Watch out for liver flukes
While swimming is not recommended due to an infestation of cancer-causing parasites, you can soak up the scenery in a lakeside park or take a boat ride to one of the islets.
When looking at Sakhon Nakhon on a map, it seems that Nong Han should be clearly visible from any number of places in the city, but in fact it’s rather hidden behind clusters of old neighbourhoods. The best place to see it is probably Suan Sa Pha Tong, a large park located just east of Wat Phra That Choeng Chum. Here you’ll find a large green space fronting wide patches of lotuses that stretch far out into the marshy water.
At a nearby pier, longtail boats can be arranged for a cruise around the lake’s small islets. The largest is Ko Don Sawan, where you can visit a derelict temple and spot an array of bird life. The smaller islets of Ko Kaew, Ko Don Sakham and Ko Don Sathung have a few pavilions for relaxing along the shoreline.
Expect to pay around 1,500 baht for a two- to three-hour boat trip, but don’t expect the boatmen to speak any English. If you have your own wheels, take a spin out to other parts of the coast and you’re sure to find plenty of small fishing villages and lakeside restaurants. The fish caught here should be safe to eat so long as it’s been fully cooked -- stay away from any dish labeled with the word koi.
To reach Suan Sa Pha Tong Park, head east on Cha Ruen Mung Soi 9, which begins at the southwestern corner of the Wat Phra That Choeng Chum complex. You’ll first pass Phra Sinakharin Park on the left, after which it’s a few hundred metres further to the lakefront.
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.