Travelling from Khon Kaen in the Isaan to Nan in North-Thailand

Stones in balance
Just some photos I made while traveling from Khon Kaen to Nan along the Thai-Lao border. he road less traveled, my favourite route to ride with my motorbike. And Loei and Nan are my favourite provinces in Thailand.

Walking on top of Phu Hin Rong Khla (Loei province)

Overlooking the green jungle of Phu Hin Rong Khla National Park
Weird rock formations at the cliff
Late in the afternoon we made a walk at the "flag pole" area of Phu Hin Rong Khla, the area that was once the home of the Communist Party of Thailand. We made a short walk of about 2 to 3 km but you can make a little bit longer walk of about 5 km. It is all flat but at some point not really easy walking.

Visiting a small hill-tribe village along the Nan River in Nan province

Yesterday on the way back from Huai Kon border-crossing I did try (and succeeded) to find a small village along the Nan River between Chiang Klang and Thung Chang. It is a bit difficult to find as the road to it is very small and sometimes even just a gravel-track. And the road ends at a suspension bridge that is only accessible for walking and motorbikes. So it was a bit of an adventure to get there.

It is a small community of about 100 hill-tribe people who were about 40 years ago relocated from the area of Bo Klua because in those days there was fighting against the "communists" in that the area of Bo Klua.

In the village I was met by the Phuyai Baan (village head) who introduced me to a Buddhist teacher living in the village. He is a great story teller and did tell me about the way of life in the small village.

I did meet him in the community center that was build by volunteers and the village people. The community center serves as school, library and meeting point for the village. It is a very special building because it is made out of only natural material (except the roof). For more photos click on the post title or on "Click here for more ....".

Motorbikes at Huai Kon in Nan province

I am just back from checking Huai Kon International border-crossing in Nan province. 

By the Thai immigration I was informed that the Lao side is still closed for motorbikes (and bicycles). It seems that there is a problem with the Xaraboury Immigration office, so that means all border crossings in Xaraboury are probably closed to for motorbikes. That is not only Huai Kon (Nan province) but also Phu Dao (Uttaradit province) and Thali (Loei province).

Hopefully this problem will be solved in the near future. But I would not hold my breath for it.

Road condition update : Route 101 in Nan province

Route 101 to Huai Kon
7 December 2016 : I am just back from a 1-day trip to an mountain village near Phu Kha in Pua district. Easy trip as it is less as 100km, but some very steep road once on the village. We took route 101 from Nan to Pua and there is still construction work going on at route 101 at a 15km section south of Tha Wang Pha. They started to work again after not doing anything for 2 months. And they say it will be done at 18 Januari ... but what year?

Well never mind that ... the main thing is to be carefully riding that section, especially the part before the bridge over the Nan River. That part is still with a lot of gravel and the smart guys have been putting little bamboo sticks (20cm long) in the gravel to mark where they have to work. Good idea!

Then they also started to work on the 101 just after Pua, a section of about 3km. They are now destroying the once good road (no idea why) and that results in gravel and worse "scratches" over the length of the road. Vey unpleasant riding experience. Not to mention my bike now looks like a off-road bike.

Both sections of construction can be avoided by taking some parallel routes.

North-East Thailand .... the area less travelled

Many travellers skip North-East Thailand, but before you join them .... pssst .... don't tell others but .... know that the area in the surrounds has some spectacularly beautiful countryside and unexpected natural wonders like Khao Yai National Park and the Dangrek Mountain range with stunning waterfalls, truly breathtaking and completely off the radar. And check out the majestic ancient temples of the Greater Khmer Empire like "Prasat Phi Mai" and "Prasat Phanom Rung".

With 18 provinces and in the south bordering to Cambodia, while in the North and East bordering Laos with the mighty Mekong River for 850-km as border between Thailand and Laos, North-East Thailand is also called "Isarn" or "Isaan" and his home to a multi cultural population from Lao, Thai and Khmer living along the Ancient Khmer Highway. With languages spoken as Lao (or Isarn), Khmer and Suay.

The Isaan is traditionally famous as being the rice-barn of Thailand and being the poor part of Thailand. That is partly still true but there are a lot of changes in the past 10 years. So what is the North-East of Thailand?

Visting a Home-Stay in the mountains of Nan province

Nestled along the steep mountains Phu Kha at a height of 960m is a cluster of 4 villages with a maze of narrow streets, walk paths and stairs all together creating a wonderful mountain village. While the houses "under" in the village are at about 950m, the houses "up" in the village are at about 1000m. Our home-stay was in between at 982m.

While sitting at a ridge along the road we enjoyed the evening falling over the mountains and birds flying by. While our lovely host was preparing out diner in a small restaurant. It was a fantastic day-trip to experience the still going on mountain life of hardworking farmers. In the village are some trees with tea-leaves and some coffee trees. Around the village are corn-fields and fruit trees.

Just before final sunset behind the mountains of Pua

Bicycling in the early morning again in Nan province

I made a 30km bicycle ride this morning in the morning fog and along small villages. Mind you I made some stops and had breakfast along the way. But I love the country side of Nan province!

The Kingdom of Thailand officially has a new King

The Kingdom of Thailand officially has a new King. The 10th monarch of the Chakri dynasty, King Vajiralongkorn will also be known as Rama X.

His Majesty has accepted an invitation by the National Legislative Assembly president on Thursday to succeed his late father, HM King Bhumibol the Great.

The coronation ceremony of King Rama X would not take place until the cremation of King Bhumilbol. Thailand will mourn the late king for at least one year before the cremation is held on the grounds of the Grand Palace.

Numbers, Statistics and damn Lies in 2016

I started this blog in June 2009 as a message to my family & friends and to my own surprise it did change into a blog about Living & Traveling in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia with travel-information and Hotel / Restaurant Reviews.

Currently there are 1360 postings made, that means an average of 194 postings per year. Last year that was 180, so I must have been a busy Little Elephant.

Overall the most popular post are still about motorbikes trips. But over the last year other postings are gaining more views so that you could say that within the top 10 posts over last year are 50% posts about traveling. This is about the same as last year.

Within the audience reading this web-site is a growing number of people from China, although the most are still from Thailand and USA. Most people find this web-site via a Google search. And most people reading this web-site are still using a desk-top computer instead of a phone or tab. Also this is about the same as last year.

My other website that were born out of this website are still growing. Postings about motorbike shops became Big MotorBike Shops in Thailand and all the Hotel & Resort reviews became Reviews of Hotels & Resorts in Thailand. While all Restaurant & Coffee Shop reviews became Reviews of Restaurants & Coffee Shops in Thailand.