We took the bus from Ranong to Bangkok and picked up the overnight train to Nong Khai . The bus trip was great and certainly Australia and NZ companies could take a few tips on how to treat their customers well. 2 rest stops and one lunch stop. They serve towelettes and sugary cordials and a snack during the trip. (They might not be to your taste, but its the thought that counts!). The bus was really comfortable. It cost 350BHT to get from the bus station to the train station by taxi. Upstairs there is a good restaurant with reasonable food at the train station. Cheaper option is downstairs. The trains.... mmmmm don't count on getting much sleep even if you have booked a sleeper. Go the highest price if you want your own cabin, otherwise you get to sleep in a sleeper carriage that looks something like Alcatraz complete with the grumpy jailor!! he he. I do not recommend the food on the train - its highly overpriced and disgusting (to put it nicely)! There was also no water in the toilets or basins the whole time.
Nong Khai - a tuk tuk should cost you 30BHT each to town, don't pay any more as some of them will try in on. We stayed at Mut Mee Guesthouse, good reasonable accommodation, good food and its restaurant is in amongst some lovely old trees. Mozzies are a little bit of an issue, but for 280BHT a night, its not too much of a big deal. Lots of restaurants around town, the people are really friendly and helpful, no touting like down south. Lots of Wats here old and new, plenty of markets and a big western style supermarket if you need.
The concrete statue park is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen and even if you are just going through Nong Khai to go to Laos this should not be missed. There is a park in Laos (built by the same guy), but the one in Nong Khai is much bigger (in height) and area. Can't understand why this isn't a wonder of the world.... its amazing. The locals love to exercise in the evenings and you can join them on the esplanade or outside various Wats.
The biggest difference I found between the south of Thailand and the North of Thailand, is that the Thai's in the south just see you as a walking $ sign, up north they don't (Chang Mai, I hear is the exception tho).
So visiting towns like Chang Rai, Nong Khai and the like you get a much more Thai experience (if that's what you are looking for). The only town in the south we experienced a more Thai experience was Ranong. Most people just travel through this town, but we had some amazing experiences there also. One of them being a soccer game at a local school where 500 children split into 5 groups of chanters, dancers and drummers were each trying to be the best (and louddest) cheer leaders of the day - the soccer game was sort of secondary!! It was an amazing thing to see and the school children seemed to be quite chuffed that we were watching.
Le Sarin Chalets in Ranong is highly recommended for a place to stay.!
#1 danceswithrose has been a member since 12/10/2010. Posts: 20
well, good explanation for newbies to check out actually. loved the one from Nong Khai as I've lived there for a while and still going back every year. Mut Mee is a good guesthouse but there are other places outside of town as well, just need to find them which are really nice!
tuk tuk 30 baht is indeed cheap but if you know what the locals pay and you speak thai you can even get it down to 20 baht, no offence.
I'm glad you liked Nong Khai as for me it's my second home . you might want to post this as a review on the Nong Khai page on the site here, I think I've written something as well.
good post! if you got more, keep em coming
Saving 10 baht on a tuk tuk is hardly worth worrying about or bragging about. That's just kii niaw. Tuk Tuk drivers will always try to get more if you look farang but I wouldnt be worrying about a miserable 10 baht.
"The biggest difference I found between the south of Thailand and the North of Thailand, is that the Thai's in the south just see you as a walking $ sign, up north they don't (Chang Mai, I hear is the exception tho)."
South has non touristy areas where they dont see you as a walking atm too.
Not sure about a great bus trip, never had one of them.
#3 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223
How much the total cost of your trip?
#4 jackdsilva12 has been a member since 18/1/2011. Posts: 31