Explore the Land of Promise and Friendship, Natural Beauty on the Mountain Ranges, Small Houses by the Mekong River, and the Unique Thai Dam Culture Route

Loei Province

Start

Located in the Northeastern region of Thailand, Loei is a magical province featuring splendid scenery and also intriguing religious and cultural history. The Explore the Land of Promise and Friendship, Natural Beauty on the Mountain Ranges, Small Houses by the Mekong River, and the Unique Thai Dam Culture Route invites you to discover the extraordinary beauty of the Mekong River, ‘the river of life’, and learn about the incredible culture, traditions, and people’s slow-paced, river-based ways of life.

Day 1

Depart Don Mueang International Airport, Bangkok for Loei Airport. Lunch in Amphoe Mueang Loei and travel to Amphoe Dan Sai. Upon arrival in Amphoe Dan Sai, check-in at the Phu Pha Nam Resort and Spa.

Start the memorable trip by visiting the Phi Ta Khon Museum, situated in the area of an ancient temple named Wat Phon Chai, the venue of the Phi Ta Khon Festival, which is annually held in the 7th lunar month (June), well-known for the procession of people dressed up with ghost masks and colourful costumes. The origin of Phi Ta Khon is believed to be from the Jataka Tales of Lord Buddha’s past life as Prince Vessantara who returned to town after being sent away to the forest, escorted by good spirits and animals. This parade was called ‘Phi Tam Khon,’ meaning ‘ghost follows human’. Over time, it became known as ‘Phi Ta Khon’. At the end of the procession, the Phi Ta Khon costumes and masks will be thrown into the Man River as people believe that this means to get rid of bad luck and misfortune.

Location of Wat Phon Chai and Phi Ta Khon Museum
Contact Khun Khantharat Meeboon Tel. +66 (9) 3356 4530
or Khun Phimolphan Chanthasorn Tel. +66 (8) 3359 1819
85 Ban Doen, Kaeo Asa Road, Tambon Dan Sai, Amphoe Dan Sai, Loei 42120
Operating hours: Everyday 8.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Travel season: All year round.

Remark:
-No entrance fee, donations in accordance with your appreciation are welcome.
-Phi Ta Khon Festival is held in June every year. Check the festival dates at Tel. +66 (0) 4289 1094 (office hours).

The next stop is Chaopho Kuan’s House or Ban Doen Cultural Centre, where visitors can see the exhibitions of Amphoe Dan Sai’s traditions all over twelve months. Chaopho Kuan is a position of the community spiritual leader who has the duty of protecting Phrathat Si Song Rak, a pagoda that enshrines the Lord Buddha’s relics, as well as conserving and conducting significant rituals of Amphoe Dan Sai, including the Phi Ta Khon Festival. Locals believe that he and his followers; such as, Chaomae Nang Thiam, and Pho Saen, are chosen so they are highly respected.

Location of Chaopho Kuan’s House
Contact Khun Thawon Chueaboonmee
Tel. +66 (0) 4289 1328, +66 (8) 6239 3118
94/1 Mu 3, Ban Doen, Tambon Dan Sai, Amphoe Dan Sai, Loei 42120‎
Remark: If you want to meet Chaopho Kuan or to tour the Ban Doen Cultural Centre, please make an appointment at least 2 days in advance.

After that, visit Wat Neramit Wipatsana to pay respect to the replica of the Phra Phuttha Chinnarat Buddha image, enshrined in the gorgeous laterite ordination hall, which is decorated with impressive mural paintings regarded as one of the Dan Sai artists’ masterpieces.

Enjoy delicious local cuisine at the Phu Pha Nam Resort and Spa and spend the evening at leisure.

Location of Wat Neramit Wipatsana
20 Mu 14, Ban Hua Na Yung, Tambon Dan Sai, Amphoe Dan Sai, Loei 42120‎
Tel. +66 (0) 4289 1226, +66 (8) 6852 5950
Operating hours: Everyday, 6.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.

Day 2

After breakfast, go to the Dansai Crown Prince Hospital, where the Dan Sai Cycling Club for Health is located and it is the starting point of an energising cycling trip. From the Hospital, follow the local cyclist and guide on a Spirit of Dan Sai Cycling Route to learn more about Dan Sai’s history. Only in the 7th lunar month or around June, you can witness the community’s preparation for the Bun Luang and Phi Ta Khon Festival, while locals are making famous Phi Ta Khon masks. Then continue to Phrathat Si Song Rak, which has been the centre of faith for the Dan Sai community and a symbol of good faith and friendship between Thailand and Lao PDR., for over 450 years. Please note that wearing or carrying anything red in the temple area is prohibited because red colour symbolises blood and violence, a contradiction of friendship and unity, which is the purpose of constructing the pagoda.

From Phrathat Si Song Rak, cycle along the Man River to have lunch at Pa Wan Som Tam Restaurant. Take a rest and enjoy mouthwatering Som Tam as well as other local menus, all made from chemical-free vegetables for lunch.

Dan Sai Cycling for Health Club & Dansai Crown Prince Hospital
Club President : Achan Chalermkiat Kitipongpitaya Tel.+66 (8) 4790 0009
Club Secretary-General: Khun Apichart Deedankho Tel. +66 (9) 2919 9029
Remark: For a bicycle use or a guide on a bicycle tour, please contact at least 7 days in advance.
167 Mu 3, Tambon Dan Sai, Amphoe Dan Sai, Loei 42120
Website: www.dansaihospital.com
Email: dansaihospital@gmail.com

Location of Phrathat Si Song Rak
Situated on the bank of the Man River, 1 kilometre from Amphoe Dan Sai area, Tambon Dan Sai, Amphoe Dan Sai, Loei province.
Open to visitors: Everyday, 8.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

Location of the Pa Wan Som Tam Restaurant
332 Mu 1, Tambon Dan Sai, Amphoe Dan Sai, Loei 42120
Tel. +66 (0) 4289 1215, +66 (9) 0353 0810
Service hours: 10.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.
Remark: Normally open every day, except when Pa Wan is engaged with personal matters. For certainty, contact in advance.

Transfer back to the Phu Pha Nam Resort and Spa to check-out and continue the green route to Amphoe Phu Ruea, which is not only famous for the natural beauty, but also regarded as an outstanding agro-tourism destination in Thailand.

Arrive in Amphoe Phu Ruea and check-in at the Phu Ruea Ruean Mai Resort.

Spend the afternoon at the Outdoor Nature Classroom based on the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy in an area of 15 rai within the resort, learning about sustainable agriculture, traditional rice growing techniques, and organic farming.

Enjoy Pha Laeng (Northeastern style) dinner, tasting fresh-cut organic vegetables from the resort’s farm.

Location of the Phuruarounmai Resort
471 Mu 7, Ban Phu Ruea, Tambon Nong Bua, Amphoe Phu Ruea, Loei 42160 Tel. +66 (0) 4289 9096, +66 (8) 2043 6110, +66 (8) 1954 2915 Website: www.phuruarounmairesort.com

Day 3

Begin with a morning natural exploration at the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary, known as the Emerald of Isan, which is blessed with lush forested mountains and flora diversity. To really absorb the charm of Phu Luang, spend around 2 hours walking along the 1.8-kilometre-long nature trail surrounded by numerous colourful flowers.

Getting to the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary

Route 1
Bangkok - Saraburi province - Amphoe Sikhio – Chaiyaphum province - Amphoe Phu Khiao- Amphoe Chumphae - Amphoe Phu Kradueng - Amphoe Wang Saphung - Loei province, a total distance of about 560 kilometres.
Route 2
Bangkok - Saraburi province - Phetchabun province - Amphoe Lom Sak - Amphoe Lom Kao - Amphoe Dan Sai - Amphoe Phu Ruea - Loei province, a distance of about 530 kilometres.
• To travel from Loei town to the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary Office, follow the Loei - Phu Ruea route for 36 kilometres to Ban Sam Tom, then take the left turn and continue for another 18 kilometres to the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary.
• Using Route 2 you can circumvent Loei city area. You pass Amphoe Phu Ruea along the road into Loei province for about 14 kilometres to Ban Sam Tom, turn right here and continue for 18 kilometres to the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary.

Contact information:
Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary
Tel. +66 (0) 4280 1955
P.O. Box 52 Loei , Amphoe Mueang Loei Post Office, Loei 42000
Website: http://phuluang.net
Facebook : Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary
Operating hours: Everyday
Travel season: October - May
Facilities
Bungalow, tent, camping site, welfare shop

Location of the Lanchang Restaurant (Amphoe Mueang Loei)
777 Mu 9, Maliwan Road, Tambon Na-an, Amphoe Mueang, Loei 42000
Tel.+66 (0) 4283 3733, +66 (8) 5465 1234
Operating hours: Everyday 11.00 a.m. - 11.30 p.m.

After leaving the Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary, proceed to Amphoe Mueang Loei to have lunch at the Lan Chang Restaurant, before continuing onto Amphoe Chiang Khan.

Arrive in Chiang Khan and check-in at the Chiang Khan River Mountain Resort.

Learn about the Chiang Khan culture through a process of making Pha Sat, a floating object made from the leaf sheaf of the banana tree and decorated with moulded beeswax in a flower-like shape. Pha Sat Loi Khro is another ritual that can be practiced anytime by floating Pha Sat along the Mekong River, and praying for the Goddess of Water’s relief of all bad fortune. Before flowing it, bring Pha Sat to attend the holy Brahmin rite at Wat Si Khun Mueang, an ancient temple where you can inspect several unique ancient artefacts and magnificent delicate architecture.

Pha Sat Loi Khro Activity
Contact Khun Amon Narongsak (Auntie Nang)
Tel. +66 (8) 6231 5335
219 Mu 1, Soi 8, Chai Khong Road, Tambon Chiang Khan, Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei 42110

Embark on a long-tail boat along the mighty Mekong River to feel the tranquil natural scenery, as well as Chiang Khan people’s way of life along both sides of the river. Put your mind at peace along the tide, and flow the Pha Sat in the middle of the Mekong River. You are suggested not to look back to see the flowing Pha Sat. While returning, feel the warm sunset to complete the day.

Enjoy local recipes for dinner at the Huean Luang Phrabang Restaurant.

After dinner, enjoy a night stroll along the Chiang Khan Walking Street, which runs parallel to the Mekong River and is lined with century-old wooden houses. This becomes the significant symbol of Chiang Khan. Visit Auntie Kham Koi’s House, to try traditional Chiang Khan-styled massage for relaxation, and enjoy sight-seeing and shopping for local products; for example, learn about the local wisdom of making handmade quilted blankets and buy some of them at Niyomthai.

Overnight at the Chiang Khan River Mountain Resort.

Location of Auntie Koi’s Yong Sen Shop
At the entrance to Soi 19, Chai Khong Road, Tambon Chiang Khan, Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei 42110
Tel. +66 (8) 7037 6968, +66 (8) 4425 2463
Operating hours: Everyday, 9.00 a.m. - 8.00 p.m.

Location of the Niyomthai Shop
Chai Khong Road, between Soi 13 and 14, Tambon Chiang Khan, Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei 42110
Tel. +66 (0) 4282 1246, +66 (9) 3380 1325
Operating hours: Everyday, 6.00 a.m. - 9.00 p.m.

Location of Khao Lam Song Phi Nong (Grandma Mo, Soi 1)
Chai Khong Road Soi 0, Tambon Chiang Khan, Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei 42110
Tel. +66 (8) 9526 3688
Remark: To observe the cooking process, please contact at least 3 days in advance.

Location of Ban Tonlha, Chiang Khan Cultural Group (Phi Khon Nam Mask)
Khun Pairin Kaeokanya (Khun Tim)
Tel. +66 (9) 0354 1795, +66 (9) 574 5814
70/8 Mu 2 (Soi 17 Bon), Tambon Chiang Khan, Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei 42110
Facebook: Bantonlha Chiangkhan
Email: pairin119@hotmail.com

Location of the Tai Dam House of Museum, Na Pa Nat
Contact Khun Patraporn Paisoon
Tel. +66 (8) 4925 0771
Tambon Khao Kaeo, Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei 42000
Facebook : Tai Dam Museum House Na Pa Nat
Email: taidam_loei@hotmail.com

DAY 4

Experience the real Chiang Khan locals’ charming daily life by starting your day early to wait for the procession of monks and offer alms to them. The Chiang Khan people only scoop a portion of sticky rice in a small bamboo package by hand and put it in the monk’s bowl, then they will bring other kinds of food to offer to the monks at the temple.

For breakfast, head to the Chiang Khan Morning Market, where you can enjoy a variety of local delicacies; such as, Khao Piak Sen (Chiang Khan-styled noodle soup), while observing the local way of life. On the way back, visit Chai Khong Road Soi 0 to witness the cooking process of sticky rice in the longest bamboo tubes in Thailand and buy some.

Go back to check out from the Chiang Khan River Mountain Resort and proceed to the Souvenir Station where you can find a wide range of local products and premium souvenirs. After that, continue to the Ban Na Pa Nat-Tai Dam Local Museum, where local Tai Dam ancient artefacts, costumes, appliances, etc. that have been passed down from generation to generation are displayed with information signs to illustrate the unique Tai Dam history and culture.

Enjoy traditional Tai Dam recipes for lunch.

In the afternoon, learn more about the Tai Dam culture by engaging in a variety of activities. Attend the Paeng Khwan Ceremony, a ceremony to worship the guardian spirits and ask for blessings and happiness to the participants. Then get on a local tractor to the Tai Dam community, to observe their way of life, including traditional handmade cloth-weaving. Then move on to join the locals who are transplanting the rice seedlings into the paddy field. Once finished, move along to observe the locals making “Tum Nok Tum Nu”, a kind of Tai Dam talisman that is often used when conducting a ceremony. Lastly, enjoy watching and participating in the Sae Pang Dance, a part of a ceremony presided over by the shaman to thank the good spirits that bless the community with happiness and relieve all diseases.

Leave the Ban Na Pa Nat-Tai Dam Local Museum to Loei Airport to transfer to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

By the end of your journey on the Explore the Land of Promise and Friendship, Natural Beauty on the Mountain Ranges, Small Houses by the Mekong River, and the Unique Thai Dam Culture Route, you will understand that the fascinating history and way of life, as well as the astonishing scenery are some but not all of the reasons why a lot of people fall in love with Loei.

Accommodation in Amphoe Dan Sai

Phu Pha Nam Resort
252 Mu 1, Tambon Khok Ngam, Amphoe Dan Sai, Loei 42120‎
Tel.+66 (0) 4207 8078, +66 (9) 8132 5668, +66 (8) 1554 3330
Website: www.phuphanamresort.com
Facebook: Phuphanamresort Thailand
Email: phuphanamloei@gmail.com

Phunacome Resort
461 Mu 3, Ban Doen, Tambon Dan Sai, Amphoe Dan Sai, Loei 42120‎
Tel.+66 (0) 4289 2005-6, +66 (8) 8585 0406
Website: www.phunacomeresort.com
Facebook : Phunacome Resort
Email: sales@phunacomeresort.com

Accommodation in Amphoe Chiang Khan
Chiang Khan River Mountain Hotel
451 Mu 1, Tambon Chiang Khan, Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei 42110
Tel. +66 (0) 4282 2190, +66 (0) 4282 2191
Website: www.chiangkhanrivermountain.com
Email: chiangkhanriver@gmail.com

The Old Chiang Khan Boutique Hotel
288 Mu 2, Chai Khong Road, Tambon Chiang Khan, Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei 42110
Tel. +66 (0) 4282 2119, +66 (8) 8340 3999
Website: www.theoldchiangkhan.com
Email: theoldchiangkhan@gmail.com

The Royal Chiang Khan Boutique Hotel
195 Mu 2, Chai Khong Road (between Soi 15 and 16), Tambon Chiang Khan, Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei 42110
Tel. +66 (0) 4282 1788, +66 (0) 2731 1102 (Bangkok Office)
Website: www.theroyalchiangkhan.com

Restaurants in Amphoe Chiang Khan
Heon Luang Prabang Restaurant
156 Mu 2, Chai Khong Road, Tambon Chiang Khan, Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei 42110
Operating hours: Everyday, 11.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m./ 5.00 p.m. - 10.00 p.m.
Tel. +66 (0) 4282 1046, +66 (8) 9009 4345
Website:www.heonluangprabang.com
Email: heonluangprabang@gmail.com

Rabiang Rim Khong Restaurant
299/4 Mu 1, between Soi 9 and Soi 10 (Lang), Chai Khong Road, Tambon Chiang Khan, Amphoe Chiang Khan, Loei 42110
Operating hours: Everyday, 10.00 a.m. - 11.00 p.m.
Tel. +66 (0) 4282 1532