Chiang Khan is an ancient community that has remained unique for more than 100 years. Chiang Khan is a popular destination in Loei province for locals because of its uniqueness, mixed with modernity. Visiting here is a good way to experience the nice atmosphere along the Mekong River.
If you have never visited Chiang Khan yet and still don't know how nice is it there, follow us and let us be your guide of Chiang Khan.
We started this trip at Loei bus station in the evening and caught the songtaew at 7pm there to go to Chiang Khan. It cost 35 baht for each person and took about 40-50 mins to Chiang Khan.
Songtaew will drop you off on the main road. From here you can take the “Skylab” or “Isan Tuk-Tuk” for about 20 baht per person or just walk to your hotel (if your hotel is not too far). It was quite dark when we arrived so we decided to take the Skylab. It took just about 5 mins to our hotel located near Chiang Khan Walking Street.
The first thing to do in Chiang Khan is visiting Chiang Khan walking street which starts at approximately 5 pm and lasts until 10 pm. It is a lively art street with an old-fashioned atmosphere. Wide range of products including clothing, bags, shoes, and souvenirs is on offer here. You can also find a variety of interesting and reasonably priced foods to try. Our favorites are listed in 5 Dishes You Must Try in Chiang Khan, Loei.
Another day of trip, you can start by offering alms to the monks around 6am. It has become a must-do activity for locals during the morning alms rounds. You will see the line of villagers along the street waiting for monks. If you are staying at homestay and would like to join this activity, your hosts can prepare the stuff to give to the monk for you as well.
We took a trip to visit Phu Tok Mountain which is located south of Chiang Khan. Phu Tok is just a small mountain but a charming place. From the top of the mountain you can see a wonderful panoramic view of the Mekong River and the town of Chiang Khan.
Then we came back to town and tried Laotian Noodle Soup called Khao Piak Sen for breakfast. Walking along the Mekong river front was a good thing for refreshing.
We visited Wat Si Khun Mueang (วัดศรีคุณเมือง) after that. It is the temple located at Soi 7, Mekong Road, on the northern side of Chiang Khan Market. This temple is the source of Lanna and Lan Chang art. The Buddhists believe that the one who asked for blessings in this temple will be successful.
If you have some time, another interesting place to visit is Kaeng Khut Khu (แก่งคุดคู้) where you can see the set of colorful and unusually shaped islets in the middle of Mekong River. In the dry season, when the water in Mekong River is lower, it is easier to walk down to the river. In addition, the Kaeng Khut Khu also has many activities such as a boat trip to the border of Thailand – Laos. There is also a restaurant along the river for tourists.
This trip was really impressive as Chiang Khan is like a good battery charger. Maybe it is because we just didn’t expect too much and came here to relax, look at the way of people living, learn new things, try something that we have never eaten, have a fresh air breath on the Mekong River and watch the fog sea and sun rising from the horizon.
Tips on visiting Chiang Khan
- Chiang Khan is close to Laos, set the roaming on your phone to manual because it may change to Laos’s network which makes your phone call fees much higher than usual.
- Many people may not be familiar with Chiang Khan local food such as Mekong river fish, Laotian Noodle Soup, don't miss out on these dishes. Check our 5 Dishes You Must Try in Chiang Khan, Loei.
- Chiang Khan has a lot of alleys. Cycling around Chiang Khan can help you to explore the area in a limited time. However, if you want to go to attractions outside of the town, the local Skylab may be required.
- During the dry season, the weather is quite dry and hot; don’t forget to take your sunscreen. In the cold season, do not forget to bring your thick clothes with you as it can be quite chilly at night and early in the morning.
- During the New Year or Songkran and other festivals in Thailand, Chiang Khan will have a lot of local tourists, so it’s better to reserve accommodation early.