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Just Arrived In Nong Khai

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Vancouver
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Just Arrived In Nong Khai

I just arrived in Nong Khai after 2 days in Chiang Khan. Interesting drive - I hired a driver and a TA friend also came along for the ride and so I got to see many interesting places along the route - stopped at Ban Chok (?), Sangkom, and a very revered Wat about an hour from Nong Khai... and a few other places -one was a place where there are many waterfalls in the rainy season and pools to swim in, where many many Thais go with their families to swim and picnic - today it was very dry and only the rocks showing - very near MeKong River..

I just checked into Mutmee Guesthouse and have a very nice room for 800b a night (2 nights). Right on the riverside - it's about 3:45 pm on Saturday, so I'm going to park my backpack in my room, go to a lovely quiet area on the guesthouse grounds, order a big Singha - ice cold in case anyone cares, and sit there and relax... !

At least this guesthouse is well organized and great staff that explained everything to me when I arrived, and speak English which will be helpful to me. I was getting a little tired of playing Charades the past 2 days - it wasn't getting me anywhere in Chiang Khan! I DID eat some street food during my time there and discreetly did away with a couple of things that I didn't like, and very much enjoyed a lot of other things, especially the breaded banana with a special sweet sauce - delicious! And finally got my hands on some fruit - pineapple, mango, bananas... I was unable to find fruit when I was in Loei - again, couldn't find anyone who spoke English on the street, and at the hotel I was at - Muanmanee... the two staff people there really didn't know enough English to help me... so my diet was a little lop-sided for a few days, and I actually felt a bit ill the other day, but once I got some fruit into me, I was fine.

I'm looking forward to seeing a really good sunset tonight in Nong Khai! I have heard that the sunsets here are wonderful! In Chiang Khan, I guess my G.H. was at a particular curve in the river where I could not see the sunset or sunrise (it's usually pretty misty in the mornings....)

Tomorrow I plan to take a tuktuk to the Sculpture Park, and there is a morning wet market that will be interesting, and I can buy some more fruit there. Tonight, there is the Saturday Night market and the promenade along the Mekong where I can go for a stroll and enjoy speaking some English to the English, and some very poor Thai words to the very nice Thai people! My repetoire is now up to about 5 words! lol...

My room is very nice - lovely furniture and many Thai accents - ground level which helps my knees. I am still doing fine and loving my trip. Can't believe Laos is so close! Have taken many pictures while in Chiang Khan, especially early in the morning when the fishermen are going out in their long boats - interestingly, I saw one fellow sitting right at the front of a very long boat, and he was paddling over to some of the islands - must be some nice juicy catfish in those currents and eddies...

I almost feel like I am in a dream that continues to flow from one direction to another very quietly... It has helped to have an overall structure of the places I wanted to visit, and then I can just relax into each place when I get there and do or see whatever presents itself. Effortless! Great way to travel and I love getting online (when I can find a computer!) and hearing from my TA friends. I'm in a book store at the moment - 20b an hour to use the computer. Won't be able to use it tomorrow as it is Sunday ... so thought I'd post now (before the Beer.... as I may be slightly incoherent after that!).

On Monday morning, I am leaving for Nakhon Phanom and will take the river route, that doesn't apparently always go by the river, but the scenery is nicer than doing the straight forward route by highway straight south from Nong Khai and then over to Nakhon Sakon and then Nakhon Phanom... Driving time will be about 5 hours with some stops along the way.

I will post from there on Monday - probably won't get there until mid afternoon. The scenery from Chiang Khan to Nong Khai was very nice and the roads were pretty good - a little construction here and there, and a bit of crop burning, but hasn't affected me to any degree. Hot and dry; it was interesting to see how the Mekong River changed its appearance as I got closer to Nong Khai.

Well, the thought of that ice-cold beer is calling to me like a siren, so I will say Adieu for now... by the way, the driver stopped at the Buoy Guesthouse, I think it is about 70 k's from Nong Khai and I walked the grounds and looked at the facilities. It is truly lovely - many flowers, great location right on the Mekong - a neat long wooden bridge to reach the thatched cottages which are very basic but incredibly peaceful vibe... I think they are about 450b per night. In the main house, there are a few lovely rooms with netting and lovely decor at 250 b per night - with hammocks to lie in and just chill out. If I was staying in this area longer, I would stay there for sure! Just wanted to let you know that anyone interested in a peaceful place with no TV and basic but lovely surroundings and really nice people that run it (Thai), check it out.

I know Mutmee G.H. has been around for a long time and it will suit me fine, but in case someone comes this way and it is booked up, remember Buoy G.H. It's very nice. I have not stayed there so these are just my thoughts and feelings about the place. After having a look, I loved it and wished I had longer in this area so I could stay there for a night or two.

Well, time to wet my whistle (Canadian speak for chug the beer!). Hope you all are thirsty after reading this! lol..... I'll do a follow-up on Nong Khai probably on Monday after I've spent some sober time here!

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Just Arrived In Nong Khai

Great to read your updates, Skeezix! It's inspiring to read about these places along the Mekong, so close to Laos. We're just starting to sketch out a plan for a trip later this year - Chiang Khong to Luang Prabang by the slow boat might be a possibility.

I can very much identify with your enthusiasm for the quiet moments with the Singha. It has to be one of the best times when travelling - after a full and tiring day, sitting in a pleasant part of your hotel, perhaps in the garden or on your deck, with a cold Singha - heaven!

Glad you've been enjoying the trip so far - keep up the updates, and I can't wait for the JBRs.

Italy
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2. Re: Just Arrived In Nong Khai

Thanks for another great report, you're inspiring me to plan the same trip, I'd never thought about visiting this area before your adventures but am taking notes.

Vancouver
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3. Re: Just Arrived In Nong Khai

Hi Spopey and Chrella.... I REALLY enjoyed that Singha! Probably should have had the smaller version, but it was reallyy good.... ooops, there goes my spelling! I've given myself away! It's about 6:50 pm now - saw a great sunset with a big red ball of a sun slipping into the Mekong... glad I've got a digital camera! and now I'm halfway through the Saturday Night market and its great! Lots of street food everywhere, and lots of different things I haven't tried before. Am seriously practising "Mai Pet!"...

So many things to see, and spopey, I did sit in the garden to relax and drink that beer... so good. I found computers at a place called Mekong G.H. as I strolled down one side of the market so thought I'd pop in here and check in... It's fun! Lots of Thai music playing and huge amount of people - wow! Not too many farangs around, but that magical word: "Sawadee kah..." gets me the greatest smiles from the Thai people! They always look so surprised when I say hello or thank you in Thai. It's when they talk back that I'm in trouble... I just smile and shrug my shoulders and look pathetic and they laugh1

Well, onward and upward, am really enjoying this market. Since I now know where to find a computer, I'll post again tomorrow when I've seen the Sculpture Park and some other things.

Edited: 6:56 am, February 16, 2013
Rotterdam, The...
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4. Re: Just Arrived In Nong Khai

Hi Skeezix,

Read about your adventures in Chiang Kahn. Now you have experienced the real Thailand. Funny when nobody understand you and that you will have a lot of times when you are travelling in the Isaan.

We have the same here, we are in Umphang now. Umphang is a little village 164 km from Mae Sot and it is on the end of a highway. We must go back to Mae Sotto travel further.

Umphang is near the Myanmar border and lots of Thai tourist come here in the weekend. Just a few farang.

You can do trekkings to the highest waterfall of Thailand: Tilosu. We are not young enough to do a trekking and sleep very basic. Three or 4 days walking, o no!

We hired a car with a driver because our own little Honda is not capable to reach the spot. Lots of climbing on a sandroad with big wholes and that 25 km long. The first 15 km on a good road.

The last 1,5 km we had to walk on a kind of staircase road, like an sport exercise.

And then we reached the famous spot. I took a bath with all my clothes just like the Thai. Lovely cool water and beautiful views on the way: we had an other splendid day

Rotterdam, The...
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5. Re: Just Arrived In Nong Khai

Oh we stayed in Buoys guesthouse and we loved the basic hut in the flowergarden.

One of the places we want to get back to in our next trip to Thailand. Just like Nong Khai. We also stayed in Mutmee.

I am curious about your opinion of the sculpture park. We had already seen one of the same artist in Laos.

Chiang Khong...
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6. Re: Just Arrived In Nong Khai

Hi

How long will you be in Nakon Phanom ?

there is a great festival at That Phanom near by you might be too early for it I think it starts feb 25 this year

isaan-live.com/magha-pujathat-phanomnakhon-p…

I was there a few yrs back huge fleamarket live Morlum music and many many many people LOL will be hard to find a room if not already booked during festival

I had a great time and got some fantastic pics and memory's

Chiang Khong...
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7. Re: Just Arrived In Nong Khai

Hi

which way are you heading back to Bangkok?

If you are on the road between Mudakan and Roi-et there is a interesting cedi

to stop by and see It is newer but very large 100 meters by 100 meters tall

very ornate and you can walk up to the very top of the spire inside

www.youtube.com/watch…

this is very close to my wifes land I can see the top of the spire from her village

the last time we were there my wife got some really nice silk outfits from shops

just outside of the cedi walls

thanks for posting your reports brings up great memorys of an area I love and know well. wish i was there now LOL.

have a great rest of your trip keep posting

Vancouver
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8. Re: Just Arrived In Nong Khai

Torretjed... I bet that was fun, swimming in your clothes! Good for you! And glad you stayed at Buoy's G.H. Isn't it lovely? Boy , that place is special. Loved it when I went there yesterday to have a look.. Went over the old long wooden bridge to look at the thatched huts - lovely setting and the rooms in the main house are great as well. Next time I'm back, I'll stay there. But Mutmee is great too - quite international with all the different travellers passing through. It almost seems strange to be able to speak English after the past 6 days of really struggling with the Thai language... and no English available.

I went to the Sculpture Park in Nong Khai this morning and I loved it - was amazed at the height of the sculptures and how many there were, and the lovely tropical garden setting they were in.... I have heard that this Sculpture Park by the same man is much better than the one in he first created in Laos, so perhaps if you are by this way again, have a look at this one because I really thought it was great!

Sawadeeka... I will have 2 days in Nakhon Phanom (Feb. 18 & 19th) so unfortunately will miss the great celebrations you were talking about... but my main purpose in going there is to see the wat about 50 ks south of the town. Have seen pictures of it and it looks exquisite. Can't wait to explore it.

I will be leaving Nong Khai around 8 am tomorrow and travelling for about 5 hours to get there. I have enjoyed Nong Khai - the night market last night was great - loud, fun, great street food, lots of music.... long walk back to the guesthouse.... my poor knees....

There is a Sunday market that I'm just about to go and explore - it's quite large as well and covered over, then open and then a covered over part . That will be intersting. It is quite hot here but the garden at Mutmee GH is great - good food, people speak English! and my room is 800 baht per night and very spacious with really nice Thai decor. Looking forward to another great sunset over the Mekong around 6 pm.

After the Sculpture Park this morning, I came back to guesthouse and lay down for an hour or so - and was rejuvenated to go out again after a delicious Pad Thai and Coffee Milkshake! Love the Thai coffee - in any form!

I will post from Nakhom Phanom if the internet is okay - it has been a bit sketchy in the east - (Chang Khan, Nong Khai areas). Am looking forward to the trip tomorrow to NakhonPhanom. Have decided to take the longer route along the Mekong rather than the more direct highway south out of NongKhai and then rte 22, etc.

After my 2 days in Nakhon Phanom, I will take an Air Asia flt to Bangkok and spend a few days there and then fly home to Vancouver... Since I've hardly bought anything so far, and my backpack is already heavy, I am anticipating buying a suitcase when I get to Bangkok and filling it up with great things when I go to MBK, Siam Paragon, TErminal 21, etc.,etc. That way, I can just put it on the plane and go... I intend to see the Ancient City while I'm there, and also Erawan Musuem - both places I highly recommend. I have also booked the Loy Nava Dinner Cruise for my first night there and also Siam Nirimit show the next night, so I'll be a busy girl!

So far, this trip has been unbelievably good... there have been a couple of scary times, and definitely some frustrating ones as well, but that's all a part of travelling and adds a little more intensity and flavour to the mix!

I'm doing well and am very happy about how this trip has gone so far. It has unfolded in a way I never anticipated, and that has made it very special...

Vancouver
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9. Re: Just Arrived In Nong Khai

Sawadeeka... I just wanted to let you know that I DID see the wonderful festival at the Wat That Phanom when I arrived there Feb. 18th... I didn't know about it until I got to the Wat and spent several hours there with all the parades and Morlan music, and hordes of people (hardly any farangs!), and the buildings were beautiful; the market surrounding the Wat was fun too with all the stalls and street food. I loved every minute of the festival. What a joy to be there at that time...!

10. Re: Just Arrived In Nong Khai

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