2015 - North-Eastern Thailand and Laos - Day 6

North-Eastern (I-San) Thailand and Laos, 16 Nov - 10 Dec 2015 (25days)


Day 06 (21 Nov) Sakon Nakhon to Nakhon Phanom by taxi (91km)

This morning we walked through the wet market and then had breakfast at a food-court. At 10.30am we took a taxi directly from our hotel for about an hour drive to Nakhon Phanom near the Laos border arriving at 11.45am.


In Nakhon Phanom we walked along the road by the Mekong River and visited Wat Okat, the Vietnam Memorial Clock Tower, the former Governor Official Residence cum museum, St. Anna's Church Nong Saeng, Wat Pho Si, Wat Si Thep, Wat Klang & Wat Phrathat Nakhon the biggest wat. At 5pm we took an hour of the Mekong River cruise. Sleeping at Grand Hotel, Nakhon Phanom

Vendors at Sakon Nakhon wet market.

Vendors at Sakon Nakhon wet market.

Fresh fishes at Sakon Nakhon wet market.

Grilled fishes at Sakon Nakhon wet market.

Grilled chickens at Sakon Nakhon wet market.

We had pork porridge for breakfast at a food-court.

Wat Okat Si Bua Ban, Nakhon Phanom houses two ancient Buddha statues "Phra Tio" & "Phra Thiam" built in the year 785.

Wat Okat Si Bua Ban, Nakhon Phanom located by the Mekong River not far from the Indochine market in the municipality, Wat Okat Si Bua Ban or locally known as Wat Okat, is one the most important temples in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. The sacred temple has been honored since ancient times and is regarded today as the iconic temple of Nakhon Phanom.

The temple houses two ancient Buddha statues ‘Phra Tio’ and ‘Phra Thiam’, which are situated together. Phra Tio, 60 cm. high, was carved from ‘Tio’ wood and later covered with gold plate.

Phra Tio is always on the right hand of Phra Tiam. So if you turn your face toward the chapel, Phra Tio is on your left hand. You can also differentiate the two statues by noticing carefully the material building them. Phra Tio is made of Tio wood covered with gold plate, while Phra Tiam is lacquered with gold leaf.

Beautiful Mural paintings inside the chapel.

Beautiful Mural paintings inside the chapel.

Beautiful Mural paintings inside the chapel.


Across the Mekong River is the Laos town of Thakhet.


The golden serpent head of naga statue in Nakhon Phanom is located on the banks of Mekong River in Thailand.

The custom & immigration for local residents using boats to cross over to Thakhet. Foreigners can only cross over using the 3rd Thai-Laos Friendship bridge.

The 50m high clock tower built in 1960 dedicated to the Vietnamese return to their motherland, a monument for the Vietnamese migrants, those Vietnamese who sought political asylum in Thailand during their struggle for independence from the French, some settled in Nakhon Phanom owing to its proximity.
This green lane is the bicycle trail.


The beautiful scenery across the Mekong River is Laos and quite similar to Guilin in China.






North of the city center along the banks of the river is the former governor's mansion. It was built around 1912 to 1914 for the first governor appointed from Bangkok. It was a time when there were still tensions with the colonial French across the Mekong, so the house was strongly built to resist attack, and even had a sort of bunker in the basement.




The former Governor's Residence cum museum. Dolls of the various minorities.


The former Governor's Residence cum museum. Dolls of the various minorities.


Governor's antique telephone. The museum is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is free.

We had our lunch in a cafe by the Mekong River.



Saint Anna Nong Saeng Catholic church is right on the river at the far north end of Nakhon Phanom town. The church, which is a Co-Cathedral, was established in 1926, although the current chapel would appear to date from the 1970s.

St Anna's Church Nong Saeng main entrance. It was built in 1926.

St Anna's Church Nong Saeng main entrance. It was built in 1926.

Two tall towers topped by twin steeples and connected by a high footbridge define an architectural style reminiscent of Bangkok’s Assumption Cathedral, which was constructed around the same time period.

A broad courtyard fronts the church - - leading up to a statue that we presume depicts St Anna comforting a young girl.

Next to the chapel is a much older building that echoes of an old colonial era erected in 1952.


Talad Indochine or Indochina Market in Mueang Nakhon Phanom District, Nakhon Phanom is selling everything from cloths, shoes and bags to food and souvenirs.

A tourist boat for rent.



Wat Si Thep Pradittharam, Nakhon Phanom established in 1859.

Wat Si Thep Pradittharam established in 1859 is a forest tradition temple that was frequented by Luang Phu Chan, a well-known meditation monk. His ashes are enshrined in a large golden bell-shaped chedi situated behind the ordination hall, and a life-like statue of him is placed in a side building.

Wat Si Thep Pradittharam, Nakhon Phanom

Wat Si Thep Pradittharam, Nakhon Phanom



Wat Klang in the riverside town of Nakhon Phanom - North-East Thailand. The Ubosot, with it's huge border stone markers, contains a seated Buddha image.

Wat Phrathat Nakhon or Wat Mahathat was built in the year 607 by Phraya Maha Ammat, an army leader from Vientiane. The highlight is a 24-metre-tall white chedi, Phra That Nakhon, adorned with golden dots and surrounded by numerous Buddha images. It features a large square base where relics of important monks and a gold Buddha image are enshrined. Some sort of stupa or marker has probably existed here for a very long time, but what you see today was constructed in 1922.

Wat Phrathat Nakhon or Wat Mahathat was built in the year 607 by Phraya Maha Ammat, an army leader from Vientiane.

Wat Phrathat Nakhon or Wat Mahathat.  Looking out to the Mekong River is Thakhet in Laos.


Wat Phrathat Nakhon or Wat Mahathat.  The square based stupa is 5.85m wide and 24m high.



The local boat cruises on the Mekong River only once a day. This one hour sunset cruise cost 50 baht per pax starting at 5pm only.



It cruised close to the Thai side all the way up to St Anna’s Church before turning along the Laos side for a look at hotels, temples and other buildings set to the backdrop of Laos river side.


At 5pm we took an hour of the Mekong River cruise.

Happiness was drinking a can of Chang Beer on the river cruise.




View of Thakhet on the Laos side of the Mekong River.

View of Hotel Riveria, Thakhet on the Laos side of the Mekong River.


Evening view of St Anna's Church from the Mekong river.


Evening view of Nakhon Phanom.

Evening view of Nakhon Phanom.

Evening view of Nakhon Phanom.

Evening view of Nakhon Phanom.




Click below to view:
Day 01 (16.11.15) AirAsia AK 856 KUL. 12.45pm to Chiang Mai, (1738km)
Day 02 (17 Nov) Chiang Mai to Loei to Phu Kradueng to Khon Kaen (691km)
Day 03 (18 Nov) Khon Kaen City walk around
Day 04 (19 Nov) Khon Kaen City to Kalasin (80km)
Day 05 (20 Nov) Kalasin to Sakon Nakhon (129km)

Day 06 (21 Nov) Sakon Nakhon to Nakhon Phanom (92km)
Day 07 (22 Nov) Nakhon Phanom - day trip to Thakhek, Laos (62km)
Day 08 (23 Nov) Nakhon Phanom to Mukdahan (125km)
Day 09 (24 Nov) Mukdahan - trip to Phu Pha Thoet National Park (108km)
Day 10 (25 Nov) Mukdahan to Ubon Ratchathani by bus (194km)

Day 11 (26 Nov) Ubon Ratchathani to Pakse to Si Phan Don, Laos (291km)
Day 12 (27 Nov) Si Phan Don - a long walk to Somphamit Waterfall
Day 13 (28 Nov) Si Phan Don to Ubon Ratchathani by bus (291km)
Day 14 (29 Nov) Ubon Ratchathani to Si Sa Ket by van (67km)
Day 15 (30 Nov) Si Sa Ket to Buri Ram by train (148km)

Day 16 (01 Dec) Buri Ram - day visit to 3 places (219km)
Day 17 (02 Dec) Buri Ram to Nakhon Ratchasima by train (129km)
Day 18 (03 Dec) Nakhon Ratchasima - day trip to Phimai (120km)
Day 19 (04 Dec) Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok by train (264km)
Day 20 (05 Dec) Bangkok - Chao Phraya River boat ride to Khaosan Road

Day 21 (06 Dec) Bangkok - rest day and dinner at Royal Bangkok Sports Club
Day 22 (07 Dec) Bangkok to Prachuap Khiri Khan by train (320km)
Day 23 (08 Dec) Prachuap Khiri Khan
Day 24 (09 Dec) Prachuap Khiri Khan to Hatyai by night train (660km)
Day 25 (10 Dec) Hatyai to Butterworth by train and to KL by bus (555km)
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