Three days in Northwest Isan Part I

It was a nice 1100km trip from Roi Et - the route and streets can be seen in the first picture. The cornerstones Chiang Khan - Erawan cave - NongKhai are decorated in red letters, the other entries are the respective road numbers.

On the first day we went from Roi Et to Chaing Khan - a lovely little town with its pretty wooden houses and many guesthouses. The most interesting thing there in the evening is the night market and good restaurants, and in the early morning (from about 6 am), hordes of people feeding the monks.

We drove on route 2195 to the west of Chiang Khan, and continued to the intersection with the 2115. Many pot holes, sometimes tight corners, but one of the most beautiful roads that I have seen in Thailand! The first 16 km leads to the Mekong and offers very nice views of Laos and vast forests.

Sadly, due to the massive increase of rubber plantations in recent years, I am afraid that the last remnants of natural forests will be gone in a few years.

Here is the northwestern 'outback' of Isan, without tourism, and perhaps nobody cares therefore for the conservation of nature.

We arrived at the junction with route 2115 (17.703680°N 101.412771°E), and followed this road until we came to the 203 (17.446282°N 101.466633°E), then drove east to Loei (2115-203: 33 km). This road leads through beautiful forested mountains with many curves, so drive carefully, enjoy the landscape, and watch out for the terrible road surfaces!

Loei could serve as a pause location - we are now near to the highlight of the trip; the huge and breathtaking Erawan Cave (point H on the map - 17.34533°N 102.01906°E). Much has already been written about this. 

Erawan Cave on Udon-News

Just a couple of words; it's a steep and 'thirsty' trip - good shoes are important - and in the dark cave the damp surface can often be slippery.

We continued on through Nong Bua Lamphu and Udon Thani to Nong Khai. Nong Khai is very well known, so only a few words; every Saturday evening from 5 to 8 pm the night market has a nice atmosphere on the Mekong riverside.

Nong Khai night market on Udon-News

An absolute must is a visit to the bizarre Sala Keaw Ku (Wat Kaek).

Wat Keaw Ku on Facebook with Gerhard Veer

Wat Keaw Ku on Udon-News


End of part I, in this article you can enjoy the second part of this travelog by Gerhard Veer.

posted on: 10.06.2015

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