Photo: Lazing by the river.

Things to see and do

Wat Sala Kaew Ku (Wat Khaek)

While some may find Sala Kaew Ku (also Keoku) sculpture park quirky or just plain bizarre, there's no denying that it's Nong Khai's only can't-miss attraction. The park's countless dazzling sculptures were the life's work of Boun Leua Sulilat, a Lao man who spent much of his early life absorbing mystical knowledge from an ascetic hermit named Kaew Ku, who lived in a cave in Laos. Sala Kaew Ku ... Read more about Wat Sala Kaew Ku (Wat Khaek) .

Sunset cruises

When weather cooperates (and it usually does during dry season), this nightly cruise provides an ideal way to watch as the sunset melts into the twinkling lights of two different countries. The relaxing hour-long cruise embarks at 17:30 daily from Nagarina restaurant, located at the bottom of stairs descending from Mut Mee Guesthouse. The boat goes up the river to the Friendship bridge and ... Read more about Sunset cruises .

Tha Sadej market and Riverside Promenade

Buttressing the riverside promenade and stretching for what feels like forever, Tha Sadej market is a long and cramped roofed affair where you can shop for local products and no shortage of chintzy imports from throughout the Indochina region and beyond. The market offers the very latest imports from Laos, Vietnam and China. If you're keen on picking up Friendship Bridge T-shirts and ... Read more about Tha Sadej market and Riverside Promenade .

Wat Pho Chai

Known for its highly revered Buddha image and unusually modern wall murals, Wat Pho Chai is Nong Khai town's largest and most important temple. The resident bronze Buddha image with a solid gold head, known as Luang Phor Phra Sai, was one of three made at the request of a Lan Xiang king's daughters many centuries ago. All three images were plundered by invading Siamese in 1778, and one, Phra ... Read more about Wat Pho Chai .

Wat Phra That Khlang Nam (Sunken Chedi)

Wat Phra That slipped off the bank of the river more than 150 years ago and is now only visible when the river is low during dry season. The chedi is quite far out in the river and appears as nothing more than a brown decaying triangle rising above the current. A yellow flag is tied to its upper tip to make it more easily spotted, and a white replica of the original has been recently built on ... Read more about Wat Phra That Khlang Nam (Sunken Chedi) .

Nong Khai Museum
Mee Chai Road

Set in an attractive heritage building that once served as city hall, this disheveled museum is worth a passing wander if you care to learn about the area's history and culture. With no shortage of photographs but not much else, the museum offers comprehensible English info on Nong Khai's Vietnamese and Chinese communities, sacred temples, famous meditation monks and the archaeological sites ... Read more about Nong Khai Museum .

Wat Ong Tue
43 km west of Nong Khai

Located a couple of km north of Tha Bo and 43 km west of Nong Khai, Wat Ong Tue houses the largest and arguably most beautiful Buddha image in the province. Made from an alloy of gold, silver and bronze, the namesake seated Buddha is four metres tall and was cast by a king of Nakhon Wiang, a long-since disappeared minor kingdom, way back in 1562. With its sparkling gold headdress, the image ... Read more about Wat Ong Tue .

Wat Hin Mak Peng
60km west of Nong Khai

Founded by the late Ajahn Thate, who was one of the two most revered forest meditation monks in Nong Khai history (the other being Ajahn Juan of Wat Phu Tok), Wat Hin Mak Peng was named after three massive boulders that sit along a narrow stretch of the Mekong. Ajahn Thate passed away in 1994, and the forest monastery founded by this supposedly enlightened monk quickly became a prominent ... Read more about Wat Hin Mak Peng .

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!
150km east of Nong Khai

Also known as Wat Jetiyakhiri and located some 150 km east of Nong Khai town, Wat Phu Tok is one of the most interesting of Nong Khai's countless forest temples. The unusual cluster of rock that now serves as the monastery's centrepiece first attracted the famous meditation monk, Ajahn Juan (pronounced jew-an), in the mid 20th century. The monk was part of a forest tradition that favoured ... Read more about Wat Phu Tok .

Sri Chiang Mai
40km west of Nong Khai

Located 40 km west of the provincial capital, the small town of Sri Chiang Mai is best known for being the spring roll capital of Thailand -- wherever you look, spring roll wrappers sit on their bamboo frames, slowly drying in the sun -- and that's just about as exciting as Sri Chiang Mai gets. Aside from providing ample opportunity to take photos of drying spring roll wrappers, Sri Chiang ... Read more about Sri Chiang Mai .

Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Nong Khai? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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