Nong Khai is an amazing province in Thailand and it is also close to the border where you can easily travel across if you would like to. Once you are here, you will be able to see many attracting things and places that you cannot find elsewhere in Thailand. If you are visiting Thailand, this is the place that you may start with!
General information about Nong Khai Thailand
The province of Nong Khai has another name which is the Naga City. The history of this name come from a legend about a giant serpent that guards the city and lives in the Mae Kong River. This is one of the reasons why the location of the province is attractive to many tourists. You can also say that many tourists come here as a passageway to Laos and Vientiane as it is pretty much one of the jobs of this province. If you want to find an extraordinary example of the Esan culture, this is a good place to start.
You will definitely feel the essence of the northeastern culture from everything such as the dialect, food, atmosphere, personality of the people, and more. You might find it difficult to listen to them from its dialect, but they can also speak Central Thai too.
To get to Nong Khai
There are several ways for you to get here. The first is by taking a place to Udon Thani first, then take a bus ride from there. The second way to take a train which might take you around 10 to 12 hours from Bangkok. The third way is to take a bus from Mo Chit 2 Terminal at Bangkok which will take you about nine solid hours.
Famous attractions in Nong Khai
If you come to Thailand and expect to see a lot of temples, you are absolutely correct with your assumption. However, there are more than temple that you can discover at this province. Most of the famous places ties with the culture and history of this province in which you will truly see it once you are here.
Wat Pha Tak Suea
The first famous place at Nong Khai is Wat Pha Tak Suea. The temple was built in the year 1934 with a sightseeing spot that enables you to see the view of the two sides of Mae Kong River. It is also one of the spots with the most beautiful sunset in the province! In fact, the spot is about 550 meters high and has one amazing landmark! A sky walk which made out of transparent glass is the landmark that you should visit! This is also the first sky walk that was made from glass. The passage goes out from the cliff for about six meters, so you can fully see the views of Mae Kong River.
Sala Kaew Ku
One place of culture that you should really see is Sala Kaew Ku. This place contains a garden with giant statues in the middle of a plain of more than 16,000 square meters. The exact number of statues is around 208 statues which is the most in Thailand!
More than 10 of them are higher than a three-story building and you can only see them here in Thailand! These statues were built since 1978 by Po Phu Boon Luea Sureerat. The philosophy behind the idea is to combine every teaching of every religion into one enormous work of art.
A bike lane along the Mae Kong River
As Nong Khai is a city that locates next to Mae Kong River, the district built a bike lane with more than 10 kilometers in length along the Mae Kong River. This route will strictly make you pass through different places such as the first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Thailand that lets you travel across to Laos and Tha Sadet Market which is a place that sells products from various countries like Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and China.
You can also buy something to eat or souvenirs here. You will also have a chance to visit a giant landmark known as the serpent sculpture. It is both huge and beautiful! You can visit other places inside the city too. Do not worry if you do not have a bicycle with you, there is a rental where you can rent one.
Unique places around Nong Khai province is focusing more on natural attractions in which this province is famous for. However, these places are not yet known by many tourists. As these places are not in the mainstream attraction yet, you will be able to experience it more! So, enjoy while it last!
Phu Huai Esan
The local recommended this place called Phu Huai Esan, it is a sightseeing spot where you can see the sea of mists moving around the two sides of Mae Kong River, including sunrise. The orange glow in the morning right at this spot is very beautiful indeed. Once the mists dissipate, you will be able to see the view of mountains which are inside the land of Laos. You will also see the view of Mae Kong River down below from here. There are two spots which has its own unique views. Another way to get up here, you can ride the E-tan car of the villagers.
Din Piang Cave
Another natural attraction that you should see is Din Piang Cave which locates at Wat Sri Mongkol. It is actually an underground cave and many people believe that it is a cave of the serpent. Inside of the cave has various beautiful lighting decorations and the interior separates into different rooms or zones with many alleys in which most of them are connecting to each other like a spider web. One caution to be noted here is that you cannot go inside alone!
You require a guide to take you inside the cave. Once you are inside, some sections are pretty narrow that you need to crawl to move forward and some spaces are vast. You will hear sounds of water throughout the entire year. It is cave that awaits you to experience its beauty and listen to the amazing legend of this cave.
Than Thong Waterfall
The next two attractions consist of awesome caves that you should not miss! The first one is Than Thong Waterfall and it is a famous waterfall of this province. This waterfall produces a rock canal of over 30 meters in length. There are ponds where you can relax in the water. Atmosphere surrounding the place is also quite nice with a garden that contains a lot of trees. If you want to see a large amount of water, the best period is between June and November. You can also find something to eat at the restaurant nearby and a market that sells things you can only find in the wild such as wild fruits, wild mushrooms, and etc.
Than Thip Waterfall
The second waterfall and the last place on my list is Than Thip Waterfall which is another famous waterfall here. You can say that this is a middle-sized waterfall with three levels. The first level is about 30 meters high and you can see a white body of water flows through into a pond down below. You can also go inside the pond if you would like to. The second and third levels are 100 meters and 70 meters high, respectively. You can go to see what is up there too. The water usually flows all year long, but the period with the most water is around June to November.
Other Interesting info about Nong Khai
The motto of this province is “Prab Ho incident, Luang Pho Phra Sai, and Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge”. The one and only way of transportation is tuktuk, so be sure to ask for the price first before getting in. There are various budget and mid-range hotels here with cheap prices. The price can vary from 200 baht per night to more than 6000 baht per night. Have a happy stay!