Thailand's North-East


by Inness Ayling (UK)

Global Mark : na

Ratings by criteria : 

Charm Scenery Parks Culture Minor. Market Relax Fiesta 


4 2 2 4 2 5 4 5 4 14.22

Ratings by backpackers :

Surveyed Liked  Comeback  Recommend  Range AVER.
1 100% (1) 100% (1) 100% (1) ? na

Description :
  A provincial capital of NE Thailand which is seldom traveled by backpackers. A lively and vibrant city with plenty of nightlife, great Isaan food, friendly people, a small-ex pat community and close to the Mat Mai textile production village of Chonabot. 

What to do ? Visit Channahon to see textile weaving under the homes of the Thai people / Spend nights at the numerous disco's in town / Meet friendly Thai's / Eat fantastic food / Hang out with the locals at the local parks and lakes / Ride the town song thaew system for 5 Baht anywhere in town / Visit stunning temples and chat with the monks / Wander around the fascinating day markets and eat local cheap food at the night bazaar

What you may not like ? The lack of English speakers / Finding your hotel doesn't quite live up to the Chareon Thani Princess or Sofitel Hotel / Finding out that your hotel is beside an all night Thai Karaoke bar (there's seemingly hundreds of them) / Being approached by the offer of a massage (and the rest !) on your way home from the disco in the small hours / Most of the hotels not having English signs / Finding out that some of the barbers shops offer more than just haircuts...

Where to stay ?  

  • Suksawad. Off Klang Meuang Road - cheapest and nastiest in town 80 Baht for a small damp room with shared bathroom. 
  • Mansion Inn (Opposite Suksawad) for 200 Baht for a bright, clean well presented room with free water and toilet paper.
  • Thanee Bungalow (near the rail station) 250 Baht for a three room (lounge, bedroom and bathroom) bungalow.

Where to eat ? Night Market ! Typical Isaan food - popular with the locals and - but no English signs so it's a point and ask approach ! / The Parrot for English/American food.

Internet ? The town abounds with internet facilities all priced at 15 Baht an hour.

Laos Visa ? Laos Consulate, Photisan Road, 10 Baht song thaew ride - visa issued within 20 minutes for 1650 Baht (30 days) - no 15 day visa's issued at this address.

What to visit ?
Temples, Chinese Temple on the way to Photisan (suburb of Khon Kaen), Lakes to the north and south of the town, lively markets, buzzing weekend night life (Thai's almost exclusively !), Channahon - mat mai (tye tied threads woven into material) textile production by hand made looms under the houses,...

Backpacker's Tips : Etienne van Eck, Holland (Jan 04)
 I stayed in Europe Guesthouse. Very clean rooms starting at 300 baht (but I discounted the room to 220 baht because of a low season!). Very friendly and they helped me with the Laos visa. They also took me to the nice places in and just around the city on the back of a motorbike for free !

Backpacker's Tips : Tam Chiwai, Hong Kong (Sept 00)
 The town has not much to offer, the reason to come here is for the Lao visa, 1 photo, USD30 and B300 for fax??? Get your visa in 3 days. If you want express B150 more out from your pocket will get your visa in 1 day. The situation differs according to the nationalities : an American guy could not get express service and had to wait 3 days while a Dutch boy only waited 10 minutes without any extra charge ! If you have time to kill here, there is a dinosaur museum 90km away. A lot of night life here, with many bar and disco .Stay in Saenrarun hotel, B100 per room.

Bus Schedules : 

To Price Class Duration Time Nb Freq.
Chiang Mai 394 AC 12 20,21 2 na
Udon Thani 79 AC 2-3 day a lot hour