This Laos to Thai border crossing was a complete contrast to the one we had experienced a couple of weeks earlier… this time it was simple, quick and well trodden. Not such an adventure but a bit of a relief! About 90 minutes after leaving our hotel in Vientiane we had arrived at our next hotel in Nong Khai. Hurrah!
We had both been dying to spend some time in the Isaan region on northern Thailand – where arguably the most celebrated Thai food comes from. We were keen to try some of the local delicacies and soak up some of the relaxed and laid back vibes in the small town before heading back to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.
Only we hadn’t quite realised it was as laid back as this – note the crowds on the main (vast) river walkways!
The obsession with sea serpents continue throughout the sculptures along the river banks and the wrought iron town emblems.
Again, we were very fortunate to be on town during one of Nong Khai’s main festivities with markets, stages and lots and lots of street food stalls.
Some wats and temples mainly scattered along the rivers edge…
…and one even in the river, now only visible at high tide since the Mekong changed its path and enveloped the wat. In the picture below we sat and watched as a monk took a boat out to the wat and climbed on top to deliver some prayers and offerings before returning to the main land.
Similarly to Vientiane, the attraction that Nong Khai is most famous for is it’s Buddha Park – designed by the same man who created the one in Vientiane. This one was arguably more impressive, much larger and within some beautifully well kept gardens. No public transport out to this one sadly though so it was a long and sweaty 3 hour round trip on foot for us!
After a over night stop in Bangkok it was time to say goodbye to Thailand and this part of South East Asia. Next stop was Bali en route to Oceania!