Across the great Mekong river from Vientiane is Naga City–a charming town guarded by Mekong giant serpents. Nong Khai is located at the farthest northeast of Thailand, sharing history and borders with neighbouring country, Laos with plenty of cultural festivals. 

Beautiful view at sunset at Phuhuayesan, Nong khai province, Thailand. Photo from Adobe Stock

How To Get There

The closest airport to the area is Udon Thani International Airport; accessible via direct international flight with AirAsia or Thailand’s domestic airlines from major airports in the country. Upon landing, take a 1-hour ride in buses or minivan to Nong Khai. For train enthusiasts, you can consider riding from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station to Nong Khai for 10-12 hours.

Sala Kaeo Kou Park, Nong Khai. Photo from Adobe Stock

What To Do

The exceptional site in Nong Khai is a sculptural park. Sala Kaew Ku houses massive concrete statues of Buddhist and Hindu motifs besides other mythological creation with over 20 metres tall. Go to Wat Po Chai temple to see one of Thailand’s most famous Buddha image in the city.

Away from town is Issan Rum Distillery, a quaint lovely place to explore the production of rum and you’ll find yourself purchasing a few bottles after tasting the drink. Make sure to walk at Tha Sadet Market, a Thai-Lao Indochina day market that sells an assortment of goods and foods.  

Where To Stay

Panlaan Boutique Resort is a 3-star establishment suited for big family and couple travellers. The hotel is also close to the iconic Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge and Nong Thin Public Park. Otherwise, Vana Wellness Resort has spa amenities, bicycle rentals on site and is located near other attractions. 

Where To Eat

You’ll be spoilt with choice at Tha Sadet Market and make sure to try the barbecued seafood there. Another top dining scene in Nong Khai is Nagarina Restaurant serving Thai-Isaan cuisine and fresh seafood on a floating dock. For a change of taste buds, try Vietnamese food at Daeng Namnuang restaurant known for their spring rolls and skewers. 

Good To Know

  • Loy Kratong, a harvest festival, will be celebrated on 23 November this year by offering flower shrines and candles to Mekong river.
  • Rocket Festival is celebrated in May every year to give thanks to the God of Rain by launching rockets to the sky. 
  • Nong Khai has a distinctive Isaan culture that originates from Thai and Lao roots. Locals are able to speak both Thai language and the Isaan dialect which has similarities to Lao language.
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