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  1. #1
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    Road Trip - Part 2

    Isaan Road Trip Part Two - Nong Khai to Roi Et
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    Last edited by Sparky; 05-01-09 at 10:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Road Trip - Part 2

    We left Nong Khai for Nakhorn Phanom. We could have driven back along the main road to Udon and done a left turn but decided to follow the country road heading further north and following the Mekong river down to our destination. A good choice; it was a beautiful stretch of road with hardly any traffic, except the occasional motorbikes when we passed through villages.
    In Nakhorn Phanom we avoided the main town and stayed by the riverside - a great choice. The sun came out again and we had a beautiful view of Laos across the river, where there was little development and a cute mountain range. Nice riverside restaurants too, and a popular place for coach trips.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Road Trip - Part 2

    In the evening in Nakhorn Phanom we went on an hour-long riverboat trip along the Mekong that started with a 30-minute cruise along the Thai side of the river, then 30 mins along then Laos side.
    The Laos side was much greener and when we got back to the hotel that night the biggest noise was Thai music blaring out from a restaurant on the Laos side. (See Laos restaurant in pic.)
    There is also a transport ferry, basically a platform pulled by a tugboat, that crosses the river just big enough to transport a few cars and trucks. The immigration official said that if you go to Laos on the ferry boat without transport and want to take a saamlor taxi to the nearest big village, it costs 20 baht for Laotians and 40 baht for Thais. Double pricing works in many ways! He didn't know what they would charge farrangs.
    There is a sandy island in the middle of the river here and many vegetable gardens on the bank of the Mekong.
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    Last edited by Sparky; 05-01-09 at 10:27 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Road Trip - Part 2

    The next day we visited a few temples on the waterfront. One is enough for me in one day but I must admit this one pictured is very beautiful.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Road Trip - Part 2

    Isaan people say you cannot visit Nakhorn Phanom without visiting Wat Phra That Phanom.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Road Trip - Part 2

    On New Year's Eve we drove on down to Mukdahan. We visited the Indochina market and saw rehearsals on the waterfront for a countdown party later in the evening. The party had an Indochina theme because the Friendship Bridge Two opened just 2 years ago -- see the flags of Thailand Laos and Vietnam fluttering over the stage.
    There were many people coming to the waterfront to enjoy the view of Laos across the Mekong.
    We also saw some ''naliphun'' for sale and I bought a pair. These are flowers from Laos that grow on big trees and look like men and women.
    They are a mystery to me and special in that I first came across Paknam Web after seeing these on a TV programme and doing a web search. I found this forum, joined as a member and asked if anyone knew more about these weird flowers. The thread got no answers and I'm still none the wiser and suspect they are really preserved flowers that have been moulded before being dried. But anyway, I have become a regular forum member.
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    Last edited by Sparky; 05-01-09 at 11:41 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Road Trip - Part 2

    If you look closely at the picture you might be able to see how anatomically accurate these naliphun are. I think they are a con but still something that should be included in the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Road Trip - Part 2

    And so with a few hours left of 2008 we headed back down to the countdown party on the bank on the Mekong with the Indochina theme. The friendly off-duty policeman we met there there told us that the girls dancing in the black tops are the Laotian dancers. The Vietnamese dancers are the ones in the long red dresses and conical hats - but you knew that already.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR
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  9. #9
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    Re: Road Trip - Part 2

    Off we ago again. This time to our last stop before heading home to Bangkok - Roi Et, where my stepson lives with relatives.
    When we first arrived at the house the driveway was a bit full (this photo was taken later); friends and family were visiting from far away, like ourselves. Two couples had travelled up from Samut Prakhan, where they work for Toyota.
    Within 5 minutes of arriving someone planted a glass of beer in my hand, so I took no photos that day. The second photo is a clue as to why.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Road Trip - Part 2

    The next day we took Taywah into Roi Et town, yet another Isaan city with a big lake at the centre. The pedal boats are very popular.
    We saw this cool vintage car which I couldn't resist having a pic of.
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