Khon Kaen to Khon Kaen
• Meeting the urban monkeys of Kumphawapi
• Vivid Ban Chiang pottery
• The immense, bizarre sculptures at Sala Kaew Ku
• Clifftop view of the Mekong River from above Sangkhom
• Unusual rock formations at Phu Phrabat
This tour though Nong Khai and Udon Thani provinces makes the most of its time along the Mekong River. After meeting Kumphawapi’s urban monkeys we’ll spend some quality time in Ban Chiang, one of Southeast Asia’s most important archaeological sites, seeing both ancient and modern pottery. After seeing the surreal Sala Kaew Ku sculpture park, Indochina Market, and other sites in Nong Khai city, we’ll head west along the Mekong River making several village visits before taking in one of the most beautiful views of the Mekong in Thailand. On the return journey, we’ll visit the interesting rock formations and vivid cave paintings at Phu Phrabat, plus a Hell sculpture park and some villages.
From around November to February, we can adjust the itinerary so you can take a boat ride through the vast spread of pink water lilies in Tale Bua Dang, the “Red Lotus Lake.”
Make the most of your trip with our special add-on activities before, during, or after your tour.
Day 1 – Ban Chiang
On the way north from Khon Kaen we will stop to meet the urban monkeys that live in Kumphawapi’s town center and visit a weaving village, then head to Ban Chiang, the site of an enigmatic civilization that began making bronze tools around 2000 BC; long before any other known place in East Asia. The myriad artifacts unearthed here, most famously the iconic burnt ocher swirl pottery, rewrote the history books and today can be seen both inside the excellent Ban Chiang National Museum and in situ at a burial ground excavation site. Mixing the ancient with the modern, we’ll visit a village where locals make large hand-made pots using the original method, which uses no potter’s wheel and see how sticky rice baskets are woven before heading up to Nong Khai city on the Mekong River.
Overnight in Nong Khai
Day 2 – Nong Khai & Sangkhom
The highlight of your morning tour of low-key Nong Khai is Sala Kaew Ku, a wonderfully bizarre religious center filled with immense and strange concrete sculptures blending Buddhist and Hindu iconography. We’ll also stop by both the popular Tha Sadet Market, filled with bric-a-brac from across Southeast Asia, and a local fresh market, full of local foods you won’t find at home, and see incredible Buddhist murals at some of the city’s most interesting temples. Leaving Nong Khai, we’ll trace the Mekong River to visit a topiary park and spring roll wrapper making village. Near the lovely riverside town of Sangkhom we’ll gaze over the Mekong from Wat Pa Tak Suea, which is perched atop a soaring cliff and has one of the best viewpoints along the river. In the rainy season or beginning of the cool season we’ll also see a lovely waterfall. Relaxing Sangkhom town sits right on the river.
Overnight in Sangkhom
Day 3 – Phu Phrabat & Ban Phue
We’ll start the day seeing sitting mats being woven in a small village and then head to the hills of Phu Phrabat, where the beautiful historical park protects ancient rock carvings and paintings, as well as some incredible natural rock formations. We’ll than see the punishments awaiting in Hell at Wat Pho Chai Si’s unusual sculpture park and later visit the home of a family that makes palm sugar. Finally, we’ll stop at a temple full of tens of thousands of elephants statues given as offerings for wishes granted before returning to Khon Kaen.
If our itinerary doesn’t fit your exact needs and desires, please let us know. With advance notice we can usually modify things.
Prices valid until March 2023.
|Hotel Level||Number of Persons|
|Price per person, two per room (baht)|
All sightseeing and activities as specified in the itinerary with English-speaking local guides, entrance fees, transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle, hotel transfers, accommodation, breakfast at deluxe-level accommodation and village homestays, dinner at village homestays, snacks and cold water in the vehicle, accident insurance, taxes, and pre-departure travel consultation.
Price Does Not Include
Transportation to Khon Kaen, meals and drinks other than what is specified above, travel and medical insurance, personal expenses (such as laundry, souvenirs, snacks, etc.), tips/gratuities, visa fees (Thai visas are free or not required for most international visitors.), and any additional expenses incurred due to airline schedule changes, natural disasters, political actions, or other factors beyond our control.
• For tours longer than one day, a non-refundable deposit of 30% is required as soon as possible after making your reservation.
• The full payment is due before the tour begins. This can be done after you arrive in Thailand, as long as you have access to sufficient funds before you depart on your tour.
• International payments are best done by bank transfer, and the cheapest, fastest, and easiest way is with TransferWise. Credit/debit cards can be used through TransferWise or other online wire transfer services. For people inside Thailand, we accept payment via cash (Thai baht, US dollars, British pounds, and euros), ATM transfer, and counter deposit to Siam Commercial Bank.
• If local taxes and/or fuel prices increase significantly, we reserve the right to add comparable surcharges.
This is the accommodation that we normally use for this tour. Of course, if any place is fully booked during your travel dates, we will have to substitute a similar property. If this happens, we will let you know right away.
Day 1 – Nong Khai
Budget: Mut Mee Garden Guesthouse
Deluxe: Mut Mee Garden Guesthouse -or- Pimali*
Homestay: Mut Mee Garden Guesthouse
Day 2 – Sangkhom
Budget: Sangkhom River View
Deluxe: Sangkhom River View
Homestay: Ban Pak Som-Ban Lamphu Pan village homestay
*These hotels offer very different styles. We let you choose the one that’s right for you.