Hi If you have a look in the trip reports there is a piece I wrote on the trip from Nong Khai to Sukothai.The only difference is you would catch the bus from Chiang Mai to Udon Thani via Phitsanulok .We diverted from Phitsanulok via another bus to Sukothai. So read the story in reverse and you should have no problems. There might be another way but this seemed a very popular route with the Thais.Would save you having to head back to Bangkok.Will be a long day but some great scenery around Loei etc.Any questions ask away.
Mic, if you have time, there is a less direct route which is more scenic, but that takes a bit longer. Follow Swag's directions, except instead of going to Udon Thani, you get off the bus in Loei and then go up to Chiang Khan either by bus or songthaew.
From Chiang Khan you can take the very beautiful and leisurely route along the Mekong on 211 straight into Nong Khai. From Chiang Khan you catch a songthaew to Pak Chom, and from Pak Chom you can go by bus to Nong Khai. It's really easy, and there are some great places to stop along the way, too, so you don't have to do it in one day. But, if you want to do it in one day, it's certainly possible.
Not many people go this way, but it's worth checking out.
thanks for the directions, guys. i may have time to do a bit more travelling as my holiday is 6 weeks and the Dragon festival does not end till 10 November. It depends on when the Nan boat races are. Sounds like I could even stay for a few days in Chiang Khan if I like it. I have a provisional itinerary written up for this trip but with the good info I'm getting off this board it's changing daily.
#4 mic59 has been a member since 30/7/2008. Posts: 107
I think if you can spare the time it is definatly worth stopping through Loei, it is stunning and when i left Dan Sai i got told about various bus routes to bigger places by a girl working at the Loei Leela Wadee Resort in Dan Sai district and one of them was chiang mai so im asuming you can bus to loei from there rather easily. I caught a bus from the top of the road from that place (by the girls boyfriend in his pickup truck) and hailed a bus down that took me to udon thani for 35baht though it wasnt comfortable and it went on for many hours, but im sure theres much nicer ones too, from udon a caught a bus to nong khai before crossing the border. Its wasnt much of an ordeal and was a great journey, everytime the person next to me got off the bus someone moved to sit by me so we could chat, lovely time. i think it took me around 7 hours and cost around 150bht in total. Try contacting Jeff at the Leela Wadee Resort this is their website http://www.loeileelawadee.com/cms/ Jeff is a really helpful thai guy who speaks great english too he made my stay there fantastic. Kind going off point there i know but i found Loei amazing so always referring people to stay there a while.
I agree with Gorey. Loei is really nice. The capital is a hilly, spread-out, very chilled university town. The whole province is gorgeous and not visited very much. Plus, at the bus terminal you can get absolutely delicious grilled sticky rice on a stick (khao neow BING!)
The trip from Phitsanulok to Loei is also really nice, but you won't see much if you're standing. I might be wrong, but the bus trip to Udon Thani begins in Uttaradit (you take a bus from Chiang Mai and then transfer.) There were no reserved seats either time when I did the journey, so those who couldn't push to the door of the bus quick and tough enough were left standing in the aisle, and it's a long and winding and crowded trip. I think that there are only 2 or 3 buses per day.
Hi, I just wrote a blurb for you an it didnt go off right. so basicly again.
you can fly chiang mai to udon thani Cheap about 800bt
and bus it up to the boarder town.
I have overlanded C/MAI TO Nong khai and Loei was over rated and unfriendly..highly unusual..in thailand.
Mut mee gh on the river was good but get a nice bathroom. A must see is the sculpture park its awsome.
#7 nedz has been a member since 14/9/2008. Posts: 26
everyone has their own experiences, you met unfriendly folk, i men the nicest people during any of my trips out there in Loei, its happens. But there are unfriendly people in every city, town and village in thailand.
But true loei definatly isnt for everyone, and is worth really loking into thoroughly if you have any interest in sticking around there ahwile cause you could ifnd yourself along way from anywhere, but then again its not difficult to catch a bus and hightail outta there.
I've never passed through Loei cause it was always my destination and i hang around there for ages so my perspective is going to be different.
If you do stay at the mutmee, try out the specials in the restaurant if they're available when your there, well worth it, as are the rumballs when they around too. Like nedz says try and get a decent room, if you want your own room no dorm or anything avoid room 9 its the worst room there, 7 is fantastic, amazing bathroom!.
Maybe late reply but you can't fly anymore from C/Mai to Udon unless you fly back down over Bangkok.
As for the busride from C/mai To Nong khai.
If you go for the local busses(I've never seen 1 tourist on it for the last 2 years :) )they will take you straight to Udon, you stay there for 15 mins and they go up to Nong khai for a reasonable price. this bus also stops just outside of Udon thani for a minute to get some people of and you might wanna get off here as well cause you'll be on the main road to nong khai already and just start hitchhiking. It's only 50km so you'll be there in no time.