Go for the view, stay for the food
Published/Last edited or updated: 22nd April, 2021
Around two km east of town, Khaeng Khut Khu overlooks a modest portion of white water caused by protruding rocks amid an unusually wide section of the Mekong. The views aren’t too shabby, especially at sunset, but it seems the fuss has as much to do with the market as the scenery.
A colourful board imparts the legend of how Khaeng Khut Khu’s rapids were formed in a comic-book-style set of pictures involving a hunter-giant, some fishermen who climb into his nose and a monk who apparently tells him to lie down and dam the river. Use your imagination.
The countless stalls serve up products that Loei is known for, like sugar-glazed coconut meat, peanuts, and tiny deep-fried river prawns. Bustling at any time from 10:00 onwards, the area is especially lively around sunset and can be overwhelmed by tourists on the weekends.
Boat trips can also be arranged here, costing 750 baht for a private one-hour sunset cruise or 1,500 baht for a two- to three-hour trip upstream to Phra Yai and the Hueang River.
Khaeng Khut Khu can be reached by tuk tuk for around 50 baht one-way. If bicycling, pedal east out of town along Sri Chiang Khan Road and hang a left at a yellow and green roofed sign with only Thai script (there are also signs for Chiang Khan Hill Resort). From here it’s less than one kilometre to the market, with Wat Tha Khaek along the way.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.