Nong Khai – Part of Isaan region
Nong Khai is the capital of the Nong Khai province, located in northeast Isaan of Thailand. Tourism is a big part of the city’s economy, so most of the population can speak some of the more popular tourist languages. The city of Nong Khai are generally friendly people, if tourists show the same friendliness when engaging in conversation.
Nong Khai is generally a sleepy town that lacks a great amount of excitement. On the list of things to do in the city, viewing the Sala Kaew Ku is one of the more rewarding experiences. This statue depicts a meditating Buddha, with enormous snakes and armed goddesses to view as scenery. Another unforgettable tourist attraction is the Wheel of Life, which is a circle-shaped tunnel that has statues throughout to depict different stages of life. The architecture, historical, and artistic value of these two sites are immense, and are a must-see.
As stated before, the city of Nong Khai is somewhat sleepy. The nightlife can be very lacking. There are no malls, exotic bars, or enormous night clubs to interest tourists. Instead, there is little to do for tourists- unless of course a little relaxation is in order. Watching ferries and barges float across the river can be very relaxing, and a beach appears when the river waters recede to a certain point. Food vendors will be glad to accustom to hungry and thirsty customers’ needs.
Getting to the capital won’t be too much of a problem- it is accessible by boat, plane, and bus. Actually getting around in the city can only be accomplished by walking or using tuk-tuk transportation. Of course this is an inexpensive way to travel around the city, but gas prices have increased the amount charged recently. Most drivers will ask for more than the going rate- but be sure to research the current rates and bargain with a smile if necessary.
Cheap food can be had in Nong Khai, from street vendors and most restaurants. Sadly, not all restaurants will be able to accustom to tourist’s languages. However, most menus are in several different languages- so the experience won’t be impossible. A lot of these restaurants and eateries don’t open until it gets later in the evening, since that is usually when most of the business comes in. There are a few restaurants and bars, however, that do open during the day- and they shouldn’t be too hard to find.
Nong Khai is surely a great place to visit. The attractions and excitement are lacking, but it is a good place to relax and relieve some stress of traveling or vacationing. Incredibly rich cultural statues and tunnels make the trip well worth it. Cheap food and good service from hotels make it a very welcoming place to tourists. It is also an added benefit that the natives do speak other languages, so tourists won’t be totally in the dark. The only piece of advice needed when travelling to Nong Khai is to make sure you barter when necessary- getting the best price just means smiling and asking for it.