Let's start our first review with Trendy Way of Traveling in Thai Style which
Tourism Authority of Thailand uses this campaign for promoting Thailand tourism.
What do you think the trendy way of traveling in Thai style is? Eating Pad Thai? or Thai boxing?
I think it is just only the way of thinking in the advertisement.
But in fact, Tourism Authority of Thailand would actually want us to get the idea that Trendy Thai"s
style way of travel can make us feel the authentic Thai's style way of journeys
and one day we go on the journey and think that this trip is so Thai.
Therefore, today we would like to present our trip to everyone.
This is our journey map for this trip. Besides, the main attractions that we go to, the map will also
show the recommended attractions that you should visit when you journey through this route for
example Phu Thok at Chiang Khan, Wat Pha Tak Sua to view scale of King Naga by Mekong river
and this place is one of the Thailand Dream Destination campaign which promoted by Tourism
Authority of Thailand, and there are also Wat Hin Mak Peng, and a bit further you can find Wang
Bua Daeng or Wang Bua Chompoo (Red Lotus Lak) in Nong Khai province.
We will begin this trip at Chiang Khan, but actually we stay in Bangkok and
we start travelling from there, we do take a visit here and there along the way; therefore I would like
to summarily excerpt to start the review from Chiang Khan.
We don't have a specific plan for this trip; just only the attractions information that we have.
When the time comes to our journey, we will just go ahead and decide day by day where we would
like to go in the next day morning. However, firstly today we will start our journey at Chiang Khan.
Speaking of Chiang Khan, only a small amount of people would say that they don't know this place.
Actually at first, I don't have any plan to travel to Chiang Khan ever.
But my first time going to Chiang Khan, it is because I need to do some business in Loei province,
so I slept over at Chiang Khan. I don't have any journey plan to Chiang Khan before is because
I have prejudice against this place, as for me Chiang Khan is become famous place, also has
a walking street and there are enormous people came here,
so I don't feel convenient because of that.
However, when I come to Chiang Khan, my prejudice against Chiang Khan has been changed and
replace by the fondness instead.
Oh!! I just don't have a standpoint, Ha Ha Ha. The reason that I changed my mind might be
because I travel to Chiang Khan on the weekday, not on the weekend or High season time.
Therefore, the crowded Chiang Khan changed to the calm, peaceful and slow life place.
When we talk about Chiang Khan from tourism's aspect, the place might be will-known,
but only a few will know that in the past, this city, once belonged to Laos.
As a result from the war made this place become Thai's,
I will not explain deeply about the history as our travel review
will become chronicle instead, Ha Ha Ha.
In the past Chiang Khan city is renowned for its cotton blanket and quilt, I have no wonder about
that as I can see that there are many sewing shops in this place, there must be more sewing shops
in the past, however, in the present the popularity of cotton blanket began to decline, so there are a
little sewing shops left.
Speaking of the charm of Chiang Khan, I may roughly depict that it is a small town with the old
wooden houses, located by Mekong River and the weather is pleasant all year round.
The reality seems close to what I have said earlier, just only that
the old wooden houses remain a few, the new buildings are began to build for example concrete
house, wooden house or some buildings has tried to imitate the old house like Krung Thai Bank
building which made out well and looks similar to the original old house, 7-11 convenience store
building also try to build similar to wooden house.
The atmosphere of the old wooden houses are fading away through time.
Although we cannot put still the Chiang Khan city to be like the past 100 years ago,
but the charm of this small city is still here.
Even though, we travel to Chiang Khan during summer, but the weather is still really awesome.
And it will be like this for quiet sometimes, therefore, cycling slowly in the city,
trying out something delicious, spending some slow life style in the cool weather
are also perfect for this place.
How many places do you think we could cycle around the city and not even sweat?
(Answer: it is because I have my boyfriend did the bike for me, that's it, Ha Ha Ha)
Let's talk about the accommodation that we stayed last night,
we stayed at "Ruen Rim Khong, Sombut Nai Thai Rua", the name might a little bit long but the
accommodation is quite great, I would say.
As we arrived late at night, other places are already closed, that time this place was also closed
already but during we walked to find the accommodation to stay,
we found a group of old hipster drinking alcohol and
they helped us to call the owner of the hotel, Luckily, we got a place to sleep,
unless we need to sleep in the car for sure.
The accommodation is good and costs 800 baht without breakfast.
At the time we stay, the room might just finished renovate as we can smell the painting lacquer all
night but we are still fine with it, But we only felt like glue drunker in the morning Ha Ha Ha Ha.
The accommodation nearby name "Non Nub Dao Resort", this place looks captivating.
Nevertheless, only some rooms have Mekong River view so you have to make sure
before making reservation and you can get the room with the excellent view.
These two places are located at Chiang Khan Soi 3.
We will take you to see the accommodation that we would like to stay, a bit pity for this time but for
the next time we will surely stay at this place "Baan Chiang Khan at Chiang Khan",
a small guesthouse with adorable atmosphere.
And this is Poonsawass Hotel, the interesting hotel because it is the first wooden hotel in Chiang Khan.
This place was built in 1950, but you don't have to worry that
the guesthouse is in the old condition ha ha ha ha,
as they always do the renovation for the building.
After we went to view Poonsawass Hotel, we take a small visit to buy some pretty souvenirs here at
Song Pua Mia guesthouse shop. The decorative style of this shop is so adorable.
This place is the well known guesthouse and souvenir shop here.
One thing that you should do if you come to Chiang Khan is sticky rice alms
to the monk in the morning.
It is not that mandatory but I think that when we travel to other places
and there are local culture or tradition that we can practice, I think that we should do as normally we
don't have a chance to do these things often right?
With our strong determination to inherit the culture, so that this morning
we wake up.......................a little late ha ha ha.
Very embarrassing indeed. But we did not ignore, after we woke up,
we hurriedly went downstairs and asked auntie (the guesthouse owner),
she said that the monks already walked pass this place and told us to take guesthouse bicycle
and ride to the temple instead.
We ride so fast to the temple and we get in time before the monks get into the temple.
It might seem a bit rush but we also have the intention to do this thing (make excuse, hahaha).
Let consider that our mission is accomplished.
As we already arrived at the temple, so we will to to pay homage inside.
This temple is called "Wat Sri Khun Muang", was built in 1942,
it is the ancient temple of Chiang Khan.
After that we will find something to eat for breakfast.
Cycling along the way (as I said we don't have any plan), and then we found one restaurant.
There are many people inside; it should be the old restaurant here.
The restaurant name "Luk Pochana", the food is tasty, we like their Dim Sum,
it is so delicious that the day we went out from Chiang Khan,
we go back and buy their Dim Sum again.
After we are full, we went back to the guesthouse and continue to sleep again
before packing our bags and leaving Chiang Khan.
One interesting attraction in Chiang Khan is Phu Thok, the beautiful view point.
For those who are lucky, they might see the stunning sea mist here,
but we are unlucky this time as we did not went there.
So we just take a visit to Kaeng Khut Khu,
another attraction in Chiang Khan that everyone should visit.
It is away from Chiang Khan approximately 3 kilometers;
actually we also are able to cycling to this place.
The ancient story of Kaeng Khut Khu is about one bushman names "Jeung Keung Dung Daeng",
a tall robust man who has a skill in hunting. One day the bushman chase silver buffalo
from Luang Phra Bang (called silver buffalo because its dung has silver color) to Mekong river bank,
then he see silver buffalo take some rest and drink water there,
the bushman then snipe and prepare to shoot the buffalo.
However, between that time there is the boat of local people rides by, so the silver buffalo feels
panic and run up into one mountain (later this mountain is called "Phu Kwai Ngern),
the bushman miss his shot to another mountain instead, so the mountain collapsed to one side
and became to be a steep cliff which local people called "Phu Pha Ban".
The bushman was so angry at people who ride the boat pass by
as they are the reason why the silver buffalo runaway.
Therefore, he frames the local people who riding the boat by taking the rocks to block the flow of
Mekong River so that they cannot ride the boat anymore.
The bushman almost done with his plan, one of Buddhist novice passed by and found out,
the novice plots the trick to deceive the bushman to use cleave Hia wood (one kind of bamboo) to
carry the rocks instead. Hia wood when already cut off will become a sharp ridge wood,
when the bushman use it to carry the rocks, the wood cut the bushman throat and he died,
his body curl up at Mekong riverside.
The rocks are called "Kaeng Khut Khu" (Khut Khu means curl up) afterwards.
This history is a belief of local people.
Actually, they are just the rocks that obstacle located in the river and were eroded by the tides so they
become many big and small rocks as we can see nowadays.
During that time, it is the low tides time, there is sand bar which seems like the beach
and we feel the strong sunlight just like we went to the sea.
From Chiang Khan, I will take everyone continue travelling in Thai's style way at Nong Khai province.
I have never travel to Nong Khai before, but the fate flew us here.
From Chiang Khan, we went directly to Sang Khom district, Nong Khai province.
Once again, the province that we don't even think that we would travel has become
the place where we would like to come back again.
Why is that? It is because as we just began our journey from Chiang Khan to Nong Khai,
the route that we have passed through is very gorgeous,
this road is cut parallel to the Mekong River.
Therefore, the scenery along the way is very enchanting;
it is so pity that I did not take any photo because we do not have time
as it is already late.
Although this road is very beautiful but when come to the dark time,
beautiful scenery has changed to perilousness. This route is quite isolated.
For those who will travel on this route,
I suggest that you should take a journey during the day instead.
We arrived Sang Khom district around eight o'clock at night, it is very quiet by the time we arrived.
It might be because of this place is not the scenery town, so the atmosphere is a bit desolate.
At first, we would like to stay at Baan Mai Rim Khong, as we searched from Google.
However, the location of this place is somehow far away, so we change our destination to stay at
Krua Mai Nam instead. Actually there is no guest room there, all the accommodation is tent,
we took our own tent and equipment by ourselves,
there is the shared toilet available and it is quiet clean.
The reason we came to Baan Muang, Sang Khom district is
because we intended to travel to one place,
that is "Phu Huay Ei San" where they said it is the unseen attraction in Nong Khai province.
Travelling to Baan Muang is quite difficult if you do not have your own car.
There is public bus service available but you need to check the time before.
You can take bus no.507 from Nong Khai bus station to
Baan Muang sub-district, Sang Khom district.
For those who would like to have more information about the journey, you can visit below pages.
www.baanmuang.com or www.facebook.com/BaanMuang.Nongkhai
As for the accommodation, if you could stay in tent, then we would recommend Krua Mai Nam,
it is very convenient as it is the place for getting on E Tak car (trailer) to Phu Huay Ei San,
Here, you can just jump on the car right away after you woke up.
But for those who could not stay in tent, I would recommend
"Mekong River View" located at Baan Muang or
"Baan Mai Rim Khong" located in Sang Khom district
away from E Tak car point approximately 20 kilometers.
There are many accommodations provide nearby as well.
Travelling to Phu Huay Ei San, you should wake up early
to watch the sea mist and the sun rise on the mountain.
We woke up around half past five in the morning and also need to wait in queue for E Tak car,
it costs 60 baht and you can get on any E Tak car all the way round.
It takes approximately 15 minutes and this is why I feel it is really the travel in Thai style way
as there is no such place to ride on E Tak car like this,
besides our homeland, Thailand.
Riding on E Tak car all the way up to the mountain, coating with the dust like Batter Fried Shrimp.
White shoes and black trousers change their color automatically,
but it is such a joyful and impressive time.
Normally my boyfriend will ride the car, but today he just takes a seat; no need to ride.
Although E Tak car is moving slowly and the engine sounds Tak Tak Tak loudly all the time,
The sound, it is just like its name.
Riding slowly like this is somehow good as we do not in a rush and
the weather is also great, we can take a deep breathe for Ozone (and dust) ha ha ha.
Finally, we reached the top of the mountain.
At first I think it is my bad luck as there is no sea mist today.
But Hey! I think I am not that unlucky, the scenery is superb;
where else you can see the view like this?
I have been to many mountains and I must accept that the scenery here is really stunning,
I don't just console myself though.
From the scenery, we could see small mountains, thin mist floats above Mekong River
with the rocks in the river, with grass flowers and banana trees as the foreground,
it just feels like someone plants them for us.
It is really magnificent.
When the great scenery combines with the morning sunlight, it is really superb.
And this is the reason why I told everyone to wake up early.
I do believe that waking up early to watch the scenery during journey like this;
it could make you to see that place in such a different way.
We absorbed in the happiness for a long time and wait for the sun to rise up from the horizon
till the sunlight is glaring in the sky.
Then we went down from the mountain and back to Krua Mai Nam for packing our baggage,
it is a bit pity that we did not try the food at Krua Mai Nam.
Other tourists also start to keep their tent as the strong sunlight start to shine.
We went down to take some photos of the surrounding atmosphere of the tent yard.
Some resort costs thousand per night, but they do not have the pleasant view like this.
We left Krua Mai Nam and drove continually along MeKong River till
we reached at Sang Khom district,
We stopped by at Tantawan restaurant for breakfast.
The restaurant is adorable with the beautiful scenery from Mekong Riverside again.
By far as we took our journey on this route, there is always the beautiful scenery to watch.
The food here is also not expensive comparing with the one at Chiang Khan,
the price almost double in different.
As the scenery of this route is captivating, we even dream and have a small thought that
it will be great if we buy a land near by Mekong riverside,
but it is just only our thought as.........we don't have money ha ha ha ha.
We will definitely find the chance to visit this province again because we really love this place,
as this place is still not that popular, not much people, things not expensive, no traffic jam and
the scenery is so beautiful. Almost the area of Nong Khai province is a long line parallel to
Mekong River and I think that
Nong Khai will become popular for the tourist in the near future.
We will leave Nong Khai and continue to Udon Thani province.
Our next destination is Talay Bua Daeng (Red Lotus Sea),
Kumphawapi district, Udon Thai province;
a huge lake full of red lotus, therefore, it has been named "Red Lotus Sea".
Travel + Leisure Travel Guides magazine has praised Red Lotus Sea as
one of fifteenth the World's strangest lakes, I feel so proud of this place.
It is quiet a long distance from Sang Khom district, Nong Khai province to
Nong Han, Udon Thani province.
And we reach at our destination at night again but this time we kind of worried about the
accommodation as we also did not book the accommodation in advance.
When we arrive there, we get very confused as we do not know where to stay over,
we just use to read that there are only homestays here,
but we arrive so late at night and there is no one that we can ask for help,
If we randomly ask house by house, does it seem so audacious?
But luckily, there is a small temple fair nearby.
In the temple, people are selling things, so I go to ask for some help. I find one woman;
she is selling coffee here and happens to rent a room at Samli grandma's homestay
so she told us to follow her as she will go back home now,
we follow her right away, we walk pass the temple and cinerarium to Samli grandma's home.
It seems really haunted and I need to go back to the car by myself.
However, all the frighten feeling comes from the darkness and our imagination,
in the morning we can see that there is nothing to scare.
Samli grandma's home is really good and clean, we stayed on the second floor,
it is just only two of us staying there tonight.
There are 2 rooms on the upper floor and can accommodate up to 10 people,
there is also the room at the front area. The room is like this, simple room like
the room in the house so it is very clean inside.
We parked our car at grandma's house, it is very safety.
Granma lives with her daughter and son in law,
she opened her house for homestay for about 5 years already, The lady is so lovely,
she often likes to talk to us but we are not talkative people,
which I think that other people might feel great to have a good chat with the lady.
We went to the grocery shop nearby for some drinks and snacks.
As we arrived here so late at night, so all the restaurant is close now.
We sit at the balcony, lying on the mat, listening to the light music, watching the stars above;
the weather at the balcony is very decent.
Shortly, Samli grandma walk up and talk about her story to us, she is so cute and friendly.
We talked for a while and then we feel sleepy, tomorrow we have to wake up early again.
The lotus will bloom during the morning time, and it will close after 11.00am.
Therefore the suitable time to watch the lotus is between 05.00am - 11.00am,
why most of the beautiful things always have to be in the morning?
The clock alarms us at six o'clock in the morning,
actually there is no need to set the alarm clock as
there is the loudly announcement from Red Lotus Sea which we can hear from the village.
It is very convenient staying here as our house is located next to Red lotus Sea.
When we wake up, we can walk to the lake right away to receive a queue card.
There are so many people at that time, so we need to queue up before
unless we might have to get on the boat at noon, and the lotus already close at that time.
Already received the queue card, I head back to the house to wake up my boyfriend.
When we all wake up, the teacher who is grandma's daughter tells us that the breakfast is ready,
it is Rice Congee with Pork Ribs, but we would like to watch Red Lotus Sea first.
On the way, we see a herd of buffalo, some of the tourist is very interested in them.
Actually nowadays, children and teenagers hardly never see the real buffalo.
it is disheartened when think about this, as there are so many buffaloes in the past.
We need them to plough the field, farming which is our nation's occupation.
However, we use the plowing machine instead.
I also did not have a chance to see the buffalo often, so I feel excited to see them too.
The buffalo are so cute.
I use to think that if my house has a wide area,
I will redeem one buffalo's life to raise at my house.
During we reserve the boat queue, the staff will have us choose which boat that
we would like to ride on as the price is different.
There are 2 types of boat, the roof boat and the long tailed boat.
we chose the roof boat, so we won't feel so hot when the sunlight shines.
It is our queue now and we give the queue card to the staff.
We did not see the lotus now but do not give up,
we need to ride on the boat for a while and we will see hundreds, thousands, ten thousands,
or hundred thousands of lotus, I really don't know as there are so a lot that we cannot see
the other side of the lake,
how can we see it? As it is the very large area with more than 20000 Rai.
Red Lotus Lake, Nong Han Lake or Nong Han Swamp is a large freshwater lake.
Besides watching lotus flowers, this place is also the food source for people and animal
as the ecosystem here is still in a good condition.
I think the lotus flowers that we see today are not much as I have seen in other people's picture.
Our boat driver said that actually if there are not so many visitors,
he will take visitor to another zone where there are a lot more lotus flowers.
However, there are many visitors at this time so he won't go to that zone,
as it is a bit far and he will get a little round of boat riding.
Although we don't go around all the area, It also takes us almost one hour in the lake,
it is shown that this place is really vast.
To explain my feeling at that time, I must say that I feel extremely thrilled.
The weather is cool and watching the lotus flowers are blooming with the morning sunlight.
The scenery that we saw is so beautiful that we could not transmit it through the photos;
the real scenery is much more beautiful.
Or I actually might be the people of easy virtue because most of the places that we went to,
I always feel joyful and think that most of the places are very beautiful
and would like to go back again.
If there is the place where I said that it is nothing interesting there,
you can just ignore that place as surely there is nothing to travel for.
Our boat riding round is already end; the boat takes us to the start point.
Although our boat riding round is already end, but our happiness is still in our hearts.
We will come back again for sure, Talay Bua Daeng, ha ha ha ha.
We find something to eat at the small market in the temple
where we need to walk pass to go to Samli grandma's guesthouse.
We eat baked cassava, Khao Jee (Grilled Thai Sticky Rice with Egg) and Mike Piromporn's coffee;
I just knew that he also do the coffee shop business.
When we arrived at guesthouse, we went directly to the kitchen.
We act like we stay at our home, as the grandma's daughter told us to do so.
Therefore, we take the congee and flavoring to eat at the marble table in front of the house.
There are Ovaltine and coffee available at all times, you can make it by yourself if you would like to.
Shortly, the lady back from the temple; we talk with her for a while.
As we finish our breakfast, we get back to our room to pack our stuff and prepare to go home.
The lady tell us to wait for a while and then she tide our wrist with the sacred string and blesses us,
I feel so moved that my tear fall down.
Every time that I went there, the lady will use the sacred string to tie at our wrist,
she might feel perplexed that why I have to cry out ha ha ha.
She also gave me the rattan of boundary-marking stone from Khum Cha Node forest,
it is believed that this rattan is a sacred thing and
it is the rare item for those who believe in this thing,
I have to thank you her a lot for giving me this.
I would like to depict my feeling as staying here feels like I stay at
my grandmother's house in upcountry and it makes me feels very good.
Staying in homestay like this, we cannot always ask for the service from the owner all the time
as they are also spending their routine; fixing the roof, fixing the balcony,
washing clothes or doing other things. They will come to greet us sometimes and tell us
when the food is ready. It does not make us have negative feeling but on the other hand,
it makes us feel warm like we stay at our home.
They don't have to try to make us happy but just a normal care is more than enough.
This is my first time staying in the real homestay and I feel very satisfied.
Before we went back, the lady told us to pay homage to Baan Dium Stupa
which is located at the temple where we walked pass between homestay and Red Lotus Lake.
After finished worship the stupa, we continue heading back to Bangkok.
Travelling in Thai style trip finally comes to an end.
Is this review could motivate you a little to travel in Thai style like us?
Actually, there are so many attractions but we have such a little time
so we cannot go to all places.
I will find a chance to travel to North Isan again and will make the travel review once again.
Love Thailand, so let's travel in Thailand.
Thailand still has many attractions to be discovered.
Thank you everyone for visiting and read my review.
Sawasdee Kha. -/\-
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 10:34 AM