On the Road to Loei and Phu Rua Once Again


Our New Year two-day trip to Loei and Phu Rua was the fourth time we had visited the beautiful and scenic mountainous region of northeastern Thailand. Our 250 kilometre journey from Udon Thani to Loei for its most part hugged and kissed the Mekong River as we passed through Tha Bo, Si Chiang Mai, Sang Khom and Pak Chom before we stopped to soak in the sun and charms of Chiang Khan. And then it was on and upwards to Loei.

We were off to Loei and Phu Rua to answer a question on many people’s lips…. How many flowers can you cram into a Honda City car?…. my guess, with the knowledge of previous trips, was enough to give a bumble bee hay fever and a common fly a fear of cramped car interiors. Wonderful Wi adores flowers and Phu Rua has the perfect climate for growing them…. Would there be room for me to get home?


The Mekong River is low water at this time of year and giant stone and sand stepping-stones separate Thailand from neighbouring Laos. Views like this were common for much of our route.

Chiang Khan, Loei Province


Chiang Khan is a favourite Thai holiday destination and a stroll along its river front street leaves you with no reason to wonder why. A colourful and quaint collection of guesthouses, hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops greet you and a constant stream of Thai tourists too.


The river front at Chiang Khan had a picture postcard view and you could stick your own postage stamp on it as well.


Chiang Khan’s restaurants had a bite for every budget. From its lo-so tin pot noodle shops to its elegantly decked hi-so eateries. Wonderful Wi and her cousin Moy thought the prices at our restaurant were steep and the portions cheap, although little Tang Moo didn’t seem too bothered. Chiang Khan was charming, but also alarming when the bill was presented for our food.


We arrived at the Muanmanee Boutique Hotel in Loei mid afternoon after stretching our 250 kilometre to over six hours long. The hotel is new and everything worked how it was designed to do. The staff was friendly, helpful and the hotel is centrally located in the city and offers free bicycles for guests wishing to explore Loei further. A great value hotel in Loei at only 650 baht a night.

To be continued……….


I'm a sixty-year-old Englishman living in the town of Swindon in rural Wiltshire and I have a real deep desire to retire in Thailand one day. If you don't have a dream then you won't have a dream come true.

7 Responses

  1. Catherine says:

    Great photos Martyn. On my trip to Lao the water was down quite far, but not as low as in your photo. It really shows just how easy it’d be to walk from one country to the other.

  2. Martyn says:

    Catherine – The water is low and will get lower come April. The scenic route from Udon Thani to Loei really is an eyeful of the nicest kind. Next Christmas we plan to stay one night in Chiang Khan and two in Loei city.

  3. Snap says:

    Martyn, all of your photos brought back wonderful memories. Stray and I passed through those exact same areas and we loved it, despite our aching tooshes! We look forward so showing our friends this part of Thailand soon, this time from the comfort of a car 🙂 Thanks for the hotel review too, it gives us another choice for our stay….and I reckon about 954 flowers, give or take 😉

  4. Martyn says:

    Snap – The answer is roughly 60… plus a few other things.

    I remember you and Stray hitting Loei on your bicycles, it must have been wonderful.

    The Muanmanee Boutique Hotel is great value for money and only 300 yards from the only western restaurant in the city.

  5. holidayasia says:

    Martyn, you make me curious about Loei. I have been several times in the area aound Udon Thani and Nong Khai, but I never made it to Loei. I like the landscape there with its pictureque mountains a lot. In april I will be thailand again and this time I will definitely take the time to go there.
    PS: I hope by now you have fully recovered from your denguin fever and wish you a good time in Los

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