I haven't been to Chiang Khan. I haven't seen Phu Thok. I haven't traveled by new "Isan-Mankha" Special Express. And I haven't stayed at The Camp Chiangkhan, Khong riverside tent, yet. What am I waiting for? My daughter just finished her exam. Let's go...
Start first night of the trip with new Special Express Bangkok-Nongkhai called "Isan-Mankha".
Two weeks prior to the trip, we bought ticket at Hua Lamphong.
Done checking date and time. Lower bad is 1,357THB and upper bed is 1,157THB. One room suits for 2 people, so 2,514THB in total. And another room for Khun Manai is lower bed 1,357THB. To occupy the whole room costs 500THB additionally, 1,857THB in total. Departure time is 8.00PM and arrives at 6.35AM taking 11.5 hours. Our luxurious sleeping place for the first night is 4,371THB.
Second night at .... The Camp Chiangkhan Khong Riverside Tent
It newly opens. Making reservation at tourism event gets half price. I hurriedly transfer payment 3,100THB.
It is a package for 2 including sailing to watch sunset along Khong river.
Flying White Stork attracts us to take photos. There is barbecue at night as well.
Go to Phu Thok in the morning, sea fog viewpoint.
For Gustjung, I pay 600THB for extra bed included breakfast. Plus 100THB for a fare to Phu Thok.
Fancy accommodation for three of us costs 3,800THB.
So, the second night expense is roughly 8,181THB.
Accommodation cost for two nights already make me sweaty, haha. Anyway, to impress my daughter, I can bear it. We gotta introduce new things, add more traveling experiences and gather happiness. So our child has a chance to spend beautiful moment with us as well as learning things apart from textbook. Learn together with mom who doesn't know better than her, haha.
The train departs at 8.00PM but I'm afraid of traffic jam. And I'm also fall in love with Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong).
So, I come to sit leisurely and take photos while waiting for Khun Manai and Gustjung.
For this trip, I got new toy, Action Camera, YI 4K.
It is easy to use making the trip even more fun. You can carry it everywhere due to its tiny size.
The new train to Chiang Mai just arrived. So, I take a small tour. This is dining car.
Meet with foreign tourists, so I ask them to join the camera. Friendship during journey is always memorable.
Gustjung just arrived together with Khun Manai. We find something to eat first.
Also, buy some snacks to eat during the way. Just in case we get hungry.
During the meal, Khun Manai discloses that ...
what if the train we are getting on is not the new one!!
OMG, how could it be?
Well .... it didn't mention in the ticket.
GOD!!! I'm excited if it's not like what I plan.
And this is first class ticket of the new train for me and Gustjung. This room costs 2,524THB for two people.
Here's Khun Manai's. Rent the whole room at 1,857THB.
Our train has arrived. I'm relieved it's absolutely the right one.
Looking for room no.5 and 6, my room and Gustjung's.
This is what it looks like.
It is equipped with tiny washbasin and personal touchscreen LCD. The screen shows next station plus satellite photo of train's location. It also contains entertainment media and food ordering system from dining car. Then staff will deliver the food. Cool!!
A glass at walkway in front of our room.
Khun Manai's room is no.7 and 8 next to ours.
There is a connecting door between both room. We can walk through.
Hi my dear.
More space now.
All luggage is kept at Khun Manai's room.
Our room's gotta be nice and clean.
The name " Isan-Mankha " was given by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
There are plenty of interesting TV programs that I want to stay on the train several nights. Free WIFI is provided during the whole journey plus personal night light.
I forget one thing. We can lock our room during the trip making us sleep tight. No worries.
Now we are tired from surveying bedroom. Move on to toilet.
Turn left and walk to the end is toilet or there is another one on the right. Enough for passengers.
There are 2 female rooms. The toilet flush is so powerful that I'm afraid it'll take my soul. Also, it takes me long time to find flush button. It's the green and white one over there ...
There is 1 male toilet.
Bathroom contains water heater. I have used it.
Return to our room. The train departs on time at 8.00PM.
Let's go to dining car before it's too late.
The food is frozen. It is heated up and served. Price is acceptable while the taste reminds me of Seven Eleven.
Take photos while waiting for food. Air condition is quite cold. Don't forget to bring warm cloth.
One prefer to eat, another one prefer to photograph.
At first I'm not hungry but now I'm getting serious.
Run out of fun time. Go back to our room and wait for staff to prepare the bed.
While we are walking back, passengers in second class sleeper car are going to bad.
Lower bed 839THB.
Upper bed 748THB.
Staff uses less than 3 minutes to prepare the bed.
Gustjung will be on top. I would roll if I climb, haha.
Khun Manai's room sets up only one bed because he sleeps alone.
It's nearly midnight now. Take a shower, dismiss and get on bed. (All seats are equipped with plug, USB charger and earphone.)
Next morning, staff will come to clear the bed.
The train is late than schedule but we are cool. We still enjoy staying on train. Some may say plane ticket is considered same price but faster. However, for me, traveling by train is the happiest way, no matter what king of vehicles. I always have good time and gain more experiences. I am happy everytime I see view through the window. It makes my life peaceful. And this is Manow's vacation style.
I barely see things at night so I didn't take photos of anything else. Say goodbye to Isan Special Express with this image. I'll definitely come again ...
Now we arrive ay Nong Khai. There is not clear objective of coming here. I just want to try the first class sleep car ...
Second topic of this trip is visiting Chiang Khan, Loei.
First of all, bring my daughter to see Skylab. It is her first time to ride it, haha.
What is Skylab?
Samlor Skylab or Tuk-Tukis the common name of the auto rickshaws mostly used in the northeastern part of Thailand. Skylab engine size is ranging from 90 to 150 cc. Skylab was invented in 1978 by the Managing Director of Ake Pa Nich, Mr. Narong Utranusorn. The name "Skylab" came from quick popularity of three-wheel motorized vehicle in Udon Thani including other provinces in northeast area when the first US Space Laboratory Station; the Skylab, Make a Re-Entered into the earth in 1979. Locals brought the name Skylab to call this three-wheel vehicle in order to present novelty of vehicle that well response to various usages.
Fare for three of us is 150THB, to Nong Khai transportation.
We are not able to wait for Loei's bus at 11.00AM to Chiang Khan. So, we decide to follow station master's recommendation.
Get on a van to Udon Thani, 100THB per person. (Actually getting off the train at Udon Thai would be nice but that's alright. We want to ride the train.)
Grab some snacks and soft drink as easy breakfast and continue our journey. Let's see how many transitions until we get to Chiang Khan.
After an hour, the van arrive. We immediately hop on orange bus to Loei without stop by toilet.
The fare is 91THB per person. This is the 3rd ride of the day.
We arrive at Loei in 3 hours. I'm feeling not well now, dizzy and carsick.
At this point, mini-bus to Chiang Khan is available all the time. However, a local vendor doesn't recommend since it stops along the way plus lots of dust. Our heads would be covered with dust by the time we arrive, haha. Therefore, we decide to go by Nakhonchai Air bus. Anyway, I'm getting worried if we will be able to riding boat trip. The time is very close.
Here's the bus. It's already 3.00PM but we don't reach Chiang Khan yet, LOL. However, we know since beginning that there are several transits.
A bus to Chiang Khan is 35THB per person taking around an hour.
After the bus is our last ride. It's Skylab again but this time is free service from hotel.
OMG!!!!! Finally we arrive. I'm starving!!
To sum up, today we take 5 rides with total fare of 850THB for three people.
Oh god!!! Chiang Khan is super faraway.
Manow Journey has creates short video for this trip.
Move to topic about hotel, The Camp Chiangkhan.
Let's see how gorgeous it is.
There are variety of accommodations and prices. If you are interested, please feel free to contact them for details.
I stay in river front tent allowing me to see Khong river clearly.
Extra bed is that sofa. Bedsheet and blanket are provided.
Overall atmosphere is nice and clean. Air condition is well function.
This is another room type. They also have the one exclude bathroom which the price is different. Although bathroom is separated, it is still convenient and clean.
I wish to sit and taste clod drinks but this trip is quite rush. Makes me pant. I don't have time to be still. PS. Beverage price is reasonable.
There are many seats in front of tent. Weather is nice and cool.
Take a short break before bringing Gustjung to sail along Khong river.
There are seats at the pier too.
Ready to move.
It's not sunset time but still okay. Because there are lots of birds.
Switch camera. Not sure if it can capture the birds or not. They are faraway.
I have 18-140 lens and this is the best I got. Anyway!!! Does Gustjung get anything from her lens, haha.
Leisurely sail with my daughter watching fog above water and enjoying nice weather. Birds fly around. We are so happy.
We are hungry now. Let's eat barbecue. This is what they prepared for us. I like it, delicious.
While waiting for barbecue, I tell Gustjung to swing her mobile.
We are not full yet. Go to walking street is a good idea.
We arrive at walking street about 8.00PM. It is still crowded but not much. Because it's working day.
There are plenty of attractive homestay on walking street beside Khong river with different price ranges.
We focus on eating and photographing food, haha.
This shop is so lovely that I can't choose. The price is not expensive though.
After we grab some snacks, we take a photo in the middle of street.
Most of the food are cute and creative.
So, we don't take many photos apart from food that we are interested, LOL. I recommend everyone to experience the real ambiance and cool weather. It is so relaxing .... Now it's time to go back to our luxurious tent. Take some rest ....
Next morning we wake up at 4.30AM as we have an appointment with Skylab at 5.30AM. I'm so tiny, haha. Can cover the whole board.
A round trip to Phu Thok is only 25THB per person, very cheap.
It's still slightly dark when we arrive. I intend to try YI 4Kcamera in this trip. I want to shoot TIME LAPSE VIDEO watching fog flowing.
Narrow pathway causes difficulty in setting up camera. However, I'm still satisfied with flowing fog video. I gotta keep an eye on camera for hours. Gustjung and Khun Manai already dismiss, haha.
I take photo at nearby area waiting until sunrise. It is good to fully watch the scene in front of me rather than keep taking photos.
Few minutes after sunrise, we gather together.
When everyone's leaving, we walk to "Berng Tawan Mue Chao" point meaning watching sunrise in the morning.
Mother and daughter have reached Phu Thok, a famous and popular fog view point of Chiang Khan. It is a high hill beside Khong river. On the top is a telecommunication station of Chiang Khan and beautiful scenery view point .......
It is a bit late now but the fog is still here. Weather is not too cold. Anyway everyone is well prepared.
Come down from Phu Thonk. We start to get hungry. My daughter is petulant like little cat ... She wants to eat grilled sticky rice with egg. Okay, let's go. Is the dog gonna eat it??!!!
During trip back to hotel, we buy bus ticket to Bangkok at 500THB per person.Seat is comfortable, perfect.
We are super hungry. Bring it on!!
They provide full set breakfast. The boiled rice is tasty. Gustjung recommends several times.
At this moment, we separate to do personal activity until checkout.
Second floor offers space to sit leisurely.
Gustjung really milk bottle.
Khun Manai is eating and working at the same time.
Let's take some nice snapshots before leaving.
Advantage of having personal model.
For The Camp Chiangkhan | Khing riverside tent, I would say nice location, good atmosphere and various spots to take photos. Although it's opened less than a month, I still think it's alright. I recommend to try this tent.
We leave resort with Skylab again. The bus to Bangkok departs at 7.00PM (arriving at 5.00AM). Still got time. Go to cafe and watch Khong river meanwhile.
My sister gave rose tea from Pai which I also bring it to here. Drink it to refresh.
I have private model, so I find nice corner to photograph. Chiang Khan has lots of nice spots along the lane. Take photo until drop.
Enjoy photographing a lot. Gotta grab some food and get on bus ...
Sky at Chiang Khan is splendid.
Ching Khan is a small town by Khong river on Thailand borderline. It is a district in Loei province which still remains culture, custom, simple life, sufficient economy and original livelihood. Those are rarely found nowadays. This small peaceful town is attractive to many tourists. The image of old habitation lining along the road beside Khong river draws tourists to Ching Khan.
If you like photographing, you'll enjoy a lot. There are various type of accommodation with different price range. You can ride free train to Udon Thani and change to orange bus. Or take a bus from Loei. Or easily get on bus from Bangkok to Loei, no transit.
Summary of expense
First class sleeper car for two rooms 4,371THB
The Camp Chiangkhan 3,800THB
Fare from Nong Khai to Ching Khan 850THB
Bus fare return to Bangkok 1,500THB
Total expense is 10,521THB devided by 3. So, it's 3,500THB per person.
Exclude all meals.
Expense for this trip is quite a bit but what I get in return is worthwhile. I have a chance to enjoy good and fun moment with mu daughter. Both of us love journey. We take turns on petulant, soothing and encouraging. Taking photo is another activity we love. Photographing makes us concentrate. We aim to keep those photos as memory and share through review. So, everyone get to read and realize how gorgeous Thailand is. Also, find some time to travel.
....Thank you very much....
May I introduce review from another blogger, Singhakom (my daughter Gustjung). To see some other view.
Lastly I would like to leave my ordinary page regarding my traveling experience.
Or read all of my reviews.
Thank you once again and see you guys next trip with #manowjourney.