Nong Khai on the Mekong River


Distance: 45KM from Nakara Villa through picturesque country roads. Journey time between 40-60 minutes

Nong Khai is a sleepy, picturesque boarder town sitting on the banks of Mekong River which is more than worth spending a day discovering. The town started becoming more prominent after the building of theThai-Laos friendship bridgeas well as the increasing interest in the legend of theNaga Fire Ballswhich appear on or around the night beforeWan Ok Phansa. It has retained its old world, sleep charm with several overlapping architectural styles and influences but now merged with quaint coffee shops, restaurants, markets and temples.

A day in Nong Khai can include visiting several locations as well time just spent wandering around the streets and shops. Popular stop offs though include:

Tha Sadet Market

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This covered market sits on the banks of the Mekong River and provides an interesting mix of both Laos, Vietnamese and Thai products. A hodge podge of things both practical and entirely unnecessary as well cafes covering everything from traditional Thai to specialist Vietnamese.

More information: ImagesHolidayVirtual toursit  

Time: From 1-4 hours

Buddha Garden - Sala Keoku

A few minutes outside of the city center lies this impressive Buddha statue garden. Take your time exploring the stone representations of both Buddhist and Hindu deities some of which tower 25m over you . Bring a camera as this garden is overflowing with amazing photo-ops. A 'must see' when in Nong Khai.

More information: PinterestAtlasWiki

Time: 1 - 2 hours

Nong Khai Freshwater Aquarium

The Nong Khai Freshwater Aquarium is located on the Khon Kaen University campus, about 4km out of Nong Khai. It is famous for it's giant catfish and displays of various ocean-dwelling species as well as freshwater species. Asurprising find in such a remote area and a popular day for the kids:

More information: YoutubeTrip Advisor

Time: 1-2 hours

Mekong Sunset River River Cruise

Itching to soak in more views of the Mekong? Why not hop on an hour long sunset boat cruise. The tour leaves from the pier directly below Mutmee Guesthouse every evening.

More information: Youtube,Travel fish

Time 1-2 hours

Nong Khai Crocodile Farm

A relative new comer to Nong Khai and not as grand as some for the Bangkok shows, but still with much of the same man v crocodile thrills.

More information Nong Khai, Trip Advisor

Time: 1-2 hours

Naga Fire Balls Festival /

Okk Paan Saa, (literally Out of Lent) is accompanied by a large festival which lasts from the 24th to the 28th of October 2015, just before till just after the full moon and accumulates in the magical appearing of the mysterious Naga Fire Balls.  The week contains street festivals, lanterns, special food as well as a dragon boat racing.

More Information: Nagawikiyoutube

Time: All day/evening

Buddhist Temples

Nong Khai has several wonderful temples to explore, the most popular being Wat Pho Chai and Wat Noen Phra Nao. Wat Noen Phra Nao offers Vipassana meditation courses.

More information: Wat Pho Chai,Wat Noen Phra Nao

Time: 1-2 hours per temple

Vientiane, Laos

Just across the border from Nong Khai is Vientiane, capital of Laos. Compared to the hectic, bustling capitals in other Southeast Asian countries, Vientiane's relaxing atmosphere makes it feel like the small town it is. After you've done the round of temples, the best thing to do here has always been to wander down to the riverside, relax with a cold Beerlao, the Lao national beer, and watch the sun set on the Mekong.

More info: Tripadvisor, Travel Fish, Wiki

Time: 1 day (passports required)

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