Part 3: Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom

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 FIVE:

Good morning from Loei in Northeastern Thailand. This is now Day 5 of 11 days of the mega Isaan Trip. 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.

Khiri Wongkot Village, Na Yung district, Udon Thani

This morning, we visited Khiri Wongkot Village in Na Yung district of Udon Thani province. The community, which is surrounded by green mountains of the Na Yung-Nam Som National Park, came together to form an ecotourism village to welcome tourists.

If you visit the community, you can opt between homestays and camping. If you just want to stay a short time, you can also join tours in the village by mountain bicycle or by local style tractor. During our visit, we took a tractor tour along streams, across fields and through woods to Huay Khang Pray Waterfall.

Here we ate a delicious meal surrounded by the jungle and using utensil and a cup made from bamboo. The food included Som Tam which is a spicy papaya salad, grilled chicken, and a curry cooked in bamboo. The tour in total lasted about two hours and was really enjoyable.

For more information, you can contact the village headman on 08 3147 9004.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/hfAT1CuQbYxxT85aA

Ban Wang Nam Mok, Si Chiang Mai District, Nong Khai

This afternoon, we visited Ban Wang Nam Mok community in Si Chiang Mai District of Nong Khai. They have a nice balance between natural attractions and cultural heritage.

At the visitor center in the village you can learn more about their culture including local handicraft. If you want to immerse yourself a bit more, they have at least ten homestay properties. Where you can participate in the wrist-binding ceremony, which is the tradition of Wang Nam Mok villagers to welcome and impress strangers.

Local dishes that you can enjoy include bamboo shoot soup, pineapple salad and fried fish with leaves. The local contact for more information is Tinnaphob Suphantha on 08-3357-7035.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/3r8WrSNvQtrPAdaR9

DAY SIX:

Good morning from Nong Khai in Northeastern Thailand. This is now Day 6 of 11 days of the mega #IsaanTrip. Today we are visiting Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom provinces.

So Phisai District, Bueng Kan

This morning we visited the Life Community Museum in So Phisai District of Bueng Kan province. This small village, there’s only about 50 households, has become a tourist attraction in its own right. They nicely blend contemporary art and local culture to five visitors a unique experience.

Scattered around the village there are many examples of street art with the theme of the Naga Snake. At the cultural center, which is part of an old traditional house, you can visit the museum to learn more about the daily life here. If you want to immerse yourself more, there’s an opportunity to stay a night or two in one of the homestay properties.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/1xgSmf5iMLWSFBYP7

Charoen Sin district, Sakon Nakhon

Lunch today is in Sakon Nakhon in Northeastern Thailand. My favorite is Laab Moo and Som Tam.

Ban Kut Na Kham Arts and Crafts Centre, Charoen Sin district, Sakon Nakhon

This afternoon, we visited Ban Kut Na Kham Arts and Crafts Centre in Ban Kut Na Kham, Charoen Sin district of Sakon Nakhon. This was set up by Her Majesty the Queen Mother in order to both train and preserve the local arts and crafts of the Northeastern region.

The center is open for free to visitors and you can observe the art of ceramics, wood carving and silk weaving in various workshops. In addition there is a showroom where you can buy some of the unique products.

The centre is open between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. everyday. For a group visit, you must contact them in advance on 042-709162.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/NqEK45Cy7TZEbni39

Phaya Si Sattanakharat, Nakhon Phanom

The major 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: https://goo.gl/maps/gmbSBF4JqJG2aeuj7

DAY SEVEN:

Good morning from Nakhon Phanom Province in Northeastern Thailand. Nice cool weather along the Mekong River for some exercise. People of Nakhon Phanom are so lucky to have such a long riverfront walkway. If only there was a way to transport this to my home province!

It is always a good idea to wake up early when you are traveling and do some exploring before breakfast. Today I was lucky to observe the tradition of offering alms to monks along the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom. A very beautiful scene as the sun rises.

Wat Phra That Phanom, That Phanom district, Nakhon Phanom

The most important temple in Nakhon Phanom province is Wat Phra That Phanom in That Phanom district. It contains relics of the Lord Buddha and is particularly important to people born in the Year of the Monkey.

The stupa at Wat Phra That Phanom is 53 meters high and 12 meters wide at the base. In 1977, it collapsed during a big storm and had to be rebuilt.

📍MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/jEv27bduXFU2

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