I am just back from the famous "Phi Ta Khon" festival in Dan Sai (80km south-west of Loei city). It is a very local festival combination of scaring the ghosts and Bung Ban Fai. And it did became very popular in the years. This year it was held from 22 June to 24 June with the hight-light at at Saturday with the big parade in the small city of Dan Sai.
Tourists from all over Thailand and a little bit western tourists. It must be the busiest time of the all year for Dan Sai and all accommodation is fully booked ... even in Loei and LomSak. And of course there many many many Thai young people on their little old Honda C70's scooters.
The area of Dan Sai (Lom Sak/Petchabun and Loei) is really amazing beautiful and only that is worth going there. It is where Thailand is still Thailand, it is not Isaan and it is not the North.
The next day I did ride (with my motorbike) straight north to the Lao border and then along the border back to Loei. You are passing a beautiful landscape of rice-fields, little villages and beautiful mountains.
In Loei I was so lucky to have the last room in the King Hotel (as an tour group just canceled 1 room) and in the evening we had diner at "Chris Steak house" where you can not only eat the best German sausages but also great pizza.
It was a great long weekend and I am starting to like / love the area more and more. Amazing that there is actually so little tourism. Well with the new border-crossing to Laos and the soon to be finished highway to Luang Prabang that might change. Go before it is too late!