Sam Phan Bok, The Grand Canyon of Siam...Does anyone have any info on this place in terms of public transport from Ubon Ratchathani.? And if it's a feasible day trip that I can do on my own?
click here to see Sam Phan Bok
You can go there from Khong Chiam . Khong Chiam is a great little town. Very good, inexpensive accommodation at the Apple Guest House.
I cycled there from Ubon Ratchathani in about 4 hours so public transport shouldn't take much more than an hour, or so. There's public transport, but you might have to go to Phibun Mangsahan first and transfer. There are a bunch of gong and drum factories along the way. Cool to check one or two out if you can.
Absolutely no need to make it a daytrip from UR.
There are potholes all over the place along the river in that area, as well as near the junction of the Mekong and Mun Rivers (where it becomes the River of Two Colours). Very nice area! Mostly Thai tourists. Not many westerners. Gorgeous location!
PM me if you'd like to see some photos from the area.
I was told by someone else that I should stay in Khong Chiam also and that it took 2 hrs from Ubon. They said I had to take a mini-bus to go to Samphanbok? I think I'll stay 2 or 3 days there before going to Paske.
You might even be able to charter a boat to take you upriver to the area and into the canyon. I never did as I didn't think of it until I was in Laos.
Hopefully there is direct transport from Khong Chiam to Chong Mek. I can't help you with transport between Chong Mek and Pakse, either, as I was on my bike. Hopefully you won't have to backtrack to Phibun Mangsahan. But if you do you can get transport from there to the border. From the border there must be transport to Pakse. Maybe someone else here can chime in with some info.
Hope you like it there.
Apple Guest House cost B100 for a nice room with a tv. Shared bathroom, but only for every two bedrooms.
No idea about the minivan to Songkhon.
You shouldn't have to go back to UR. I just read that there are songthaews running between Phibun and Chong Mek every 20 minutes, and there is a bus on the Laos side that will take you into Pakse. So you just have to get to Phibun, which shouldn't be a problem at all.