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A Long Weekend in Three Provinces in Upper Northeast Thailand

The Northeast, an area which is referred as Pak Isan, covers an area of more than 170,000 square kilometres and is made up of nineteen provinces. It has Thailand’s highest population density and spreads over a plateau, bounded on the north and east by the Mekong River, which separates Thailand from Laos, on the south by the Dong Rak mountains, which form the frontier with Cambodia, and on the west by the mountains through the valley of the Mae Nam Pasak which flows to the south. The rivers in this area flow towards the Mekong, the principal tributary being the Mae Nam Mun which rises above Phimai and goes in a southeasterly direction to pass through the principal center of Ubon Ratchathani. The word Isan probable derives from Ishara, a manifestation of the God Shiva. The rich artistic heritage of Isan is gaining better recognition both nationally and internally as recent studies shed more light on the complex religious and cultural influences which have shaped its evolution.

The Society is arranging an excursion to visit three adjacent provinces along Mekong river in the upper Isan; Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, and Nakhon Phanom. Each of them has its own charming background both in natural and historical ways. “Hin Sam Wan or Three Whale Rocks”, the featured picture will be one of the highlights of the trip. From the vantage point atop these “whales”, you can see the beaches of the Mekong, the mountains in Pakkading district of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Phu Wua Forest.


Friday, 14 to Sunday, 16 January 2022


Khun Euayporn Kerdchouay, Senior Consultant of The Siam Society


The tentative programme will be as follows:

Day 1: Friday, 14 May: January- Udon Thani – Nong Khai – Bueng Kan
Check in (individually) at a Nok Air counter, Don Mueang International Airport (terminal 2)
05:55 Depart Bangkok from Don Mueang Airport by Nok Air flight DD088 for Udon Thani Airport.
06:55 Arrive at Udon Thani and proceed to Charoen Hotel for breakfast.
09:00 Depart Udon Thani for Nong Khai province by bus.
Enroute: Visit Wat Phra That Bang Phuan, the 16th-century temple built by King Setthathirat of Lan Xang between 1559-1562, when he extended his capital at Vientiane across the Mekong. The main Lao-style chedi, 34 metres high, that collapsed during heavy rain in 1970, but was rebuilt in 1977. Several ruins are scattered about the temple enclosure.
Visit Wat Si Chompu Ong Tue (Wat Nam Mong). This temple houses a beautiful and greatly severed bronze image of the Buddha, Phra Chao Ong Tue, cast in 1562.
Noon: Lunch at a local restaurant in Nong Khai
After lunch, proceed to Bueng Kan province.
Enroute: Visit Wat Pho Chai and sites of interest in Nong Khai.
Afternoon: Arrive in Bueng Kan and visit Nong Kut Ting, a large freshwater lake and marsh (22,000 rai) which is a home to a vast variety of flora and fauna. The best time to visit the wetlands is during the morning hours or late afternoon when the sun is not too strong. It is a major birdwatching site, especially in the cool season when the wetlands are visited by many migratory species.
Evening: Check in at The One Hotel in Bueng Kan. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Saturday, 15 January: Bueng Kan – Nakhon Phanom
Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
08:00 Proceed to Nakhon Phanom province.
Enroute: Take a truck to visit the huge sandstone outcrops which look like whales (Hin Sam Wan) and the wooded slopes at Phu Singh National Park which are dotted with strangely eroded sandstone formations.
Visit the huge sandstone outcrop of Phu Thok, which is honeycombed with small caves and is used as a retreat by monks of Wat Phu Thok. The views across the plain from the upper levels is excellent.
Picnic lunch.
Afternoon: Visit Wat Phrathat Tha U-Then in Tha U-Then district.
Late -afternoon: Check in at the River Hotel in Nakhon Phanom.
Evening: Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Sunday, 16 January: Nakhon Phanom – Bangkok
Morning: Breakfast at the hotel.
All day: Visit museums, temples, historical sites in Nakhon Phanom province.
Noon: Lunch at a local restaurant.
Late – afternoon: Proceed to Nakhon Phanom Airport.
16:50 Depart Nakhon Phanom by Air Asia flight FD3397 for Don Mueang Airport.
18:10 Arrive in Bangkok at Don Mueang Airport.

The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary.


Note – The Society requires all study trip participants to be fully vaccinated. We kindly ask that you attach appropriate proof(s) of vaccination indicating 2 (TWO) doses of Sinovac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Sputnik V, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine along with your registration.

– To comply with the measures set forth by the government in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to protect yourself and others around you, the Society kindly asks our participants to follow the appropriate safety and precautionary measures as stipulated by the government and health organisations.

The contribution of THB 19,000 (THB 20,000 for non-members) will cover airfares, local transportation, accommodation (two people per room, single room surcharge THB 1,300), meals, entrance fees, and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. Your reservation will be confirmed as soon as the payment has been received. Please pay by cash or cheque payable to ‘The Siam Society’. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges. Alternatively, you can deposit/transfer the money to The Siam Society travel account at TMB Bank, Asoke Branch saving account no. 053-2-18000-7. Please fax or e-mail the transfer docket to us. In case the tour has to be cancelled due to insufficient participants, a full refund of the deposit will be made.

For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert at Tel. 02-661-6470-3 ext. 504 or Khun Supanut Tel. 02-661-6470-3 ext. 506, Fax 02-258-3491 or email: The Society office is open from 09:00 to 17:00, Tuesday to Saturday.

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