Information about Nong Khai, Thailand
Nong Khai is on the Mekong, 615 km from Bangkok, in North Eastern Thailand. It is on the Thai - Laos border, 24 km from Vientiane, the capital of Laos, where the Friendship Bridge crosses the Mekong.
The main temple in Nong Khai is Wat Pho Chai.
The town is a major market for goods from Laos and Thailand, and also for products from other countries at low prices at the Tasadet Market. Silk can be bought in Nong Khai and at Na Kha village, on the way to Udon Thani. Silk cloth, shirts and dresses are for sale.
The location of Nong Khai, at the Gateway to Laos, results in this town being able to offer products and services from both Thailand and Laos. Several travel companies offer tours, accommodation, airfares and service in Thailand and Laos.
Businesses in Thailand and Laos offer a range of products and services. From Vientiane in Laos, the Morning Market can supply all your needs in new and old silver jewellery, antique weapons, household items and statues.
The Thai word for river is menam, hence the Khong River is Menam Khong, which has been shortened to Mekong. So saying Mekong River is like saying ATM machine (automatic teller machine machine). We have done so so that we get found by people looking for that name.
The rainy season ends about October and the cooler, dry weather is a good time to visit this part of the world. There are three seasons in Nong Khai; Summer or the hot season from March to May; the rainy season from June to September; and winter or the cold season from October to February.
Nong Khai is different to Bangkok weather wise. It gets cold here. The sky is often blue and you can see the stars at night. Dry weather of course also means the farmers can burn their fields so the smoke in the air can mean the sun disappears at an early hour of the afternoon. For this reason about half the people prefer the rainy season because there is no smoke and the air is clear as there is no other pollution.
The things to see and do in Nong Khai are shown below. The date for local festivals varies with the lunar calendar.
Prap Ho Monument Celebration in Nong Khai
The locals crushed a rebellion by the Chinese Ho in 1886. The monument commemorates those who died. There are competitions run by the Provincial Agriculture Extension Office for the best Fighting Rooster, Best vegetables, Best Thai sweets cook, and a Patong competition (like bowls played with steel balls which fly around in all directions) between Thailand and Laos.
This Festival celebrates the Thai New Year.April is hot and this festival which runs for three days is a chance to get covered in water (and perhaps flour as well) as pick-ups laden with drums of water and eager water throwers roam the streets looking for victims. Even sitting at a restaurant by the road you are likely to be a target. It is all done in fun and the Thais enjoy themselves - even the victims.
Fire Boats in Nong Khai
On three nights at the end of October, which have significance on the Buddhist calendar, people from around Thailand come to watch the electric light displays carried by boats on the river at night. The best display wins the competition. During the day boat races are held at all the river towns.
Fire Rockets in Nong Khai
On a night at the end of October, which has significance on the Buddhist calendar, people from around Thailand come to watch the river at night at Phon Phisai to see the unexplained phenomenon of rockets blasting into the air from beneath the river's surface. The king of the Nagas is held to be responsible for the display. The Nagas are the mythical creatures of the Mekong.
Click on the picture of Naga to read more information.
Float your troubles away so that your coming year is a good one. A tradition started in Sukhothai during that era. The Mekong is dotted at night with the glow of burning candles as the banana leaf boats float downstream. The riverside restaurants are packed for the night. The longer your candle stays alight the better your year will be.
Sala Kaeo Ku in Nong Khai
In September and October the locals and visitors compete on the Mekong in boat races. The craft are powered by a large number of energetic rowers.
Rocket Festival in Nong Khai
A Rocket Festival is held in Tambon Hin Ngorm on June 12th. There is a parade to show of the rockets from each village. This Festival is held every year. Hin Ngorm Pittayakom School cooperates with the villagers from Ban Sarakam to show a rocket in the parade. There are other types of floats reflecting the culture of the area. The aim is to preserve the local culture. Teachers and students must join the Festival each year as part of their duty to the community of which they are part. The parade passes along the main road of Hin Ngorm which is beside the Khong River. You will be impressed if you join the villagers to view the parade on June 12th. Thai people know the village because of the Naga rockets which erupt from the water from unknown sources in October each year. Villagers from other districts are welcome to enter their own floats in the parade. There are awards for the best floats which are donated by the Council of Tambon Hin Ngorm.
In the evening there is entertainment including a movie, a concert and lots of places to buy food and drink.
Phu Phra Bat Historical Park
About 80km from Nong Khai you can see some cave man etchings of animals and human figures, as well as impressive views over the surrounding countryside. The adjacent Wat is a quiet place for monks to meditate. Follow this link to view a photo gallery of Phu Phra Bat Historical Park.Phu Phra Bat Historical Park.
Getting around Nong Khai
There are a few taxis in Nong Khai, and you can also take a Tuk Tuk. If you have a friend with a vehicle they will drive you around.
Getting to Nong Khai
There are several airlines flying from Bangkok to Udon Thani from which you then take a bus. There are also buses and the train from Bangkok.