Untapped Loei in Northern Thailand – Travel Photo Mondays

Untapped Loei in Northern Thailand

Untapped Loei in Northern Thailand

Untapped Loei: A undiscovered region in Northern Thailand

 

Bordering Laos at the northern region of Thailand is the province of Loei, an area that is rapidly starting to get on the tourist map for authentic and still off the beaten path in Thailand. This area of Thailand is blessed with cooler climates, mountain areas filled with waterfalls, caves and rivers with riverside villages and hamlets still living an agricultural lifestyle. For the enthusiasts seeking an outdoor lifestyle combined with pure Thai history and amazing food, this untapped area is a wonderful place to explore the many river communities and natural landmarks in the area.

 

The Mekong and hill country of the Loei region of Thailand

The Mekong and hill country of the Loei region of Thailand

 

The mighty Mekong river separates the Vientiene region of Laos with the Loei region in Thailand and the river communities are alive and fun to explore the area and stunning landscape including:  Kaen KhuKhu – small islets with colored boulders, fishing communities and riverside temples dotting the area.

 

Chan Kiang in the Loei region of Thailand

Chiang Khan in the Loei region of Thailand

 

Chiang Khan

Chiang Khan is one of the most colorful and picturesque cities along the Mekong and Loei province. The river front and adjoin streets are filled with interesting towns, quirky galleries and shop,  and there is a lively night market that happens nightly with the riverside street closed off from traffic. I woke up early to do the morning alms to the Buddhists walking the streets towards their temple and giving blessings, it was a fantastic experience and I toured around the temple grounds afterwards. I wrote about that experience recently in this post.

 

Cruising by longtail in the Loei region of Thailand

Cruising by longtail in the Loei region of Thailand

 Cruising the Mekong

One of the most popular attractions in this area is to take a river cruise on the Mekong. You can practically hop on a long tail boat in many areas and you can easily take a cruise from Chiang Khan and see both sides of the Thai and Laos riverfront communities and landscape. It is an easy  and panoramic cruise which typically run an average of two hours or more in length. Late afternoon is the perfect time for beautiful light for photography and a magnificent sunset if the skies are clear.  The day I took this cruise, it was completely socked in with clouds and fog, but fortunately things took a better turn and we had cloudy but some open skies breaking up the landscape. I just did a post with more images on the cruise, you can take a look at this post here.

 

Phu Ruea National Park in a sea of fog

Phu Ruea National Park in a sea of fog

 Phu  Ruea National Park

One of the largest national parks in Thailand is the Phu Ruea National Park which is famously known for it’s thick fog and spectacular views of the entire region. It’s supposed to be quite spectacular when it is a clear day, but unfortunately for me, the fog was as thick as soup. In this instance you just have to make the best of it and enjoy the moment and capture the mist/fog in the landscape like the image above, quite moody and unexpected for tropical Thailand.

 

Sunrise trip to Phu Tok Mountain

Sunrise trip to Phu Tok Mountain

 

 Phu Tok Mountain viewpoint

Another panaromic ride and tour is taking a morning ride to the vista point overlooking Phu Tok Mountain close to Chiang Khan. This bumpy and fun ride on a Songthaew ( a type of jeep bus) all the way up to a lookout point to Phu Tok and the surrounding region. Coming here to view the sunrise and morning is a spectacular way to spend the morning and enjoy the 360 degree views of the entire region.

 

 

Panoramic views of the Leoi region in Northern Thailand

Looking down to the Loei region, Northern Thailand

Looking down to the Loei region, Northern Thailand

 

 

 

Phi Ta Khon Museum in the Loei region

Phi Ta Khon Museum in the Loei region

Phi Ta Khon Museum

Visiting the Phi Ta Khon Museum is fun at this educational attraction. It houses a colorful Buddhist temple along with a mask museum that shows the traditions of the local mask festivals that happen in the nearby Loei regions. Demonstrations of mask making and creating your own is offered on site and is a lot of fun to do for visitors into local craft.

 Making your own ghost mask at Phi Ta Khon

Mask making at Phi Ta Khon Museum

Mask making at Phi Ta Khon Museum

Local trainees at the Buddhist temple at Phi Ta Khon

 

Buddhist students at Phi Ta Khon Temple

Buddhist students at Phi Ta Khon Temple

 

 

 

Loatian tribes at Tai Dam Village

Loatian tribes at Tai Dam Village

Tai Dam Village

A unique place to visit is the Loatian village at Tai Dam Village which is a preserved village that now serves as a cultural center and village. This area is home to these ethnic Loatian tribes that showcases some authentic homes, people, daily lifestyle and crafts of the region. The group occasionally gathers  to share some of their dances and culture with visitors to their village and you can see their craftwork and purchase some traditional snacks from the various vendors. For more information and pictures about the village and visiting, check out my recent post on the Ta Dam village here.

 

 

Traditional dance around a harvest pole at Tai Dam Village

Traditional dance around a harvest pole at Tai Dam Village

 

This cultural village is worth the effort to understand the traditional, culture and lifestyle of these people who immigrated to Northern Thailand to avoid persecution from regional wars in their area and have been supported by the regional government to keep up their customs and village crafts and architecture. On our visit, we were treated to local dances, singing and musical instruments that were used in the performances. We also got to sample some of the local delicacies and sweets made by the indigenous people of this tribe.

Gorgeous bamboo architecture at Tai Dam Village

 

Architectural homes of the Tai Dam Village

Architectural homes of the Tai Dam Village

 

 

 

Sticky rice alms offering at Chiang Khan

Sticky rice alms offering at Chiang Khan

Morning Buddhist alms

Attending a morning Buddhist alms offering at a local temple is a great educational experience to understand this old tradition that pays respect to the Buddhist monks that support each local community. The large Buddhist temple at Chiang Khan is fun to explore after the offering so you can visit the temple grounds where the monks live and practice. For more pictures and insight to this regular morning tradition, check out my recent post on the morning alms here.

 

Buddhist temple at Chiang Khan

Buddhist temple at Chiang Khan

 

I hope that you enjoyed this post on Untapped Northern Thailand at Loei.  If you liked the post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post, thank you. Also, please visit the other bloggers below that are joining for Travel Photo Mondays below.

Thank you to the Thai Authority of Tourism and the local Loei tourism group for hosting me in collaboration with Tbex Thailand, all opinions and thoughts were my own.

 

 

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13 Responses to Untapped Loei in Northern Thailand – Travel Photo Mondays

  1. Tony C May 3, 2016 at 5:21 pm #

    We have a 5-day holiday weekend and I wanted to get out of Khon Kaen and do some astrophotography. I was looking a Loei and I think I might head up there. Looks like a good candidate for some landscape photography as well as night photography. Thanks for the tour.

  2. Carlotta June 3, 2015 at 5:54 am #

    Those pictures are amazing! They make me want to go back there right now.

  3. Carole Terwilliger Meyers May 8, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    I’ve been all over Thailand, but never to Loei. Thanks for the photo journey. Maybe I’ll get there in person on my next visit.

  4. Donna Janke May 5, 2015 at 3:36 am #

    Great photos. I’ve not been to Thailand, but this area looks fascinating. I like that it is still relatively untapped.

  5. Corinne May 4, 2015 at 6:44 am #

    What a gorgeous place! I would love to go here. I love your sunset posts the most. Lovely Noel!

  6. Anita @ No Particular Place To Go May 3, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

    I love how your photos allow a glimpse into the day-to-day life of the people in this amazingly beautiful and unique country. The idea of a cruise down the Mekong river is intriguing and I hope to visit this fascinating country soon.

  7. Paula McInerney May 3, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

    Wow, stunning photos. I love this area of northern Thailand and you have captured it beautifully.

  8. Cathy Sweeney May 3, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

    I’m really looking forward to the day I visit Thailand. Now knowing about Loei, I’m particularly interested in trying to get to that area, not just the main tourist sites. Whenever that day comes. it will be my first Asian travel experience. Thailand (and possibly Loei) seems like a wonderful choice for a first trip to Asia. Your photos are fantastic and really seem to capture the beauty and culture.

    • Tony C May 3, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

      Cathy,

      An interesting sight is the Phi Ta Khon festival in Dan Sai, Loei Province, held sometime between March and July, depending on when the mediums deem it auspicious. Not sure how much warning you would have for the dates in any given year and hotels in the area fill quickly.

      I have been there twice. The first time, the experience was almost overwhelming. Unlike anything I had seen before. The second time I was probably a little more jaded, having lived in Thailand for a few years. I looked at it in a different way, not quite so novel. I would not go back again except to take a western visitor. I recommend seeing one time for the experience.

  9. Ryan Biddulph May 3, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    Awesome shots Noel! We love this region as we made our way through on a trip from Laos to Chiang Mai in Thailand. So much culture and beauty, and I can attest that th food really is amazing as we stopped off at a little restaurant during our journey to enjoy some mixed vegetable green curry. Amazing region and like you said, although its growing in popularity it’s still off the beaten path in tourist terms which means you can get an authentic experience. Thanks for sharing the dazzling pictures!

    Ryan

  10. Rhonda Albom May 3, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    Beautiful and interesting as always. I have yet to visit Thailand. Your photos sure inspire me to visit. I love the low hanging fog, followed here by the brightly colored museum.

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