This is my 4th trip to Nong Khai and I find myself warming to it with each visit. It has a pleasant, slow pace, some impressive temples, the famous Daeng (Vietnamese) Restaurant and fantastic river side location with lively night market on Saturdays.
It can be reached by bus from Bangkok or by flights to Udon Thani and then the 200 baht (per person) mini van ride to your hotel in Nong Khai. A large percentage of visitors just pass through, or stay for 1 night on their way to or from Vientiane (Laos), which in some ways is a good thing – for those who hope it will avoid becoming part of the ‘travellers scene’.
Rent a bicycle for 50 baht for the day on the corner of the road outside Mut Mee Guesthouse (avoid places in main street that ask 100 baht) and discover this charming Thai rural city.
To me, some of its strong points include;
- Ease of access from Bangkok or other regional airports via Udon Thani
- A decidedly Thai feel while being laid back and quite relaxed
- The lively and colourful undercover Tha Sadet market
- Saturday night has a river front food and entertainment event that is just delightful
- A good range of hotels along the Mekong river at great prices
- Some great local food and lots of noodle soup shops scattered all around the city
- Its easy to find a suitable bicycle to make use of the 8 Km stretch of riverfront bike paths.
- Udon Thani is a large modern city and only 50 Km away