Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quiet Chiang Khan เชียงคาน gets hip

See the locations on Chiang Khan เชียงคาน Google Map

Picture hotduckz
Chiang Khan, seen from Mekong River

Picture by Vardhana
Mekong River seen from Chiang Khan

Picture by marhas
Chaikhong Road

Picture by IIun

Picture by marhas
Paradise for shopping: Chai Kong road by night

Picture by marhas

Wood architecture in Chaikong Road

Picture by bartvanpoll

Looking for slow life? Chiang Khan promises exactly that! Along the meandering Mekong River you will discover two main streets with rows of traditional wooden houses, where time seems to stand sill. Here you find some guesthouses, restaurants and coffee shops like the Open & Close Cafe เชียงคาน or the Natee Tong Coffee Shop ร้านกาแฟนาทีทอง, some Lao-Thai-style temples and a very quiet life untouched by the big streams of tourists - like the essence of the old Thailand. A peaceful place with a wunderful view towards the river and the mounains of Laos, just for relaxing and doing nothing. In the morning, at the crack of dawn, elegantly dressed women await monks with their bowls. Along the Mekong there is a walkway for strolling or biking.

But attention: In Thailand some people start to talk about Chiang Khan as a hip place. Already you will find pretty boutiques in the old teak houses like ไอเดีย ดีดี ณ.เชียงคาน, Sabai Dee สะบายดี เชียงคาน or NOL โน-แอล (see pictures on And during Thai festival weekends Chiang Khan ist full of tourists, mostly from Bangkok. How do the people in Chiang Khan react to this situation? Yvonne Bhowongprasert describes it in her article "Lost in time" in Bangkok Post. Another article about Chiang Khans development has been published by Richard S. Ehrlich on

Picture by mauve55
If you get up early in the morning, you can join the locals, giving their alms to the monks to make merits

Picture by oldmankit

Picture by Hanumann
On public holidays Chiang Khan is full of Thai visitors

Picture by NOL

Picture by marhas
Delicious snacks at Chaikong Road

Restaurants in Chiang Khan.

Ganga Chiangkhan คงคา เชียงคาน: 284 Chaikhong road (mear Wat Tha Kok). Phone+668 1939 9273,+668 6327 5098. Burgers, steaks, pizza, coffee, juices and panoramic views of Mekong River. See also their page on facebook

Picture by Ganga

Heon Luang Prabang Home Stay เฮือนหลวงพระบาง โฮมสเตย์: Execellent lao style dishes.

Picture by marhas

Temples in Chiang Khan

Wat Si Khun Mueang (วัดศรีคุณเมือง) is located on Chai Khong Road, between Soi 6 and 7, to the north of Chiang Khan Market. It was constructed in 1942 with a boundary wall surrounding the Ubosot. The temple is a collection of Lanna and Lane Xang arts. You discover a carved Buddha image with gold leafs on black lacquer in the forgiving posture of the Lan Chang style. At the front of the Ubosot you find mural paintings, depicting the ten Jataka stories.

Picture by hotduckz

Picture by marhas

Picture by marhas

Picture marhas
Mural paintings

Wat Mahathat: The oldest temple in Chiang Khan dates from 1654. See picture of the door by jayamee

Wat Phu Chang Noi วัดภูช้างน้อย: A stair with many steps has to be climbed to reach the sitting Buddha image an enjoy a great view across Chiang Khan and the Mekong. See video by kaweepetch

Picture by marhas

Picture by marhas

Wat Tha Kok วัดท่าครก:

Picture by marhas

Phra Phutthabat Phu Khwai Ngoen (พระพุทธบาทภูควายเงิน) is located at Ban Pha Baen, Tambon Buhom. The Buddha’s footprint is 120 centimetres long and 65 centimetres wide, enshrined on a whetstone. Every year, on the full moon day of the third lunar month, the temple organises a celebration. To get there: Take the Chiang Khan – Phak Chom route for a distance of 6 kilometres to Pha Baen village and turn to Umung village for 3 kilometres to the foot of the mountain. Continue further along the laterite road for 1 kilometer.

Phra Yai Phu Khok Ngio (พระใหญ่ภูคกงิ้ว) is also called Phra Phuttha Nawaminthara Mongkhon Lila Thawinakharaphirak. It is situated at Phu Khok Ngio, Ban Tha Di Mi, Tambon Pak Tom, on the hillside, where the Hueang River joins the Mekong River. This is a walking Buddha image in the blessing posture, cast of fibre and golden resin combined, 19 metres high and 7.2 metres wide at its base. To get there: From Chiang Khan turn southwest at the T-junction, go on to Ban Tha Di Mi School and turn right for 2 kilometres more.

Cataracts and boat trips on the Mekong River

Picture marhas

Kaeng Khut Khu: Not a big waterfall, but rocks in the Mekong River

Nice to see: The cataracts of Kaeng Khut Khu แก่งคุดคู้ at the curving Mekong River. During the raining season the water hides the cataracts. Restaurants there sell local seafood dishes, operated by Ban Na Noi people.

For pleasent excursions you can rent a riverboot for a cruise on the Mekong or on Hueang River. Upstreams you can reach Phra Yai or Hat Sai Kaew, a sandy beach for swimming. Upstream trips, taking three hours, cost around 1500 Bath per boat and "are best undertaken in the afternoon, returning at sunset", recommends Downstreams you reach Pak Chom in around six hours (3000 Bath). Most guest houses offer a one-hour sunset on the Mekong cruise for about B750 per boat. Also kayak excursions take place, and it's possible to rent bikes and motorbikes.

Festival in Chiang Khan

Chiang Khan’s End of Buddhist Lent Festival (งานประเพณีออกพรรษาอำเภอเชียงคาน) is organised in front of Chiang Khan District Office on the full moon day of the 11th lunar month every year. There are the Prasat Phueng procession, long-boat races, Ruea Kap races and illuminated boat contests, Tak Bat Devo, and various local cultural shows. See pictures by wbtuffin

Visit the Thai Dam People

Eighteen kilometers south, in Ban Khok (called by its inhabitants Ban Panahk หมู่บ้านวัฒนธรรมไทยดำ), you find one of only 3 Tai Dam villages in Thailand. The Tai Dam (or Dai Lam) emigrated from Northern Viet Nam in the 1890s.

How to travel to Chiang Khan

Flights: Nok Air flies from Bangkok (Don Mueang) to Loei daily. Then 60 to 90 minutes by Songthaew to Chiang Khan. Or flight from Bangkok to Udon Thani with Nok Air, Thai Air Asia and Thai Airways International. From Udon Thani bus to Loei (3 and half and hour) and then Songthaew to Chiang Khan.

Bus: From Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal (Mor Chit). Night Bus leaving Bangkok 20.00 pm and arriving Chiang Khan 05.00 pm by

Train/Bus: From Bangkok by train to Nong Khai by State Railways of Thailand. Bus from Nong Khai to Chiang Khan (see below).

Buses from Chiang Khan: Songthaew for Loei (1 hour) leave from Road 201 (opposite Shell gas station) between 5.30 am and 5.30 pm every 30 minutes. Songthaew for Pak Chom (1 hour) every 30 minutes until 17.00. From Pak Chom every hour buses to Nong Khai (passing Sang Khom, Si Chiang Mai, Tha Bo) until 15.30. The other way round: One bus leaves Nong Khai at 7.30 am, Sang Khom at 2pm, Pak Chom at 4pm and arrives in Chiang Khan at 6.30 pm. From Chiang Khan you can also travel by Songthaew to Loei and from there by Bus to Udon Thani (every 30 minutes, 3 and half an hour) and then from Udon Thani to Nong Khai.

Taxi from Udon Thani: We asked at the Limousine Service in Udon Thani Airport and got a taxi to Chiang Khan for 3000 Bath (around 2.5 hours). Udon Thani 24 Hour Taxi Meter offers the transport for 2200 Bath (phone 080 0101 354).

Travel to Laos

Travel to Laos: In Ban Na Kraseng, around 25 kilometers west of Chiang Khan, there is a frontier crossing towards Laos, you cross a bridge on Hueang River. The Lao immigration point is called Namhueng. Visa on arrival are not available.

More photos of Chiang Khan by akku2004

Read more about Chiang Khan: A visit to Chiang Khan in the blog "Learning to fly"

Read more:
Hotels and Guesthouses in Chiang Khan เชียงคาน - seen by people, who have been there


  1. A peaceful place with a wunderful view towards the river and the mounains of Laos.
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  2. What a shame we don't get more info anymore. Korat is on the way. Ask there at - Nakhon Ratchasima and Isaan Forum for Art, News & Culture


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