat Pueai Noi, in Pueai Noi district of Khon Khan Province. I always like the symmetry and colors of these Khmer ruins when looking straight down.

DAY FOUR:

Good morning from Khon Kaen in Northeastern Thailand. This is now Day 4 of 11 days of the mega #IsaanTrip. Today we are heading to Nong Bua Lam Phu province and then Loei province. It’s an early start and I’m sure another long day.

Saphan Chueam Hak, Non Sang District of Nong Bua Lam Phu

In Ban Tat Hai, Non Sang District of Nong Bua Lam Phu province, there is a new tourist attraction called Saphan Chueam Hak. This is a 180 meter long bamboo bridge that floats on the water between the mainland and a small island.

This is a popular picnic spot & also a place to observe wildlife in the late afternoon. There are food vendors and huts where you can eat your meal while you enjoy the views. There is also a boat service for tours of the lake.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/UZNEQQRxxPEVNyHeA

Som Tam Bunrot restaurant, Nong Bua Lam Phu

Isaan food for lunch today at Som Tam Bunrot restaurant (ส้มตำบุญรอด) in Nong Bua Lam Phu. As can be expected, it was both spicy and delicious.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/a4tweaxhJqP1PVCU8

Ban Na Pa Nat, Chiang Khan District, Loei

This afternoon we visited Ban Na Pa Nat in Chiang Khan District of Loei. We came to learn about the traditions and culture of the Thai Dum people whose ancestors migrated from Laos over one hundred years ago.

Just outside the village there is a cultural center where you can see traditional houses and observe cultural traditions. If you want to immerse yourself more, you can can experience the Thai Dum lifestyle with the homestay program.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/63pU2XXrEaxDkvP99

Kaeng Khut Khu, Chiang Khan District, Loei

Tonight we’re staying in Kaeng Khut Khu in Chiang Khan District of Loei. This is on the Mekong River. On the other side is Laos. The rapids in the middle of the river are a seasonal attraction. However, they’re only visible during the dry season.

I’ve been to Kaeng Khut Khu several times before but only when passing by. This is the first time I have stayed here. It is quite pleasant with mist on the hills. But it’s very humid.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/CzmaQzwXXv3UgHGP8

Chiang Khan Walking Street, Loei

The Chiang Khan Walking street in Loei is popular this weekend. Quite a few of the hotels along here have “full” signs up. Good to see many tourists here, though by far the majority are Thais of course.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/nbQeK2r6W3PBuPGm6

DAY FIVE:

Good morning from Loei in Northeastern Thailand. This is now Day 5 of 11 days of the mega #IsaanTrip. Today we are heading to Udon Thani and then Nong Khai province.

Breakfast with a view of the Mekong River in Kaeng Khut Khu, Chiang Khan District of Loei.

Phu Khok Ngio Skywalk, Loei

Chiang Khan in Loei province has a new tourist attraction. It is a 100 meter long skywalk about 80 meters above the Mekong River. What makes it extra special is the glass floor so that you can see the views in literally every direction.

Phu Phra Yai is a 19 meter high Standing Buddha that overlooks the skywalk and the river below. When you arrive, you have to put special covers over your shoes before you step on the skywalk. On busy days they will also give you queue numbers in order to reduce the crowds.

The skywalk is not officially open yet. But local people can visit this month. Entrance is free but you have to pay 20 Baht each way for the pick-up ride to the top. It’s open daily from 7am-6pm.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/EBdTmPyLQk58XRt68

Santi Pracha Asa Park, Pak Chom District, Loei

There are many beautiful viewpoints along the road in Loei and other provinces that follow the Mekong River. This is just one at Santi Pracha Asa Park in Pak Chom District of Loei province.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/XwHZm9vSDMjjxqGEA

NEXT: Days 5-6: Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom

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