The infamous Golden Triangle at Chiang Saen

At Chiang Saen is the (in)famous Golden Triangle where the Mekong River for the first time becomes the border between Laos and Thailand. The name Golden Triangle refers to the all area in the 3 countries Burma, Laos and Thailand that was / is famous for its opium production.

Chiang Khong along the Mekong River

Chiang Khong is a small town along the Mekong River as gate-way to Laos en-route to Luang Prabang. In the old days you had to take the ferry so along both sides a small town developed for all the travellers & cargo going to/from Laos. But since 2013 there is the Thai-Laos Friendship bridge, about 8km south of town. This is an international border crossing. Locals & some cargo can still cross the border & river by ferry

It is a lovely little town with partly a kind of boulevard along the Mekong River and many small hotels and guesthouses. But there even is a big Ibis Hotel and since shortly a brand new colonial style Fortune Hotel. In the evening there is an typically Thai fresh market on the main street and you can enjoy a lovely dinner along the Mekong River. I loved it here. But maybe that is just because of my love for the Mekong River.

A viewpoint along route 1091 in Phayao

While traveling from Nan to Phayao via route 1091 you will be passing this viewpoint overlooking the valley of Chiang Muan in Phayao province in North Thailand.

On the motorbike to Pua, Sila Phet and Mae Charim in Nan

I love early morning motorbike rides but due to the fog I left at 7:30am, bit later as normal. From Tha Wang Pha I took a short-cut road to Pua passing some hills, forrest and a small lake. In Pua I stopped at the 7/11 for the famous biker-breakfast (Ham Cheese Croissant Sandwich + Fruit juice). Now I did not consume that in front of the 7/11 but did stopped at a sala between the rice fields in Pua. Lovely place and I saw that I had a new friend visiting me. From Pua I took route 1081 to Sila Phet and then route 1169 to Santisuk. From Santisuk I took route 1225 to Mae Charim, while on the way I saw that trees indeed do cross roads. From Mae Charim I took route 1168 back to Nan town. After a delicious cake at Nan Art Cafe & Bakery I took route 101 back home. Following are some photos and a screen-shot of the route I took. Come and join me in the cool season (that is actually not so cool at the moment).

The Wianglor Pagoda in Phayao

While driving from Phayao to Nan we were passing Chun (in Phayao province) and saw a beautiful old pagoda, so we made a small stop. Research learned me that in this area has been an ancient city with many temples and even an city wall. Some parts are still to be seen.

Visiting Phu Sang Waterfall in Phayao

It is not the most spectacular waterfalls but is conveniently located right along route 1093 to Phu Chi Fa. And there is a nice and well taken care park. And there are some Thai restaurants where you can rent a picknick set to enjoy a nice lunch along the water and even play in the water. And if you are really boring you can take a little walk by taking the stairs right next to the waterfall to the plateau above the waterfall where you can walk a 900 meter jungle trail to the hot-water source of this waterfall. We did and while walking there you see some amazing huge trees. I love trees!

A boat along Kwan Phayao

We stayed for night in Phayao at a new hotel right along Kwan Phayao, with great view over the lake and the mountains in the back ground.

The Rice Field Project Part 6 : Getting electricity

As part of Living in Thailand, the Rice Field Project follows our journey of buying land and preparing it for building our house. This is part 6. To read the other parts click on the tag Rice Field.

While we are parallel working on the step of having a small bungalow build we were also busy with getting electricity. That sounds an easy task ... but our land is 90m from the last point of electricity. So getting electricity connections involves a few steps.

First we will have to apply & getting an electric cable to our land. With 90m distance this will require 2 electric poles and cable of course. Once we have electric cable to our land we can apply for temporarily electricity connection for what you do not need a house book / house number). Once we have an house number we can apply for permanent electricity connection.
So we played stupid and just went to the local electricity company (PEA) and asked how to get an electric cable to our land. Unfortunetely the first time we were se…

Traveling in the remote mountains of Loei

Reposting an a 2014 trip to Loei province in North-East Thailand. While traveling in the remote province of Loei we had a very relaxed lunch on one of the bamboo rafts in a lake between the mountains. We enjoyed it so much that we forgot we still had to go to Dan Sai. This lake has become one of my favourite places to have lunch in Loei. And I love staying overnight in Dan Sai. Following are some photos I took in the area of Loei province.

On the motorbike to Phu Tabeak, Dan Sai and Loei

Another motorbike trip made in 2014. I was heading for the "Phi Ta Khon" festival in Dan Sai and left again very early in the morning and took route 12 to Lom Sak. High on the mountains of Nam Nao is this spirit house together with 2 or 3 other live-size spirit houses. They are all red and there are 100's of little stone animals! After Lom Sak I went up "Phu Hin Rong Khla" with a great view point at about 1600m above sea-level. The all mountain was in the clouds and it did look beautiful. Well that was until I did not see much further as 10m anymore! And my visor & glassed fogged up. For more motorbike trip reports in Thailand see MOTORBIKE TRIP REPORTS

After Lom Sak I went up "Phu Hin Rong Khla" with a great view point at about 1600m above sea-level. The all mountain was in the clouds and it did look beautiful. Well that was until I did not see much further as 10m anymore! And my visor & glassed fogged up.
I arrived at lunch time in Dan Sai …

On the motorbike to Lom Sak and Loei

In September 2014 I extended my Carbon Tyre Print with another 630 km, and it was again a wonderful trip. I left very early in the morning when it was still cool. As usual I had no plan but I took the direction of the least chance of rain .... in western direction from Khon Kaen. For more motorbike trip reports in Thailand see MOTORBIKE TRIP REPORTS

The first part is a bit boring almost 100 km over route 12 (Maliwan rd) passing Chum Phae and continuing in direction of Lom Sak. About 40 km after Chum Phae you enter the mountain area of "Nam Nao National Park" (no entrance fee). This is where riding becomes beautiful and the air becomes cooler. Although I left early I was there too late to make a stop at one of the "Sunrise view points", well next time. At the beginning of the mountains you have to pass a check-point and almost at the end another check-point. Halfway is a restaurant & coffee-shop but a bit further is a market and view-point on your left hand sid…

Travelling along the Thai-Lao border in Loei

Travelling along the Thai-Lao border from Loei to Nan we were passing Phu Soi Dao National Park and a bit further a waterfall from where you can make a short hike of 6 km thru the jungle of huge bamboo & pine trees. Along this route you will also find some centuries old temples with beautiful murals (see photo below).

Traveling a few days to Loei

Loei province, the most western province of North-East Thailand (Isaan) and a gem for traveling in nature & culture. My favorite area of the Isaan. The area near Wang Saphung and Phu Luang is dotted with beautiful kartsen mountains with caves and waterfalls. Traveling in this area there is always a surprise around the corner. Although there is also a lot agriculture with rubber trees, rice fields, dragon fruit and unfortunately also corn. But you see not yet (and hopefully never) sugar-cane.

Loei province is home to a special hill-tribe that you not see on many places in Thailand, the Tai Dam people. The Tai Dam people are a hill-tribe that came from China and migrated to Laos, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam. Migration to the area of Loei province was around 1900. Most of the people living in Loei province are descents from many different hill-tribes from Laos and China. All with their own customs, language and traditional cloths. Although most of them have now assimilated to modern…

On the motorbike to Phetchabun and Loei

This is a trip report of 2013, but not much changed and it is still a recommended route to ride motorbike. Together with some other bikers from Khon Kaen I made a 2 day tour in North-East Thailand. And it was a great trip! Our first destination was Phetchabun to tour the area of Khao Kho, in Thailand also nicknamed Little Switzerland. Due to late leaving, good & long breakfast and dark-visors on the helmets we could not make it far into Khao Khao before it would become really dark. But route 2258 is a promising route to come back again soon. Route 2258 starts at route 21 between Phetchabun and Lomsak. We made a u-turn in Khao Kho and did ride back to town, where we stayed at the Burapa Hotel. Phetchabun is a nice small city with not too far from the hotel (but too far to walk) a street along a kind of klong or lake with many restaurants and small pub's.

A small Mekong River trip in Laos and Thailand

Our journey started and ended in Khon Kaen (Thailand). First two days exploring Khon Kaen City and nearby area like Sight seeing at Phu Hin Chan Si. After that we did drive to Nong Khai (Thailand) where we would cross the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge to Vientiane. It is easy & straight forward but is takes some time. We had to apply for a Lao Visa (35us$) and arrange the temporarily export / import of our car. So we arrived in the afternoon at Mandala Boutique Hotel. When you would like to fly from Bangkok to Vientiane it might be much cheaper to fly with Nok Air from Bangkok (Don Muang) to Udon Thani and use the "Fly & Ride" service from Nok Air between Udon Thani and Vientiane.

We did stay 3 nights in Vientiane and would spend New Year here. The evenings we did spend at the boulevard along the Mekong River. The new park along the Mekong River at the east-side (or is that south side?) is a great place to relax in the late afternoon and then just stroll your way up an…